How to Make Time to Read When You Have a Busy Schedule

College can feel like one of the busiest times of your life. From balancing classes, homework, exams, work, extracurriculars, internships and socializing, it seems like there’s hardly free time for anything else. And if you’re like me, there used to be way more time for pleasure reading. Obviously, college makes it much harder to find time to read—especially if you’re in reading-heavy classes as it is. However, if you still want to keep up with pleasure reading, here are some tips to schedule it in, even for a just a few minutes of the day!


1. Read on public transit.

If you go to a city school like me, chances are you occasionally ride the bus or the subway. This is the perfect time to pick up a book instead of plugging in your earbuds.

2. Listen to audio books.

Audio books are a great way to get that reading in when you have time but can’t physically pick up a book. Listen to them on your walk to class, while at the gym or even while driving in a car.

3. Read 15 minutes before bed.


I know 15 minutes seems small, but you’ll be surprised how much you can read in that time. And the great news is it doesn’t alter your sleep schedule too much. As a bonus, if you find yourself getting hooked on what you’re reading, then you may find yourself setting aside 30 minutes or an hour before bed the next day.

4. Turn off Netflix and social media for 30 minutes a day.

Personally, my biggest distractions are always social media and Netflix—I only have so much free time, so often those win over a book. However, take a moment to turn off your Wi-Fi. You’ll likely discover a book is just as entertaining as your favorite show.

5. Join a book club.

GIF by Parks and Recreation via GIF Globe

Some of these tips seem easy in theory, but a lot of us need that extra push. Book clubs motivate you to read on a schedule so that you’re prepared for each meeting. They also surround you with people who are just as enthusiastic about reading as you, which can fuel your interest as a result.

6. Cram when you can.

The harsh reality of college is sometimes you have to have cram sessions. For example, I read as many books as I can over winter and summer break. Or sometimes I take my Saturday and spend the whole day reading to myself. That’s when I can really decrease the number on my list of to-read books!