How To Get Into a Reading Routine

When I was a young girl, my mom would have to push me to go outside and play. I preferred to sit inside snuggled up with my latest The Baby-Sitters Club book.

Over time, my social life, working, and school, left little time for reading. Then I entered college and there was so much required reading, that reading for enjoyment didn’t appeal to me.

But I’ve always had a love for books. While in grad school, I would study at Barnes-N-Noble because I loved the comfort of being surrounded by all the books! It felt like there were a million little worlds around me that I could choose to enter at anytime.

Once I finished up with school, I started to dip back into reading for fun.

My reading life really improved once I became pregnant with my first child. I spent a lot of time laying on the couch reading. I borrowed a huge pile from the library and went through it within 2 weeks.

And from that point on, I’ve been a ferocious reader. Even with two young kids, I manage to read for enjoyment daily.

In fact, recently, I removed myself from social media because I realized my reading life was suffering. I was choosing to hang out on Instagram and Facebook, instead of spending some of that time reading. I consider reading books part of my self-care plan so something had to change.

It’s rare that I spend more than an hour at a time reading, but I find ways through out the day to get my reading in. The tips I’m sharing below are what make up my reading routine. This routine helps me read between 1 and 2 books a week!

how to get into a reading routine when you're a busy mom

Tips To Create Your Own Reading Routine

Tip #1 – Surround Yourself With Books You Like

It’s important to have books accessible that are exciting and you’re interested in reading. This way, you are more likely to turn to your book versus the TV or your phone.

I rarely buy books. I make it a habit to go to the library on a weekly basis and borrow books. When I can’t make it to the library, I use the Libby app to borrow eBooks or audio books.

Just to give you an example, right now I have one actual book, 2 eBooks, and one audio book. I used to read one book at a time, but now I have more than one book going at once.

Basically, I always can find something to read!

If you have been out of the reading game for a while, here are some of my favorite authors to get you started. I find that these people write in-depth, captivating stories that whisk you away into the characters world:

A stack of books that were read as part of a reading routine.

Tip #2 – Have a Book With You Everywhere

What’s so great about the Libby app is that I always have a book on my phone to read or listen to.

Honestly, the reason I always have so many books around me is because I have a huge fear of having nothing to read! Whenever I travel, I bring way more books than I can get through – making my luggage unnecessarily heavy.

But seriously, keep a book in your purse, the car, the bathroom…The best way to get more reading in is to steal minutes here and there throughout the day.

Tip #3 – Stop Reading If You Aren’t Into It

This is so challenging for me because I feel an obsessive need to finish a book once I put some time into it.

If I’m not truly enjoying the book, I will avoid reading it – and reading all together. Instead, I’ll turn to my phone or the TV. I’ll waste my precious reading time.

As a mom, time to yourself to read is sacred. Don’t waste it on books that aren’t engaging you. As soon as you feel yourself avoiding the book, you know it’s time to move on to the next.

A stack of books that were read as part of my reading routine.

Tip #4 – Intentionally Set a Small Amount of Time In Your Day to Read

I have it built into my bedtime routine to read. Once I’m in bed for the night, I grab my book and snuggle in. I spend usually about 20 minutes reading before I drift off to sleep. This is the only intentional time I’ve created for reading.

When I really wanted to up my reading game, I started waking up early and reading for an hour or so before my kids woke up. It was such a peaceful time with my coffee and a book. I now spend the early morning hours writing, but once a week I still try to read for a little bit in the a.m. Especially if I have a book I’m really into.

Related: How to Wake Up Before Your Kids

Tip #5 – Steal a Few Minutes Here and There

As a mom, it’s almost impossible to find solid time to read throughout the day. That’s why spending sporadic time here and there getting through a few pages can make all the difference.

These are some ways to read throughout the day:

  • While in the car waiting in a line – car pool, bank teller, car wash, etc.
  • At the playground while your kids play.
  • In the kitchen, waiting for something to bake or boil.
  • Getting ready for the day – this is a great time for an audio book.
  • During commercials while watching TV.
  • At your child’s athletic practice.
  • On your lunch break at work.
  • Waiting in line at the store – works great with books on your phone.
  • Taking a walk – listen to audiobook.

Related: How Time To Myself Makes Me a Better Mom

Tip #6 – Keep a Running List of Books You Want to Read

I love my lists! A “To Be Read” list is one of my favorites. I used to keep a paper list of all the books I wanted to read. I found that it wasn’t convenient to capture recommendations because I didn’t always have the list with me.

I now use the Goodreads app to record the books I want to read, and track the books I finish. I also try to take a picture of the books I finish in a month, and I write the titles of the finished books down in a notebook. I spend a lot of time reading, so I want to make sure I account for all the books I finish, or else it feels like a waste to me.

I love to use my list of books I want to read while at the library. I’ll search the database by title or author, and I always get a jolt of excitement when I see that the book is available.

Make your life even easier and use your libraries database while at home. Pick out the books you want and have the library hold them for you. This way, if you have your kids with you, you don’t have to drag them through the silent library aisles looking for your book. You can just head over to the “Hold” section and grab your selection!

I’m sure you’ll find your list of “To Be Read” books is always longer than your list of “Books Read”. Seeing all the books I want to read keeps me motivated to keep reading.

A stack of Elin Hildebrandt books that were read as part of a reading routine.

Tip #7 – Follow Some Inspiring Readers

I enjoy looking to others to find good reads, and hear about their reading routines.

I love Gretchen Rubin’s books. But I’ve also been really motivated by her intense reading habit. She reads about 5 or 6 books a week and posts a picture of her weekly bookstack on social media. Sometimes I add a book from her pile to my “To Be Read” list, but mostly, her bookstack motivates me to keep reading!

I stumbled upon Modern Mrs. Darcy somehow, and I’m so glad I did! Anne Bogel is the Modern Mrs. Darcy and she has a weekly podcast solely devoted to books. The podcast is called What Should I Read Next? and listening to this is one way I find new books to read that I might normally ignore.

The Reading Routine I use to read a ton of books.

Get Started On Your Own Reading Routine

As you can see, there’s no need for a ton of free time to make reading part of your daily routine. Get started by surrounding yourself with books you want to read. Then move on to spending little amounts of time through out your day in your book. Find some inspiration and new reads through other habitual readers. In no time, you will be reaping the benefits of hopping into someone else’s world through reading.

What tip will you implement today to get your reading routine off the ground? If you have a reading routine, or a favorite author, please share it in the comments below!

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  1. I am a very busy person, who can’t maintain schedules often. let alone reading books is almost impossible for me, but your article pointed out some important topics about building a reading habit. I think I will be able to spend some of my time reading books. Thanks for your article.

  2. For a long time I haven’t read a book and definitely would like to get in to the reading habits again. Menopause messing up with my brain, my focus…..so I haven’t touch the book as I said for a long time, but reading this article actually gave me a different perspective to maybe push a bit myself, at very beginning and to try gain my reading habits back. Could possibly start with an early morning reading of 15 min. Let’s see where how this will go!

    1. Hi Jelena! I’m so happy to hear you are inspired to get back into reading! I think 15 minutes a day is a great way to start. Best of luck to you!

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