I get it—there’s simply not enough time in the day. Between full-time work, transit, recreational activities, and taking care of your kids, pets, spouses, and friends, there’s barely enough time to write your own book, let alone read someone else’s! Lengthy To Be Read lists exist for a reason as well; there’s just so much good fiction out there that it can be hard to choose, especially with a limited amount of free time. As an author, it’s vital to find time to read, as it’s one of the tried-and-true methods for improving your writing skills besides practicing the craft itself. If you’re wondering how reading might make someone a better writer, I’ll happily fill you in. As a published author and editor myself, I find that when I read, I’m assessing the book for dialogue choices, plot structure, character building, and world building, as well as what I feel the author did well and perhaps not so well. These are all incredibly informative facets to study, and impart to me crucial knowledge on what’s working for others and might work for me. Below are some of the tips I’ve learned from maintaining full-time employment as an editor and author while still whittling down my TBR list on a regular basis:

1. Invest in Audiobooks

With the creation of Amazon’s Audible platform, downloadable audiobooks have really changed the game regarding finding time to read (or in this case, listen). Gone are the days of daunting audiobooks that require 12 CDs to get through a novel, as well as the high prices to purchase one. With an Audible membership, a $14.95 per month charge (that you can cancel anytime) allows the download of one audiobook of your choice, as well as 30 percent off any additional audiobooks you purchase for that month. Audiobooks are the perfect choice for your daily commute, exercise regimen, or as a replacement for music during meal preparation or hobbies. Audible is also incredibly user-friendly, as you can download the app to your phone and listen anywhere you go.

2. Consider E-Readers and Apps

There’s nothing like the smell of a worn paperback as you flip through the pages—or the frustration of carrying a 700-page epic fantasy around with you to the dentist’s office. Besides audiobooks, e-books are still an exemplary option for reading on the go, especially if you’re traveling and need to pack consciously. E-books have come incredibly far in terms of usability (fonts, sizes, and colors are customizable), and a Kindle app downloaded to your phone, iPad or other device means you can open right to the page you left off the day before. I’m a die-hard hardcover/paperback reader any day of the week, but once I opened myself to additional methods of enjoying content, it became even easier to reach my reading goals. There are thousands of free and 99-cent e-books online, through various platforms like BookBub and Instafreebie.

3 Allow Yourself to “Break Up”

With a book, that is. A constrained schedule means that every minute counts and any time spent on a book you’re not enjoying is, in my mind, time wasted. It can be beneficial to analyze a book that hasn’t hooked you for exactly why it’s so tedious, but you shouldn’t force yourself to get through it. Just set it aside, and who knows? Maybe in a year, you’ll feel the desire to try it again. Reading is above all supposed to be a joyous experience, and it’s important to maintain that feeling so that it never feels like a chore you have to do.

4. Become a Regular at Your Local Library

Harkening to the point above, no one likes to spend time or money on a book they don’t like. By maintaining my library card and using it regularly, I’ve been able to check out hundreds of books over the years that I might never have seen otherwise and certainly couldn’t have afforded. This is a great option if you’re looking to explore new genres and authors, as you won’t feel disappointed or cheated financially if it doesn’t pique your interest. Arizona has over a hundred public libraries to choose from, listed in this directory.

Midnight Publishing has been assisting authors and entrepreneurs to polish their books for years, and we’d love to hear from you! Whether you need a basic proofread, copyedit or an in-depth developmental analysis of the storyline, our award-winning editors and writers are here to help! Contact us today to discuss your project and receive a free editing sample.