reading routinesA link in today’s morning roundup featured a great quote from productivity guru Merlin Mann—“Don’t just play with your phone. Go out and produce something.” It spoke to me because one of my goals for the year is to spend less time goofing around on my phone playing Temple Run, and more time reading, writing and doing useful (and satisfying) things. I’ve tried to structure my downtime a little more efficiently lately, and I’ve actually gotten into a pretty good groove with my reading routines. I love hearing about what and how other people read, too. I’ll share mine. Feel free to comment and share yours.

1) Morning Commute

This is my first ‘downtime’ of the day and I typically use it to catch up on my RSS news feeds. I write the morning links post when I get to work, so I bookmark the articles I want to keep while I’m on the bus. I take three busses, but for very short distances, so I don’t have time to get into something complex. Skimming through the night’s Feedly accumulation is the perfect task at this hour.

2) Lunchtime

We have an hour for lunch, but half of it is usually taken up with supervision duties. I try and eat with a few co-workers and have a break when I can, but there are two days where my duties occur during the first half of lunch and I have to eat on my own later. On those days, I usually read the paper while I eat. There is often one in the staffroom lying around!

3) Evening Commute

I take a different route in the evenings because I can get a bus which takes me right home, but that often involves a 15-minute wait at the subway. So I’ve loaded the book of daily essays I’m reading onto my iBooks app and usually read that. I’ve found that e-ink has spoiled me a little and I don’t love reading for much longer than that on my super-bright phone, and I also get a little queasy reading on a moving bus for much longer than that. With that said, I am enjoying having this daily small reading task, and this is a perfect time to fit it in. I allow myself to play for the rest of the ride home if I want to!

4) Evening

This is my main reading time. On a perfect day, I have a few minutes to unwind and read a chapter or two before I start my ‘chores’ (making dinner and getting in a workout). Then I split my night between writing stuff, a little more reading and any other little projects I’m working on, before tucking in with the Beloved for some Netflix time before bed. Sometimes, he’s more tired than I am. If he calls it a night before ten or so, I’ll go back out into the living room, tuck with my Kobo and a blanket and read for another half hour or so.

And there we have it! A typical reading day in my life. How about you?

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"I’m a journalist, a teacher and an e-book fiend. I work as a French teacher at a K-3 private school. I use drama, music, puppets, props and all manner of tech in my job, and I love it. I enjoy moving between all the classes and having a relationship with each child in the school. Kids are hilarious, and I enjoy watching them grow and learn. My current device of choice for reading is my Amazon Kindle Touch, but I have owned or used devices by Sony, Kobo, Aluratek and others. I also read on my tablet devices using the Kindle app, and I enjoy synching between them, so that I’m always up to date no matter where I am or what I have with me."


  1. 1) Morning: Audiobooks on iPhone

    10 minutes dog walking. 10 to 15 minutes morning chores. 20 minuets commute.

    2) Lunch: Audiobooks

    I eat lunch at my desk most of the time, but once or twice a week I go out and get 20 to 40 minuets. It’s a flexible schedule.

    3) Evening: Audiobooks

    25 minute commute. 20 minute dog walk – this can stretch up to 50 minutes in the summer. 10 to 40 minutes on evening chores – the amount of dishes to wash or trash nights can add up time.

    4) Night: ebooks or books

    I usually have a solid hour or two for pure reading – sometimes a little more, especially if I stay up late. I rarely watch TV anymore unless there is a special event like the Presidental debates. I’ll watch maybe half a dozen movies in a year and that is almost always on the weekends.

    What it comes down to:

    About 45 to 50 hours of audiobooks per month. An average of 6 to 8 books read per month.

  2. I wake up around 5:00 and read in bed on my mini ipad for an hour or so and then pick up at night for an hour before going to sleep. I mainly read on my iPad now and prefer to print. I don’t agree with the distraction theorists who support paper. The time is right there small top of iPad so I know when I need to get up and instead of getting up to answer an old landline call I can see while reading the book who just texted me and keep reading and get to the message as needed later. It truly feels like major human progress. Large fonts, sepia background easy on the eyes.

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