Sneaky Reading

Earlier this week, April at Good Books and Good Wine posted about how you totally have time to read. You should head on over there and read the ways she’s able to find time to read so many books. I’d been thinking of doing a similar post in the last couple of weeks, so I’m going to tell you how I’m able to squeeze more reading into my very busy schedule.

Books are like drugs to me. I keep wanting more and more! I work full-time, go to band, and spend a lot of time on the train each day. So, I don’t have a ton of time to read at home. I find little ways to sneak in my reading throughout the day.

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So, the first place I sometimes sneak in reading is when I’m getting dressed in the bathroom following a shower. (Yep, I’m a weirdo). It’s hard to not get lotion on my Nook, so I do this very carefully. It slows down my getting ready, though, because I can get sucked into a story and then I feel like my arms are still too dry, must apply more lotion….

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Now, I have a long trip on the train each way. I take a commuter rail train, which takes an hour on an optimum day, and can take more than an hour and a half on a crappy, “mechanical failure” or “fatality on the tracks” kind of day. It does happen, much more than you’d think. Thankfully, I always bring at minimum one book with me. I definitely fall asleep on the train a lot, so I know a book is really great when I stay awake for the entire train ride.

Once I’m finally at work, I’m working. Yep, you probably thought I was sneaking in some reading while I was at work, but I’m not. And letting you know that I read while at lunch isn’t any big revelation, either. I think most of us book-crazy folks do. No, where I am able to fit more reading in is in my walk to the bathroom. Where I work, women traditionally haven’t been a big part of the campus until more recent years. Now, women make up about half of all students enrolled, but it definitely is a school you’d think of as a guys kind of place. As a result, the women’s bathroom situation stinks. I have to walk down a tunnel, or a different hallway, or go either two or three floors up to get a bathroom. Also, these are one to two stall bathrooms. If somebody is taking a long time, you’d better find another bathroom location before you pee your pants. ipod 006

What I do is make the most of the walks. I have some of my NetGalley books on my iPod Touch, so I read as I walk. People think I’m texting, but I’m actually getting my read-on. The best are books with short chapters and big type. If it’s a day when I’ve had a lot of tea or water to drink, I can get through a nice chunk of book! To the left, you’ll see part of the tunnel I walk through (in the basement) in order to get to the closest bathroom, which conveniently has only ONE stall.

Finally, the last sneaky reading spot I have is during band rehearsal. When I was in high school, we’d always warm up by playing all of the major scales, melodic minor scales, major and minor arpeggios, and then long tones. That’s how we started class each day. After a while, the muscle memory completely took over and I stopped having to think about what fingers to press down on my trumpet. My hands just automatically did it. So, being the high school nerd that I was, I’d use one of my hair clips to hold open a book on my stand. Other students got yelled at for reading during band rehearsal, but I never got caught. ipod 009

Now, I still play in a couple of community bands. I usually put either my Nook or my iPod on the stand so I can read when the director is working with another section, like if the woodwinds have difficult runs and they’re spending five minutes going over it. At first, other people in the back row (where the trumpets and trombones sit) thought it was kind of weird and funny, but they’re used to it by now.

How do you maximize your reading time? Do you have any cool tricks to plug the cracks in your daily schedule with more books? Let me know!

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4 Responses to Sneaky Reading

  1. I can usually get a good bit of reading done at school – I try to get to each of my classes early, and that gives me a few minutes at least before class starts. If I’ve got a long break in between classes and/or work, I usually go to the library on campus. Of course during long breaks I will probably do some of my assigned class readings, but if the semester hasn’t gotten too hectic yet, I can get through a lot of whatever book I’m reading for fun at the moment.

    I hate living in a city with no public transportation…aside from it just being ridiculous, I feel like my commute to and from campus for classes and/or work could be better spent reading, if only I didn’t have to drive myself.

    I’m a little jealous you are able to read during band – I played clarinet, so it was a lot more difficult to get away with that sort of thing in the first or second row. -_- When we got together with strings for full orchestra rehearsals, though, winds were all in the back, haha, and it was a different director who didn’t pay as much attention to us band folk, so we took full advantage then. XD

    • Audrey Audrey says:

      I used to read a ton between classes! I’d also sneak over to the library to take a nap. I’m big on naps.

      Do you listen to audiobooks in the car? That’s what I used to do when I lived in Southern California and had to drive all the time.

      I can see how it would be hard for a clarinet to read during band. Just another reason I’m glad I play trumpet!

  2. Nikki says:

    There are so many ways to be “sneaky” about reading, you just have to think outside the box! I love your little reading-while-getting-ready-in-the-AM trick! I never thought to do that! Most of my reading gets done on lunch breaks at work and in the car (via e-books). I’m really bad about working out so I’m hoping that either audio/e-books will give me the proper motivation to get fit AND knock down on my TBR pile. Waiting in line at the coffee shop or at a store is also really good if you have a smartphone with you. It’s all about being creative and making the time. Reading is fun AND cool. So yeah! Great post!

    • Audrey Audrey says:

      I’ve only just started exercising again (New Year!), but I’ve been putting my Nook on the treadmill while I do “fast walking.” I’ve already gotten through 1.66 books that way, just since the beginning of the month!

      I hope the exercise thing works for you! It’s more motivating to know you get to read :-)

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