I Don’t Have Time To Read (Yes You Really Do!)



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“I don’t have time to read” is the number one excuse I hear from people who don’t read. It’s usually followed by some further justification or a second string of excuses. It may be things like below, and in parenthesis I include what I’m thinking when I hear them. 

  • I used to read when I was in college but now I’m just so busy. (Sure, because the rest of us never left college)
  • I read online. Articles and things, but I don’t read books. (It’s not really reading)
  • I don’t have time. I’m so busy with my job and family. (Because all the readers are single, have lots of money, and nothing to do)
  • I’m just so tired after my working day, I just want to relax. (By watching TV, probably crappy TV) 

Here’s the truth: 

You don’t have time to read, because you CHOOSE not to have it. 

Everyone gets 24 hours. From the most productive person in this world to the most laziest, we all get exactly the same time. It’s entirely up to us what we do with it. Some people have more responsibilities than others, some are less financially secure than others….but if problems like these stopped people from reading, 90% of people wouldn’t have been able to read.

Readers are not people with a lot of free time. In fact, most of the time it’s quite opposite. Most readers are successful at whatever they choose to do, because they are constantly striving. They may not have the financial security they want yet, or the personal life they want, but they are happy in their journey, because they know they are growing and learning. Reading books helps you feel that. 

Readers don’t have time. They make time to read.

We all make time for things that are important to us. Do you still manage to find time to watch TV, play Angry Birds, go to the movies, sleep-in, go to the pub, or countless other things that you don’t have to do, but you choose to do? I bet you do.

Should you give it up all in favour of reading?

Not unless you don’t want to. 

I’m not suggesting you make reading the priority of your life. All I’m saying is that quit saying you don’t read because you don’t have time. Admit, especially to yourself, that you don’t read because you choose not to, or because you choose to prioritise other things. It’s not a crime. It’s acceptable – unfortunately, even pretty normal in this society – to not read. But hopefully, once you get rid of your own excuses, you will be aware that it is a choice, and so one day, you can choose to read. 

2 Responses to “I Don’t Have Time To Read (Yes You Really Do!)”

  1. Janis October 14, 2013 at 11:34 am # Reply

    Your last paragraph rephrases one of my favorite quotes. It is from a famous person who I should remember and will look up but states that when someone says they don’t have time for something it is a statement of priority not of fact. My husband and I are tutors with a non-profit organization helping Spanish-speaking adults. He works with adults studying for their GED and I work with adults finally getting the opportunity to learn to read and write (also in Spanish). These people have jobs, usually children, spouses and numerous church and family activities, and yet, once they have a few basic skills, they are ravenous to try them out on everything. It is very satisfying to work with people who have made using their reading skills such a priority.


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    […] never seems to be, and never will be, enough time to read everything  you want to read. I don’t know how many books I’ve read in my life, but […]

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