How I read “so much”

One of the most common questions that I get asked by my reader and writer friends is, “How do you read so much?” So today, I figured I’d try my best to answer that.

It’s funny, because I only read to punctuate my day, and I don’t often sit down for hours on end with a book in my hand. Instead, I tend to read in very specific situations. For example, I used to smoke cigarettes and so I’d read a few pages with each cigarette, and while I have quit smoking, I still build those breaks into my day and just read a book instead. I actually read more because I don’t have to waste time rolling tobacco and finding my shoes, coat and lighter.

I also read a little bit of whatever my “bedtime book” happens to be before I fall asleep in the evenings. It’s all part of the drive to improve my sleep hygiene, although I have quite a lot of work to do there. Still, I manage maybe 10-20 pages a night depending upon what I’m reading, and it was enough for me to finish Homer’s Odyssey and Graham Greene’s collected letters to the press over the last couple of months.

And of course, I read whenever I’m travelling, whether I’m in the passenger seat of Becca’s car (because I can’t drive) or whether I’m on the three-hour train journey to the Midlands to spend time with my mum. I read fast, probably because I spend so much time reading, and so I managed just over 200 pages on the first leg of my most recent trip. That’s 400 pages if I read both ways, which I do.

Other than that, there’s no real secret. I don’t really do audio books, although I have nothing against them. It’s just that I only listen to audio books if it’s a re-read so that if I miss something, it doesn’t matter too much. They’ve actually been super useful so far this year because I’ve been listening to them to take part in Catalyst Reads’ rereadathon. But honestly, unless I turn the speed up to 2x, it’s slower to read audio books than to just read a book.

At the time of writing, it’s Saturday 5th May and so far this month, I’ve read three books. I should have finished four by the time that I get home from my mum’s house on Monday evening, and  that’s factoring in that I’ll be reading an 800-page Stephen King book. I don’t know, man – I just love reading. And if you love something, you make time to do it. So that’s how I read so much…

And on that note, I’m off to finish up As You Wish by Cary Elwes. I’ll catch you later.

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