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Finding the Time to Read

by Olivia Cunning

Do you know why I became a writer? Easy. I love to read. If you don't love to read, I don't think you have any business writing.

Once upon a time, I could sit and read an entire book from cover-to-cover. Some days I'd even read two books in one day. *gasp!* These days, that seems like a modern-day fairy tale. An impossible dream. Unrealistic.

I just don't have time!

I currently have this book on my nightstand.

I got it in my head that I would reread the entire Harry Potter series this summer from beginning to end. Come to think of it, the last book I read cover-to-cover in one sitting was "HP and the Deathly Hallows". It's been years! So in preparation for my intended reading marathon, I replaced several of my hard copies. A few of my original books had "magically" disappeared when I loaned them out to family members. So once I had all seven books lined up on my shelf, I eagerly started reading.

I can't wait. I said.

This is going to be awesome. I said.

I wonder if the secrets revealed at the end of the series were hinted at in earlier books. I said.

It will be so cool to read the entire series as a unit. I said.

I'm currently on chapter two in the first book. Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, is a week from today. I don't think I'm going to reach my goal.

So a couple of months ago, I moved here

thinking one of the things I would enjoy doing most in my new locale is sitting near the waves and reading a good book without interruption. Dream on! I haven't even been to the beach in two weeks. Between the new job and everything that goes with writing and being a writer, I don't even have time to explore the island. And when I did steal five minutes to go to the beach after dinner one evening, I couldn't enjoy watching the waves, because a certain horrible entity kept weighing on my mind. THIS beast:

I despise that evil creature.

Despite the never-ending list of must-do tasks, I need to read. It's always been a necessary part of my life.

So confession time.

Do you know where I do most of my reading?


Now isn't that romantic? True, I'm mature enough to use the big-girl pottie and it's my Kindle that never leaves that room, but if I didn't read there, I wouldn't have the time to read anywhere. Ten stolen minutes of reading is better than none.

Maybe when I am finally able to quit my day job (see to-do list), I'll find the time to read again. But until then, I'll keep doing this

and pray I don't drop one ball, because I know if I do, the rest will soon follow.

How much do you read each week? And where do you do most of your reading? How do you find the time to do it? Inquiring minds...


  1. Olivia, I feel like you GET me. Yes! I have this same problem! I am not even going to tell you how much I read because I am embarrassed. I do not read nearly enough. If I get time to read, I sleep! I'm so tired all the time. I have friends who read 4-5 books a week. How? How? How? The only book I read that often is Goodnight Moon.

  2. Excellent post, Olivia. I'm paddling the same boat you are. I don't have the full time job outside of writing but I scarcely ever have time to read, and yes, ma'am, Shana, when I pick up a book I fall asleep. Used to be that when Sue Grafton had a new novel coming out, I'd go back and read from A is for Alibi through all the letters up to the new one and then read it. Her latest is sitting on my book shelf and I'll be lucky to get it read this year. Maybe, I need to juggle better!

  3. I read MUCH less than I used to before I started to write, which is probably natural. My imagination is getting the same work out in a different way.

    Now my reading time is taken up with craft, biography and history books. When I see a new keeper on the horizon (Eloisa James' "The Ugly Duchess" has shipped!), I indulge in bed late at night.

  4. I'm glad I'm not alone! I do wish I had more time to read though. I so enjoy it.

  5. I do a times find the time to read but when things get really busy most of my reading gets done in the bathroom too....There is always a book and a huge stack of magazines in there. It's why we call it the Library in our house.

  6. I read in bed before I go to sleep if I'm not writing scenes or editing. But I also LOVE to listen to audio books.

  7. I telecommute for my day job, so I get my daily reading fix in over my lunch hour - which I spend in the bathtub. ;-)

    I listen to audio books while mowing the lawn, and I read almost every night before bed.

  8. Most of my reading is done at night in bed. I never get enough sleep lol. I may be shortening my life but at least I'm doing something now that I enjoy lol.

  9. oh, there's a stack of books in my bathroom at home! I have a few "in progress" books scattered around in various rooms of the house, and my kindle isn't far from me as soon as I get home from work. I can get 5 minutes reading in during dinner (although that can be dangerous and has been known to scorch the food)! I also try to get in a 1/2 hour of reading in the morning over coffee, but that is coming to an end soon :(

  10. Loved your post, Olivia. There are times when my To-Do List...has it's own sub-list or lists. I quit my job last year and am still not settling into a solid routine...but maybe that is the new norm a routine-less routine. I love to read and usually end the day reading. Right now I'm re-reading Dee Henderson's THE RESCUER, Bk 6 in The O'Malley Chronicles.

  11. Same problem here. Between work (bringing papers home nightly for grading, lesson plans to make, etc etc), dinner, family, blogging, etc etc.....Bedtime is my best bet. Summer, Spring, and Winter breaks are my only times to read a book in a day anymore. Life just sucks sometimes.

  12. Olivia,
    I love your honesty. We have a library that looks just like that in our house. ;D

    It can take me forever to read a book now. Well, that's an exaggeration, but it can easily take months to finish one book because I can only read a little bit at a time. Like Grace, I think my imagination is getting a good workout with writing.

  13. I try to read for 30 mins every day. Usually after dinner we have quiet reading, then I listen to the kids read to me before they get ready for bed, and then I read the bedtime story to them.

  14. I use to finish a book in 2 nights. Sometimes I'd finish a book in one sitting. But since school picked up it takes me forever to finish a book! I try to make time before bed. I feel like I read faster on my Kindle. Other days I read between chores. Like if I'm waiting for pasta to boil, laundry to finish washing/drying, etc...

  15. Hey...the light's usually the best in the bathroom so of course a lot of my reading takes place there, lol. I actually read alot since I am not writing the way you wonderfully prolific people are. My problem is that now I do so many review books, I struggle to keep up with the series that I normally read but I figure it's a nice problem to have, lol.


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