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How Many Books Do You Read Per Week? And How Do You Make Time to Read?

What Are You Reading Now?

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Jul 13, 2008, 10:35pm Top

Hi Everyone,

I'm just curious how many books, on average, everyone reads per week and how you make time to read. Sometimes when I am in a bookstore I get feelings of awe and sadness because I know I won't have time to read all of the great books!

I read about a book per week, maybe 1.5 (average 500 pages, fiction). I read on the bus ride to and from work (about 20 minutes each way), and about an hour before bed (more on weekends). If I don't read before bed my day feels incomplete.

Jul 13, 2008, 10:45pm Top

I'm the same as you: I read on the bus to work, and a about an hour before bed or in the bathtub. It works out to be a book a week, unless it's short and I finish it in a couple days.

I know what you mean about that feeling when standing in a bookstore. I wish I had the time and money to read them all!

Edited: Jul 13, 2008, 10:51pm Top

Hi twoods9, welcome to LT. Prepare to become addicted!

I have lots of time to read because, basically, I don't have a life! LOL. Seriously, I've made reading one of my priorities, especially this last year since joining LT and finding so many great authors and books. I watch very little TV anymore, so the time I used to spend doing that (too much) is spent reading and hanging out on LT. I don't have kids, don't get out much these days and have a lot of leisure time. So it works for me! When I retire in 3 1/2 months, I'll probably double my reading time. Can't wait!

ETA: I average a couple of books a week.

Jul 14, 2008, 12:07am Top

I guess I read fast, because I have at least 4 books going at any one time and finish one every other day on average. I have a grown kid, a partner who would like more of my undivided attention than I give him, and an hour a day commute on the bus. When my grandkids are around, that plummets to zero words an hour while they're here and for the two hours of nappage I need to recover from their presence.

TV is a low priority, except for my daily dose of All My Children and weekly dose of Torchwood in season. Mr. Man loves to read, too, so we're really a pair of boring bastards, flopped on the couch or the bed and trading amusing/interesting/moving quotes from the different books we're reading.

Welcome to LT, twoods9, and may it be a place you're able to settle into and make your own. Good topic choice, BTW!

Jul 14, 2008, 12:30am Top

I read about 3 books a week when I am in school. When I am out of school, I read about 5-7 books a week depending on how good the books are.

Jul 14, 2008, 5:58am Top

I read 2-3 books a week.

I sleep a lot less than my wife so I get to read for a couple of hours most nights, and as a stay-at-home parent I get a couple of hours a day to read while my kids watch TV :)

Jul 14, 2008, 8:24am Top

twoods9 said: ..when I am in a bookstore I get feelings of awe and sadness because I know I won't have time to read all of the great books!

OMG! I know, right? I wish I was a speed reader with photographic memory so I could read them all and enjoy them with my memory later.

I'm at about 3 books a week, sometimes more sometimes less. I read pretty much whenever I don't have to do something. I read along with audio books when I find the A.B. to match what I want to read. When I read along, I usually can squeeze another book or so into a week. I take a book with me in my purse for when I have to leave the house, and I have another book and a couple magazines in our *ahem* reading room.

Jul 14, 2008, 8:49am Top

I've actually gotten a lot of questions about this lately after posting on my blog that I've finished 131 books this year so far (132 after yesterday!).

I think I usually average about 5 books a week, 300-400 pages per book. I honestly don't know how I squeeze out the time to do it. Part of it is just that I'm a really fast reader. And 9 PM to whenever I go to bed is usually reading time. But some nights I won't read at all, and some I'll read all evening, after coming home from work and cooking of course :-).

Mostly I read on the weekends though!

Jul 14, 2008, 8:52am Top

I think a definition of the word "book" is called for if you can melt through 3 or 4 (not to mention 7!) in a week. I can't imagine anything of real substance or heft being absorbed that quickly. Slow down, there's language out there worth soaking in!

Jul 14, 2008, 8:57am Top

>9 abealy:
I suppose then that you need to define substance.

Jul 14, 2008, 9:36am Top

>9 abealy:
I do read quickly, but I don't think I lose anything along the way, considering the fact that I do in-depth reviews of most of the books I read on my blog. I think if I was reading too fast to absorb anything "of real substance", I probably wouldn't be able to do that!

Jul 14, 2008, 9:38am Top

On average I get through about 3 books a week, depends on size and content, obviously some books require a lot more concentration than others. I read for 1 hour in the morning, 1 hour at lunchtime and for about 3 hours in the evening. I don't watch TV and my kids are at an age where they don't need constant attention. I wouldn't say I'm a fast reader and I do try to finish every book, unless it really is very bad.

Jul 14, 2008, 9:53am Top

I used to read 4-6 books a week. Then I discovered LT and now I only read 2-4 books now. Sigh I love LT but it's so addicting.

Edited: Jul 14, 2008, 10:49am Top

I average between 1 and 3 books per week, depending on size, content, readability, etc. I don't watch much TV, either, especially during summer re-run season, and what I do watch, I watch on TiVo on the weekends.

My reading routine consists of at least an hour after I get home from work and walk the dog, usually another hour after dinner, and 30 minutes to an hour before bed. On weekends during baseball season, I read pretty much all day Saturday and Sunday Mr. Booklady watches baseball--I can't tell you how many books I've read with baseball in the background in the last 7 years. I've made it a priority, and I agree with skrishna that the more you read, the faster you get, and you can still maintain comprehension and depth.

richardderus: take that sentence: "so we're really a pair of boring bastards, flopped on the couch or the bed and trading amusing/interesting/moving quotes from the different books we're reading" and change it to "we're really a pair of boring old married people," and you've got the perfect description of me and Mr. Booklady.

We're 25 with a lazy dog and no kids, so it's pretty easy to read a lot.

ETA: working in a bookstore, I can totally relate to that overwhelming feeling of realizing how many good books there are in the world that I'll never get to read...I add at least 5 to my TBR list each day just walking around the store, and it gets really depressing sometimes to think about the fact that even though I enjoy almost everything I read, there's so much else out there.

Jul 14, 2008, 10:02am Top

Ninety percent of my reading takes place between 8 PM and 1 AM. I read in half-hour or so blocks, get up and move around or go online for twenty or so minutes, then back to another half-hour of reading. I finish around three books per week with this schedule. It's not a set schedule, that's usually how it works out comfortably and enjoyably for me.

At times, I do suffer from uber-reader envy. In Every Book Its Reader, Basbanes describes Harold Bloom's reading ability. He can sustain a reading pace of a thousand pages per hour, that's a little more than fifteen pages per minute. He comprehends and can recall with startling accuracy what he has read. Friends have said it's scary watching him read. The book is cracked open, the pages start to be turned at an alarming rate and the book is toast shape-wise when he's finished.

When asked what he still wants to get around to reading, he replies, nothing, I have read everything I have a desire to read. Damn! Why don't I have that ability.

Bloom's personal hero is Samuel Johnson who read at a similar pace. Double damn!

Jul 14, 2008, 10:21am Top

Poor guy, if I read that fast and read everything I could I might just become suicidal. I need that next book! And, while speed reading at that pace is amazing, and would be a great gift for quantity, I would miss the old feeling of relaxing and spening a week with a long book. I think the process of getting through a book is part of the enjoyment.
By the way, I read 2-3 books a week, but since I started The Stand and fishing seasons here, thats gone down.

Jul 14, 2008, 10:49am Top

While I've been an avid reader since a child, the number of books I read, naturally, depend upon my time. Working in academia means that beginning and ending of semesters is tough. I come home exhausted and too tired to focus. Overall, though, during the year, I read 1-2 books a week. I have never been a TV watcher and prefer to read.

Since joining LT, I've discovered many great authors!

Jul 14, 2008, 11:17am Top

Ah yes...the neverending list of books I want to read and will never have time for certainly makes me sad when I think about it...

The books I finish in a week vary widely, depending on not only how busy I am, but how many books I'm reading at a time. For example, in June the books I finished in a week (including some I started in May) varied from 2-7, for an average of a little over 4 a week. The weeks that I finished 6 or 7 books, for the most part, reflect both days that I wasn't working and the fact that I got to the end of several books at once. I think July will be more typical of the kind of reading pace I can keep while I'm working full-time, which is more like 2 books a week. If I added manga to the average (and I do count that as reading), it would inflate my numbers more than my reading speed indicates, so I'm not counting it here.

I make time to read by listening to audiobooks during long commutes, while I'm cleaning, and before I go to bed; and by reading during my lunch breaks, before bed, while watching baseball games, and generally during any other free time that presents itself.

By the way, to answer the question posed by #9 abealy about "what is a book," I include both children's chapter books and adult books. I don't like to judge books by size and substance, because it gets into sticky situations. For example, Of Mice and Men was around 100 pages in my edition. The Mysterious Benedict Society, a children's book I was reading around the same time, was nearly 500 pages. One could argue that Of Mice and Men is more "substantive" because it's a classic, but in all fairness I could have read it in a day, even if I were working that day (I chose not to because I wanted to take it slow and I was reading other books). I could not read The Mysterious Benedict Society, a children's book, in a day unless it was a Saturday I wasn't working and I had nothing else going on. Each book took me about 3 days to read, but I really couldn't argue that either was more of a book than the other. I just read fast, and don't have many responsibilities to keep me busy during the weekends. :-)

Jul 14, 2008, 11:39am Top

I try to make time to read whenever I can. I take the bus to work 3 out of 5 days of my work week and I'm always glued to my book. I take a 45 minute lunch break (soon to be an hour because I'm quitting smoking, yay) and spend the whole time reading.

My fiance works nights, so after he leaves, I'll read in the bath and then I usually go out to the back porch and lay out on my deck chair, good weather providing.

I usually do about a book and a half per week, sometimes more, sometimes less. I've been reading The Corrections but I haven't even reached the halfway point, just because this past week has been crazy.

Jul 14, 2008, 1:07pm Top

A wise bookstore owner taught me to reverse the order of pining after all those good books one will never have time to read. Instead, celebrate and revel in the good books one does get read. Many never do. If at the end of the month one's reading produces a bleah, then change something. If it conjures up satisfaction then carry on. I've never forgotten it and have passed it on more than once.

Jul 14, 2008, 1:10pm Top

I see that I've finished 59 books since March 1 - about the time I joined LT. I never kept any type of log or journal, so I never knew before just how many books I read. This works out to about 3 books per week, which seems high even to me. I can blow through a paperback in 4-6 hours and when my husband is out of town for business, I will do this every night he is gone. Since joining LT, I've begun trying to read more substantial books - more nonfiction, more classics, etc. These take longer, so I expect my rate to drop noticably in the upcoming weeks.

I don't know that I make time for reading so much as I make time for other things besides reading! I've never liked TV, even as a child, so rarely watch in the evenings, and always read at least a little, even if I spend the rest of the evening doing something else. I always carry my book up to bed and try to get in a page or two while hubby is rattling around in the bathroom. I always read a bit in the mornings, sometimes before I even get out of bed. I always have an audio book in the car, and often have an audio book in the house for the evenings when I'm doing something besides reading!

Jul 14, 2008, 1:49pm Top

I read 3-4 books per week, mostly thanks to a three hour round trip daily train commute. I've also cut way back on my TV time this past year. I'm also one of those who reads while he cooks, at red lights, at lunch on workdays, waiting in line at the bank/supermarket/fast food joint. Basically I always keep a book in my back pocket so that I don't miss out on any reading time.

Jul 14, 2008, 2:07pm Top

With my "usual" book (thanks to the Numbers application and my books database, the average number of pages per book in my library is 473), I read anywhere between one to three a week, depending on what all else I have going on and how long the book is—the 200 or so pages of Monte Cristo that I've read so far has taken me about two weeks, for instance, while the Xanth books that I've been reading on the side have taken me four or five days to finish with their being read exclusively for half an hour or an hour before bed.

As for reading time, I take a book with me everywhere, I read until I can't keep my eyes open before I go to sleep, and every couple weeks I have a two-hour plane ride (which will subside very soon). I have an inkling that my books-per-week would be higher if the internet held less enchantment for me... It might also be higher if I did audiobooks, but I find it a lot harder to concentrate on what's happening if I have to listen to it as opposed to reading it.

Jul 14, 2008, 2:20pm Top

>20 VisibleGhost: . . . celebrate and revel in the good books one does get read.

How true, how true. I've always been a pretty fast reader, but since becoming more active on LT I've found that I seem to want to read even faster - to keep up with the people who finish 4-5 books a week, to move on to the next good book I've found on LT, whatever.

Just recently I've been trying to make myself slow down. I own a business so work at least 50-60 hours a week, I've committed to a 1 hour walk each night with the dog, I make dinner from scratch every night (no pre-packaged foods), and occasionally I like to have a life beyond books. ;) At this point in my life, there's no way I can keep up with the power readers on LT nor with all the books on my TBR pile. It's time for me to slow down and revel in the story and language of the books I choose to read, and not worry about the quantity so much!

That being said, one of the things I like to do is cross stitch, and I think I'm going to try listening to some audiobooks while I do it rather than just listening to TV or baseball on the radio.

Jul 14, 2008, 2:41pm Top

Talbin - sounds like you have a full life! I recently started cooking from scratch and really enjoy it. I think that it is great that there is such a varitety of readers on this forum - some who devour, others who savour. And I like the tips RE: finding the time to read in spurts.

My favourite time is when I "get lost" in a book. I guess that's when I know that it is really good.

Jul 14, 2008, 2:52pm Top

I couldn't help but chime in. I would guess I read somewhere between 4-6 books a week. Shorter books (less than 200 pages) I can read in an afternoon. Longer books might take me a couple of days - or if they are classics or non-fiction I might spread them out over a week (although it depends on the non-fiction - I read My Stroke of Insight in an afternoon - very interesting. As for when I find time - I almost always read while doing "getting ready for the day" chores like drying my hair, brushing my teeth, getting dressed (book laid open on the bed!). I like to read while eating (but it is rude to do if others are at the table!! says my mother's voice in my head) so I only do that when I'm alone. I read while waiting for my kids to do stuff, and while I'm waiting for them at lessons, etc. Also, I like to listen to audiobooks while I'm working around the house or in the yard - or even at work. When I've been reading A LOT I sometimes get satiated and take a little break, or slow down my pace, but I really don't like to be without a book that I'm reading. And I've been like this since I was a kid - I used to take a book out when I was going to climb trees - and climb one handed up to a perch!! Very weird!

Jul 14, 2008, 3:35pm Top

During school, i would average about...hmmm......sometimes a book a day, or a book every two days, since most of the books at the middle school level tend to be rather short, and simple. I read the Twilight series in three days, though. So i guess like 5 books per week. I usually lose myself in my readings, so i manage to find time to read. :)

Jul 14, 2008, 3:53pm Top

I think a safe guess would be around 2 to 3 books per week and between 3 and 5 manga per week.

During the week I get stressed at work so going home and being able to read in and around my housework (the little I actually accomplish) and childkeeping is nice. Usually my family lets me read at least an hour or so each evening. Weekends I read more.

Jul 14, 2008, 4:40pm Top

Depending on the size of the book, I can read anywhere between 1-3 on an average week. If I'm traveling, I can read about twice that. Over the 4th while I was out of town and flying I read four books in about two days.

Usually I read on my lunch break and before bed, sometimes in the morning if I am ready for work and have time to spare, and often times even while I am watching television during commercial breaks. I also read at the gym while I am on the elliptical. I've learned to read in all types of circumstances.

Jul 15, 2008, 6:12am Top

I average finishing 1-3 books a week, but I could be working on 3-4 more at any given time, lol.

I work at a pool concession stand over the summer, so that allows me on rainy days to get plenty of reading in. I also enjoy long baths after working in the concession stand, offering another great place to relax and read.

Jul 15, 2008, 6:20am Top

I read around 60 books a year, so that's slightly more than a book a week, aided by the use of audiobooks on my commute. I don't do so much reading at home, but always take a book out with me to read on the London Underground, for example.

Jul 15, 2008, 1:37pm Top

It depends on what kind of book I read, number of pages and such, but I usually read between 1-4 books a week. I read on the bus to and from school, about an hour after school and 30min to an hour before bed. Most of my reading gets done on the weekends, though.

Jul 15, 2008, 3:55pm Top

Recently I took up making jewelry (sold 2 pieces today!) and so reading has been curtailed. Sometimes I listen to books while working away, other times I throw a movie in the laptop and sort of 1/2 watch it since I can't give 100% of my attention to anything, but the jewelry sometimes.

Reading won't ever go away though. When my new hobby becomes stressful or if I'm afraid it is starting to lose it's fun factor, I put the pliers down and go do something else - that somethign else is usually reading.

Jul 15, 2008, 5:15pm Top

I'm finally making more time to read. So I read about one or two books a day, depending on whether I have to go anywhere or do anything.

Right now mostly history of math and physics books, as well as art and art theory, but every once in awhile I'll grab something shorter and lighter, Rowling, Gaiman, you know, for two or so hours of fun. Though I do find the others fun too, but too much of a good thing...

And I'm working with a friend on a book club, so I'm reading more classic fiction. I had forgotten how much I missed that!

Jul 15, 2008, 5:50pm Top

If I'm lucky, I can finish a book a week, but circumstances and general busyness usually keep me from doing that. I make sure to read a chapter or two (usually more) before I go to sleep, and I've started to borrow audiobooks on cd from my library to listen to when doing household chores, painting, or driving.

Jul 15, 2008, 6:10pm Top

I read 3-4 books a week on the average. I slowed down a lot after reading Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose. I ususually read one non-fiction and one fiction book at a time. I read when I wake up for an hour. I have the type of job where I can spend most of my time reading (actually why I picked the job ;-) & only work 3 1/2 days a week. I don't watch much Tv and have no kids, so my evenings and days off are spent reading, usually. I always have a book in my purse.

Jul 15, 2008, 7:37pm Top

Most weeks I'm able to read at least 2-4 books. Luckily, Mr. Codiebelle loves to read too so we tend to stock up at the library and read during commercials of whatever he's watching and before bed. I always take a book with me wherever I go (you never know when you'll have time to read a few pages). I have been known to read while I'm cooking, sitting at stop lights, work, etc. I have always loved to read, but as I've grown older it has changed from just a hobby to a passion for me.

Jul 18, 2008, 8:36am Top

Most of the time it depends on how much of my other life is interfering with my reading life. I average 5 or so books a week, but have been known to read as many as 14 in a week.

Jul 18, 2008, 8:49am Top

Feeling slightly inadequate, as I only manage about one book per week. Just finished The Corrections and due to the 600+ pages, this took me 10 days to finish.
Being unemployed at the moment, I do have more time than usual, but socialising, family committments and voluntary work often get in the way!
I'm not content unless I've got a shelf full of books waiting to be read: No there will never be enough time to read all those excellent novels, but I can enjoy trying. I use Read It Swop It to re-stock.

Jul 18, 2008, 9:10am Top

I never feel guilty for doing something other than reading if it's something I enjoy. And no one is handing out prizes for most books read in the shortest amount of time, so who cares?

Jul 18, 2008, 9:21am Top

Tifi - Don't feel inadequate...it isn't a contest! I was only asking because I would like tips to fit more reading into my day because there are so many wonderful things to read.

I think that the people who read tonnes of books have ways of fitting in reading time that I may not have thought of. Sometimes I'm not the most efficient person around! :)

Jul 18, 2008, 7:01pm Top

My best suggestion for trying to get more reading time in is - don't sleep! I get tons of reading time in while the rest of my family is in dreamworld, lol.

I also keep books in every room of my house and in my car, so no matter where I am, there is reading material to hand. I have a feeling pretty much everyone on LT does this.

And twoods9 (#41) is correct - this is not a contest. I think it is wonderful for people to be reading for any amount of time, limited though it may be.

Jul 18, 2008, 7:10pm Top

I have limited my time at the computer, I keep my laptop dormant until after dinner. So in the morning and afternoon I take the time to read (and time for gardening, walking the dogs, keeping the house clean etc) and the (late) evening is for LT, e-mail and whatever I like to search or play at the computer.

Jul 18, 2008, 7:32pm Top

I read 3-4 books a week, but I'm lucky that my husband is a reader, too. I take a book with me, always. So, I read while I'm waiting for a meeting to start, and I purposely go early so I have a little time before people gather for the meeting. I read while there's a baseball game on TV. I do like sports, but I can read with that as background. I read at lunch.

I guess I just read whenever I can.

Jul 18, 2008, 7:36pm Top

I read 1-3 books a week depending on the length and complexity of the book. It's summer, so I usually ready more now than I do during the school year. I try to read in the early a.m. (6:30-9) and then again in the afternoon by the pool and then later in the evening (9-11 pm).

During the school year, only in the evening and on weekends. :)

Edited: Jul 18, 2008, 10:41pm Top

it really depends on what I am reading. I recently read 17 books in 12 days, but they were light fun mysteries (and my children had rented Lego Indiana Jones so I had loads of uninterrupted reading time). I've been reading Memoirs of A Geisha for 3 days now. I'm reading a lot of light fun mysteries these days so I am going through about a book a day. When I am reading memoirs and regular fiction I average about 3-4 a week.

I exchange computer & TV time for reading time. I rarely (tonight excepted) get on the computer after 7pm and I only watch 3 TV shows with any regularity, so from 8:30 when the kids are in bed until 11-12 at night I read. I usually get in a couple hours during the day as well, at lunch time, while the kids are in the pool and during 'quiet time' (AKA "Don't bother Mommy, she's reading" time).

Jul 18, 2008, 10:57pm Top

I average a little more than a book a week. I usually have one or more actual books and one audiobook going at the same time, but my schedule varies a lot. Lately, I've been doing a lot of business travel, so I have a lot of downtime in airports and hotels for getting a little ahead on my reading goals.

Jul 20, 2008, 4:56pm Top

Like others, it depends.

Some weeks only one or two.. sometimes I read more than that on a weekend.
I can easily read ( #9 and retain.. a book being something with 200 pages or more) 500 pages a day. I often try to read more slowly, and to put my book down and walk away from it, to make it last longer.

I have read as much as 4 books of over 1000 pages each on a weekend. Three of those books were rereads of the Outlander series. But read them I did.. every word.

Does it matter how much one can read in a week? Nope, as long as one is able to read, that is what is important. I do have to admit being touchy about being asked if I retain what I read. If someone reads more slowly than I do, it does not give them a right to question my abilities.

Jul 21, 2008, 8:45pm Top

My sage advice would be not to indulge in the demon bottle!
I have always been an avid reader, with interests ranging far and wide. On average I am able to read a book each week, I'm not what you would call your fast reader.
Iused to be so much faster, plowing through as many as 200 pages a night, accompanied by a wee drop of the hard stuff, which I usually imbibed from late afternoon onwards.
Trouble was, come next morning, and I rarely had a clue what the heck I had read the night before. Same thing used to happen when we rented a movie for the evening. Aha! said I, I think I have the answer, it's my age catching up to me, they say that memory is the second thing to go, don't they?
Silly me, and since I have given up booze of an evening, with no regrets, I am totally amazed by the hidden treasures that hung out on my bookshelf and in the local library. Life has become so much more scintillating, with a good cop story or spy story, or love story.
I treat the bestseller lists as a keyboard, ranging up and down, selecting notes at random, as if finding harmony within oneself for the first time.
But, best of all, I have joined LT, and that has brought back so many pleasant memories of book both young and old, obscure and popular, hidden gems recommended by fellow readers, and comments both droll and witty, scathing and objective.
The pleasure is all mine - now where did I put that darned book...my memory...
Love from Cranky

Jul 21, 2008, 9:30pm Top

The number of books I read per week really depends on scheduling, and, obviously, how entertaining the book is. For example, I can read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in less than 24 hours, but it took me a couple weeks to get through Stephen King's Insomnia, which is approximately the same length as Harry Potter. (Needless to say, I found Insomnia to be less than entertaining.) This summer, I've been able to get through 2 or 3 books a week on average, but during the school year, it sometimes takes me a week or two to get through a substantial novel.

I ALWAYS have a book with me, especially at school. You never know when you'll have some down time in the library or at work or something, and if I have to sit around without a book to read, I go nuts. My friends all see this as one of my more endearing qualities. Overall, though, reading is one of my highest priorities, and I simply make time for it. It's one of those things that just comes easily to me. Many of my friends say that they wish they had more time to read for pleasure, but can't seem to find time to do so.

Jul 21, 2008, 11:57pm Top

#50 - and yet you never hear anyone say, gee, I wish I had more time for television.

Jul 22, 2008, 9:49am Top

Seriously...people ask me all the time how I manage to read by 2-3 books per week (sometimes more, especially when I'm traveling), and they always seem to be implying that they're simply too busy to read and that because I have time to, I must not have a life.

I work 8 hours a day, walk my dog for 45 minutes every evening, cook dinner with my husband, hang out with friends, go to movies, and all the things everyone else does...I just replace TV time with reading. It's not that difficult.

Jul 22, 2008, 10:03am Top

I just replace TV time with reading. It's not that difficult.

But of course, after complaining that people assume you don't have a life, it's easy to take it too far the other way: You imply that someone who can't get through 2-3 books a week must watch too much (or at least a lot of) TV. That's just not the case.

Jul 22, 2008, 10:51am Top

#52 - That was my exact problem in high school. I remember everyone was amazed that I had time to read It, and they just assumed that I gave up my social life for my literary endeavors. Thankfully, I have found friends in college who know first hand that my love of reading does NOT detract from my social life. Other people have yet to figure that out...I still have people in my classes who are amazed that I always carry a book. Of course, I also know people who are amazed that I always carry Kleenex too, so I think they're easily impressed.

Jul 22, 2008, 10:53am Top

53 > well the average US citizen watches 4 hours of TV a DAY. So for most people it probably IS true, though not for everyone.

Jul 22, 2008, 11:14am Top

I watch TV and read... although what I read as I watch TV is what can be interrupted without missing much - memoirs, biographys, comedy, etc.

I have my kindle which I carry with me everywhere, and as I am a user of rapid transit, I am able to use my kindle to read at least 45 minutes a day while in transit to work or home.

I also have "deep" books which I read when I have a block of quiet time to dedicate myself to thinking.

I teach so my summers give me a lot of time to read, sometimes 4 a week depending on length and type. But during the school year there are times I can only get through one book in two weeks.

My mood plays into it, tool.

Jul 22, 2008, 12:42pm Top

#53: I was not implying that I believe anyone who doesn't read as much as I do must watch tons of TV...but given market research showing that the average American watches 4-7 hours per day, I think most of us could find more reading time by changing our priorities.

I get it that there are people who work much more than 40 hours per week, or who would rather watch TV than read, or whatever...that's all fine. I'm just saying that for those people who want to read more, I'm willing to bet they could find the time if they really looked.

Jul 22, 2008, 4:24pm Top

#54 coloradogirl14 - your comment made me smile! People are amazed that I never carry pictures of my children. It all just goes to show that we shouldn't worry, or even consider, what other people think. Your book and kleenex are far more practical things to have with you than photos of my kids.

I agree with lots of the comments here. People who want to read more (or do anything else, for that matter) can find the time if they really want to. Watching TV is one of the least productive activities there is. Just cutting TV time in half will free up time for something else. I'll bet most busy, productive people don't watch very much TV - far less than the 4-7 hours per day I saw mentioned here.

Jul 22, 2008, 4:44pm Top

I read 1-2 hours per day usually. I read early in the morning before anybody else is up, at lunch time at work, and after we've said goodnight to our daughter and she goes upstairs to bed. Then I read until I fall asleep - usually with glasses and lights still on. Last night I read for about an hour, the night before about 2 hours, but sometimes it's only half an hour or so. It depends on how tired I am and how exciting my book is. Monday night I woke up at 1:30 and read 'til 2:30 then went back to sleep.

Our family usually watches a series together - we're now watching Stargate Atlantis Season 4 - and quite a few evenings are spent watching 1 or two episodes after dinner and Jeopardy. We're usually done by 9-ish. Then it's off to bookville.

On Saturday I said I wanted to read instead, so husband and daughter watched The Golden Compass (which I had seen with husband but daughter hadn't seen it yet) while I read.

My family is very accomodating of my reading habit. If I want to read, I don't get any flak. And, frequently, my husband tells me I should go read because I look like I need to get lost in a good book.

Lucky me.

Jul 22, 2008, 5:14pm Top

Karenmarie--you're so right. Having a spouse and family members that also like to read and are supportive of your reading habit does help a lot. I imagine I'd have a harder time picking up my book each evening if my hubby weren't making the same choice.

Jul 22, 2008, 6:07pm Top


that reminds me of how I managed when I was raising my kids. Early and late reading. If I tried to sneak in some reading during the day, I put my book aside for a child every time. I was younger then , and managed with less sleep!
But I did find time to read. I like some tv. Most often I watch with a book in my hand. I do find though that if I am home alone, chances are that the tv will remain off.

personal choice.

now AI have more time to read.

And I miss my kids.

Jul 22, 2008, 7:01pm Top

I'm reminded of the answer a friend's mother used to give when asked, "How many grandchildren do you have?" "Not enough!" she'd say. An apt reply as well to the question, "How many books do you read per week?" It's never enough!

Jul 24, 2008, 9:12am Top

I don't have a routine for my reading, but I do have a question I can't get out of my head.
How do you keep up with your reading, if you're married to a person who doesn't like to read AT ALL ?
I think I had a much "defined" routine (like reading before going to bed) when I lived by mylself than now.
My husband doesn't like to have a light at night, so we watch TV before going to bed (which sometimes is fine because I'm really tired), but I like reading at least a few pages before sleeping.
Any good suggestions/alternatives for me?

ETA: 1-2 books a week ;)

Jul 24, 2008, 9:27am Top

My husband is not a reader, but neither is he controlling of my time (or our time for that matter) nor is he needy of my attention. Not to say yours is, but if he is then it can be a roadblock. I read whenever I want to and my husband really doesn't have an opinion about it. I'm sure if I started to pretend he didn't exist and stopped doing our normal routine together, he'd get upset, but I'm not crazy that way so it won't be happening.

Maybe a talk with yours would help; just lay it out there that you'll be abandoning the TV for a book and that's that. Read in another room if he can't sleep, but read. Surely he can amuse himself while you read and if it pleases you, he shouldn't begrudge you it.

Jul 24, 2008, 9:42am Top

Maybe I made him look like a controller, but it's not like that at all. =)
He even goes to bookstores with me and tells me when he finds old bookstores with good prices. He pushes me into it because he knows I love to read.

But I agree with you. A good talk always solves everything. Or maybe I should build a reading room in my apartment. That would give me a quiet and comfy place to enjoy my books. That's a good idea.

Jul 24, 2008, 9:45am Top

My husband was watching TV in bed last night WHILE I was reading. I'm pretty good at reading when there is some distraction, but because I was reading he just had the volume much lower than normal. That seemed like a good compromise (but only if you can read with some noise).

Jul 24, 2008, 12:40pm Top

My husband reads a lot (not as much as I do, but still a lot) but likes to watch TV before bed as well...I've always been able to tune it out, so we co-exist peacefully. I'd recommend setting up a reading area in your house--a reading room or just a comfy chair in a quiet corner--and designating it as your "don't bother me" space. That works well for me.

Also, if you can get your husband hooked on something that takes up a lot of his time (Mr. Booklady LOVES fantasy baseball), he'll be occupied, and you'll have more time to read. Sneaky, but it works.

Jul 24, 2008, 1:37pm Top

-Mr.Booklady...HEHEHE I bet he loves that name. ;)

Jul 25, 2008, 7:45am Top

> 67
That's when the Playstation 3 comes to the scene...
Thanks for the tip ;)

Jul 25, 2008, 12:46pm Top

CEP what a wonderful response!!

marian try a book wedge light


Jul 25, 2008, 3:32pm Top

Since I usually have four books going at once (morning commute, lunch, evening commute, bed) I end up finishing a book every other week. Sometimes one book "takes over" and knocks the others out of the rotation for a while, or I'll get some free time over the weekend and read two or three short novels.

Jul 25, 2008, 10:39pm Top

#62 CEP: I have always told my kids "You can never have too many books or too much money", especially if you are buying all those books!

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