How do you find the time to read so much? This is a question I get a lot from female friends – especially mothers. The truth is, I haven’t really ‘found’ time – I’ve just tricked my brain into reading in a new way. I like to think of it as re-training my brain to read in short spurts instead of binges.
If you are a fellow recovering bookworm turned mother, you probably miss long intimate reading sessions with your favourite author. Remember the days when we could stay in our pajamas, eat Doritos, and read all day with no interruptions? For many years I stopped reading, because there wasn’t enough time. Unless I could lounge around for an hour or two devouring a new book, what was the point of starting?
Then a couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted to start reading again because I love words and stories, and the lounging and the Doritos were not a necessary part of the experience. When my daughter was a toddler I would read articles in the NY Times – long enough that the felt like I read something, but short enough that and they could be devoured while the baby was distracted. Those articles were like a gateway drug for me. Just enough stimulation to give me a hit, but not the real deal.
The experience of reading articles helped me realize that the only way I was going to be able to read full length novels again was if I accepted that I’d have to read them in stolen pockets of time. Even now that my kids are much older, I still have to fit reading into 15-20 minute spurts. Sometimes over my lunch break, while I’m waiting for dinner to cook in the oven, or in the 30 minutes between the time the kids leave for school and I leave for work.
And that, my friends is my big secret for reading so much, change your expectations. Once I accepted that I would have to make due with 15-30 minute slots of reading time, all sorts of opportunities started presenting themselves for reading. Is it ideal – nope, is it better than a life without stories, absolutely!
PS: If you are looking for something to get you started, here are a few of my favourite 2018 reads:
Bones of Grace
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
What Lies Between Us
The Widows of Malabar Hill
Love Hate & Other Filters