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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Reading Between the Lines by Bea Tifton


I try not to be judgmental. I don’t always succeed, but I do try. One thing that drives me crazy, though, is when people find out I’m a voracious reader and say, “I love to read. I just don’t have time.” To me, that’s like saying, “I love to breathe, I just don’t have time. “

I get that not everyone loves to read that much, but here’s the thing. If you truly want to find the time to do something, you will find the time. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, dear avid readers, but just in case, here are some tips to squeezing in your reading time.


1. Keep a time diary for one week. Most people would be amazed at how much time they waste. I have a friend who is glued to her phone. She picks it up constantly, and soon, she’s lost in the rabbit hole of answering every email, scrolling through the Internet, or reading Facebook. There are times for these things. But if you do it without thinking, you probably spend way more time just randomly using your phone or tablet than you realize.


2. Use waiting time or down time. Ride the train to work? Take a book. Have an appointment? Take a book. Waiting in line? Take a book.

3. Put boundaries on your time. Some things will never be finished. Yes, it’s important to have a clean home, but there is always something to move around, clean out, etc. Emails? Set a time and stick to it. Schedule in reading like anything else you do and don’t look around guiltily thinking, I should be cleaning out that junk drawer right now. 


4. Don’t overschedule. I have a friend who is a delight to see, but you have to look fast. She belongs to every committee, serves on every board, and is so busy rushing to the next thing, I don’t think she ever really experiences where she is. We have a culture that admires and even worships busyness. People brag about how busy they are. But is that really such a good thing? Pick a few things that you truly enjoy. Like reading. And don’t feel guilty. If you don’t fuel up your car, eventually, it runs out of gas. 


 5. Work smarter, not harder. Can you make a bigger batch of that chili and reheat it another night this week? Are there things you can combine or steps you can skip and still get something done? I’m not talking about sacrificing quality, but sometimes, we dither or don’t think about the big picture when doing something.

I know that everyone truly has a big load to carry, but reading is feeding your mind and your soul. It’s not wasted time or a frivolous activity. Just like anything else, we need to make the time to have the time.

Happy reading!



Photo Credits from Pexels:

List: Anete Lusing

Woman in Blue: RF._.Studio

Woman Cooking: RF._.Studio

Woman on Roof: Pixabay

Woman with Leaf: Andrea Piacquadio

Woman on Bench: Joy Deb



  1. I always have a book with me, or at least one available to read on my phone if I get stuck somewhere waiting. I never get bored because there is always a book ready to take me somewhere else. I love your writing.

    1. Thank you. Glad you keep a book with you just in case.

  2. I always have a book with me. It's surprising how much reading I can accomplish with only ten minutes here or five there. In addition, I don't have to fidget when I'm stuck waiting somewhere. Good advice in your post.

  3. Great points! I have trained my brain to multi-task so I listen to audible books when driving, cleaning or sewing, but occasionally, like today, I think I really should just slow down and enjoy life instead of staying so busy.

    1. Yes, sometimes you have to slow down and replenish with a good book. Thanks for your comment.

  4. We can all work in reading time. Reading helps you relax, even if you have a super busy schedule. When I was a mom of a young child, there were several years I didn't read novels, but I read magazine articles and I read to my son each night after tucking him into bed. We both looked forward to that time together. I credit that with his love of books now, as an adult.

    The world would be a sad, sad place if we had no wonderful books to read. Thank you for this post, Bea.

    1. Yes, it would be a sad place. I hope we never find out what that would be like! I'll definitely never make it through my ever-growing to be read stack. Thanks for your comment.


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