Design

Do You Want to Try Binge-Reading? (Or Do You Already?)

Why We Should Start Binge-Reading Right Now

We’ve talked about what books we love reading, but now I’m curious: How do you read those books? For years, my evenings would go like this…

…head home from work, eat some quesadillas, play a card game with the boys, brush their teeth, tickle their backs, tell them no more talking, remind them no more talking, flop down on the sofa, chat with Alex, turn my brain off with a TV show (one winter, I watched the entire series of Frasier), maaaaaybe wash my face but probably not wash my face, put on pajamas, read a few pages of a book and pass out.

Although I love books, they were getting the last gasp of my attention. They were fun to read but not the most fun since nothing is the most fun when you are 99% asleep with your eyes open.

So, when my sister sent me the recent New York Times article Why You Should Start Binge-Reading Right Now by Ben Dolnick, I devoured it and wanted to share. Here’s what he wrote:


One night a couple of summers ago, the power went out and, unable to watch Netflix or engage in my customary internet fugue, I lit a candle and picked up a thriller by Ruth Rendell. For the first time in as long as I could remember, my sole source of entertainment for an evening was going to be a book.

And yes, yes, just as you’d expect, it was wonderful, it was cozy, the internet is terrible. But what struck me more than the night’s general delightfulness, was how much my experience of reading the book was influenced by the speed with which I was suddenly moving through it. To that point, I’d been reading the book the way I usually read books, which is to say in five- or 10-minute snatches before bed. And I’d been more or less enjoying it — watching Rendell’s criminal protagonist get out of prison, following along as he searched for his victim — but I’d been enjoying it the way a person enjoys hors d’oeuvres at a cocktail party. Those cheese puffs are delicious; I just wish I could sit down with a plate of them. Now, by reading for an hour or two straight, I’d found my way into the caterer’s tent. I could savor the particular tart flavor of the author’s voice. I could admire the elegance of the trap she was setting for her doomed criminal.”


Fascinating and true, don’t you think? Over the past couple months, I’ve also been changing my reading habits: getting into bed earlier (around 9:30 p.m.) and reading without distraction. I’ve gulped down There There and Conversations With Friends, and Caroline’s recent fave, Southern Lady Code, is next on my list. And I’ve been thinking about the characters all day, like they’re friends, and feeling a little bit like I live in their world, too.

Thoughts? How do you read books? Would (or do) you binge-read?

This is part of a series called “What We’re Reading” — featuring interesting articles on different topics we find during the week. We know many of you are big readers. Hope you like it!

P.S. Trying out slow parenting, and single-tasking is the new multi-tasking.

(Illustration by Gabriel Alcala for the New York Times.)

  1. Marisa says...

    I’m going to find out what extreme binge-reading is like because during your latest book post comments, I got some great recommendations. I requested a bunch of titles from the library, and four came in at once! (hahaha) I’m going to try to be strategic, and since I won’t be able to renew “The Farm” , I’ll start with that one! :)

  2. Lucy Choi says...

    With two little kids running around I never thought I could enjoy reading again. This year I’ve decided to change that. We live next to a local library that has “lucky day” books that mostly just released. No renewal, only 2 weeks, 2 books per account. It gives me good reason to finish these books and run right back to the library and get another one. I’ve read 14 lucky day books so far and it has changed my evening routine. Currently reading “Last Romantics” and “Maybe you should talk to someone.” and enjoying them both.

  3. Amanda says...

    For folks who are interested in the concept of binge reading, you might like the book Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch. In order to deal with the fog of grief over her sister’s death, the author dedicated a year to reading a book a day. It’s a lovely book about grief, family, books, and healing.

    • Yulia says...

      Thank you so much for this recommendation. I always go Kirkus Reviews because their recommendations never fail me, and this one gets a starred review! And the first few pages via Amazon preview sound so interesting. I’m going to pick this up from the library on my walk home from work this evening!

  4. Mel says...

    This year my resolution was to read more….since January I’m averaging 8 books a month! Last month I read 9. I am a HUGE fan of binge reading…..perfect night in.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      WOW!!!!

    • Julie says...

      I use goodreads to track my reading and I’m averaging 7 books a month, hoping to get up to 8-9 next year!

    • Laura says...

      My resolution for this year is to read 100 books! I LOVE reading but up until this year it tended to fall way down on my list of priorities (and let’s be honest, distractions…netflix called my name too often); now, with a tangible goal to track, I’m reading way more. It’s great!

  5. Bianca says...

    I save my binge reading for vacations and summer weekends at the cottage but every once in a while, a book will pull me in with such gusto that I can’t help but binge! You know a book is good when you just can’t put it down and you’re reading it at the breakfast table over a bowl of cereal.

  6. Jenny says...

    I didn’t know there was another way to read! When I pick something up I’m immediately sucked in and pissed if someone bothers me while I’m reading! I couldn’t imagine reading just 10 minutes at a time, how to you remember what’s happening?

    • Jennifer says...

      Yes, I totally agree. If I can put the book down, then it’s definitely not the book for me. I love when I find a great book and stay up until 4am reading. I walk around like a zombie or ”mombie” the next day, but it’s always worth it! 😆

  7. Rachel says...

    I’ve recently discovered a love for audiobooks, and I’ve been able to work my way through nearly 50 books in the last 6 months! I get antsy just reading a book because I’m stuck doing only that, but I can listen on my hour commute to work, or while doing the dishes or the laundry, or sewing a quilt, or walking the dog. Pro-tip: see if your library participates in the Libby app, where you can use your library card to download books for free. Sometimes there’s a wait, but many titles are readily available—there’s always something I want to read available while waiting for the bestsellers on my holds list.

    • janee says...

      Funny, I too thought I’d be able to listen while I do other things but turns out I end up sitting down, rapt, to really listen deep. It feels like I read and listen to stories on a multiple levels at once and it takes all my attention or I don’t enjoy it. Except for driving – I LOVE listening to a great story when I’m driving for any significant time.

      As for reading while in bed – no matter how much earlier I settle in so I have time to really read I’m nearly always triggered to sleep inside of 20 mins due to years of reading as a wind-down before turning out the light. The danger is if it’s an exceptional story I won’t be able to put it down at all and will read through the night – ruining the next day!

    • Tara says...

      I use Libby also! Saves money, too!

  8. Jess says...

    I read quite a lot. When reading a good book, I usually encounter a moment in the book when I realize I won’t be able to put it down, and that I’m locked in for however long it takes to finish. I call this the “point of no return” and my husband now knows what that means so I have a quick explanation for why I won’t be coming to bed, coming to dinner, watching TV, etc. The book won’t let me! I hit the point of no return!

  9. Julia says...

    I picked up “Gone With the Wind” one day when the internet was out in my house. I consumed it from there. This is the most enjoyable way to read! Periodt. Sadly, my attention span is teeny and I lack the discipline to not check my phone or go on social media. I’ll resolve to practice little by little though.

  10. Beth says...

    I read an article at the end of last year saying the average person can read a 300 page or thereabouts book in 8 hours.
    On the same day I also saw that I spent a total of 7 hours on my phone a day and I was truly horrified.
    So my New Years resolution this year was to read more, something I have always loved. In fact a book a week has been my aim.
    So far I haven’t met that quota (I’m averaging a book every two weeks) but I’m definitely reading more and making it a priority. And it’s wonderful, I’ve devoured the Elena ferrante series (elena, Lila you stole my heart!), struggled through the ‘ Milkman’(which really slowed down my book a week goal) and have adored ‘Boy who swallowed the universe ’ among others.
    With young children it isn’t easy to make the time but when I do but what joy it brings. And the tv suddenly sounds so noisy!

    • Jenny says...

      Try the audio book of Milkman. It brings the wonderful writing alive. I read it first, then listened.

  11. Nora says...

    Joy, me too! I finally read it because so many people I respect recommended it…..and I still don’t know why they liked it. The plot holes were way too much.

  12. Erin says...

    I’m nearly exclusively a binge reader. I enjoy reading, but I can easily go months between books and then suddenly get sucked into one and devour it over two days, ignoring my family and responsibilities. My husband is a brief nightly reader, so he finds this very, very strange.

    Even when I was in grad school, I’d schedule one day a week dedicated to reading assignments. I look forward to a biannual work trip because I have so much reading time (flights! lonely nights! no dishes! comfy hotel beds!).

    I have a long commute (~2hrs total each day), and I do audio books. It’s a good chunk of time, so I suppose it’s near-binging… but I’ve been known to sit in my car after the kids go to bed to finish a book, haha.

  13. Ashley says...

    I have two littles, so while binge reading is my preferred method (I grew up with only three local TV channels, so reading was my entertainment most of the time), I just can’t do it these days.

    I do have a reading confession, this: I haven’t read a physical book in three years. And I don’t read on a Kindle. I read on my phone! I resisted it for a long time, but once I gave in, I went from reading 5-10 books a year to 25-30. Unlike books or even Kindles, I always think to have my phone, and it doesn’t feel like a commitment to open up a book on my phone to read for five or ten minutes. I know I shouldn’t stare at this tiny screen this much, but I’m willing to make the trade off to read more! Bonus: I check most of them out from the library through the Overdrive app, so it’s free entertainment!

    • Ker says...

      Me too Ashley! I use the Libby app and it’s amazing. Saves money and supports the local library too.

  14. angela says...

    Omg, YES. I have recently gotten into the habit of “binge reading” and I completely agree with your comment that you think about the characters so much more. I feel immersed into the lives I am reading about, fictional or not, and this new habit has reminded me why I fell in love with reading in the first place – it’s an escape, the possibility to explore other worlds/lives through new perspectives. That being said, my current binge read is Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett and I recommend it!

  15. Binge-reading is one of my favorite things to do because it feels like escaping back into a pleasure from childhood. You tell yourself just one more chapter, and before you know it the clock says 1:30 in the morning, but you’re almost done with the book so you might as well just go ahead and find out how it ends. The only thing missing is my father poking his head into my room to insist I turn out the light and go to sleep.

    • HH says...

      This is me, too! Almost every night this week I have said “just one more chapter” until the wee hours of the morning. I regret it at 8 a.m. but have no self-control in the moment. My colleagues probably think the trenches beneath my eyes are due to late nights spent writing my dissertation. But no… reading fiction is my escape from THAT other kind of reading.

  16. Rachel says...

    I was traveling recently for work and had a couple of hours before I had to be at the airport, and there was a bookstore in a nearby shopping center. I FINISHED A WHOLE BOOK!! Having the uninterrupted time by myself with only my flight deadline was all I needed to relax and just be totally absorbed.

  17. K says...

    I try to pick up my book anytime I’m just mindlessly scrolling the internet. You get a lot more reading done that way

  18. E says...

    A couple months ago I discovered William Brodrick (A Whispered Name was so beautiful I barely escaped sobbing openly on the subway), but then I read his other three novels too quickly. I don’t mind binge-reading Hunger Games, but these were so well-written I wish I’d slowed down and savored.

  19. Stacy S says...

    Southern Lady Code sounds like such a wonderful book. The author was just the guest on a podcast I listen to and it sounds like such an interesting read! Its on my ‘Must Read’ list right now, but with a new baby, we’ll see when I actually get to it!

  20. Kelsey says...

    Joanna, I just want to comment on this series you’re doing. I haven’t been in a book club for years and I have two kids under three (so I’m looking forward to joining one again some day!), but in the meantime I have found every CoJ post on reading to be as close as I can get to being in a reading club! I find all the recommendations I need, and I am absolutely a binge reader. My husband and I don’t have a TV and only watch about an hour of a show a week on an iPad. Please keep this series going! I depend on it.

  21. Anna says...

    I’ve always preferred to binge read. The first summer my now husband and I were dating the final Harry Potter book came out. I sat him down and explained how I needed things to go that weekend. “I will be here, and I will be over in that comfy chair reading. I will talk to you some and I will come up for meals.” He gave me my space and I knew things with us were going to work out! During the times in my life when I could read only in snippets (grad school, little baby) and during chemo treatment, when I was too sick to read, I haven’t felt like myself. I’ve recently had to go on disability leave, and while I miss having a professional life, I have loved being able to deep couch sit and read for hours if I want to. Best reads so far this year have been Pachinko, All the Light We Cannot See, Hunger, Where the Crawdads Sing. And Kingdom of the Blind, Louise Penny’s latest mystery novel, which I saved until my leave started. :)

    • Yulia says...

      I’m so glad you have the gift of reading in your life as you are on leave. It sounds like you are savoring it and your life is rich.

  22. S says...

    My partner and I both read A LOT. Our home is filled with books. We’re actually really terrible at binge watching TV…mainly because most nights, instead of watching Netflix together, we sit together and read. We read together in bed, in the living room, in the backyard, at the park, at coffee shops, etc. For some reading might be a solitary activity, but for us reading is a hobby we share.

    But I also read on my own. Since reading on the bus makes me want to vomit, I have also gotten into audiobooks for my commute. Now I always have a printed book and an audiobook on the go. And while I’d always prefer to sit down for hours with a good book and cup of coffee, I’ll take any little break in my schedule to read. I get to yoga class 10min early and read my book (partly because I love to read, partly because otherwise I ‘ll fall asleep in savasana before class even starts). I go to class 5-6 times/ week which means those little gaps in my schedule have effectively added 50-60min of reading time to my week! Don’t underestimate 10 min reading breaks!

    • Shari says...

      I absolute love this! My husband and I also do this and now my three boys also read in a similar fashion. It’s not that we’re opposed to tv but reading is our mainstay. Glad to hear of others like us out there. X

  23. Kate says...

    I’m currently working on book #29 for the year, and it’s been a great year! I definitely read to escape and hibernate and hide in the winter – I read 8 books in March alone – but when spring and summer hit I definitely slow down. I’m can leave my phone in another room and read for hours and hours and will forever be my favorite thing!

  24. Lindsey says...

    YES PLEASE! I scour the comments to see recommendations – would love if you synthesized the lists.

  25. Catharine says...

    This is my preferred evening—in bed by 9, read until 10/10:30. Although right now my husband and I are rewatching The Office so, back to binge reading next!

  26. Harriet says...

    I definitely binge read books but I like to binge read by author! I read all of Ann Patchett’s books in a few months and right now I’m in the middle of reading everything Stephen King has written (yes that includes Richard Bachman books, his short story collections, his memoir and all of the dark tower series). It’s always fascinating to see what themes emerge from an author’s work as a whole. Also characters always feel like friends if they come up again :)

  27. Anu says...

    I feel very lucky that I’m able to read for a solid hour at least each day – to and from work on the subway. I nearly always get a seat, and I’ve promised myself to put my phone away – and I nearly always manage to keep that promise. Besides that, I sometimes sneak away with a book at lunchtime, rather than eating at my desk or with coworkers. And of course, there’s reading in bed after the baby is asleep, but that’s usually only after watching something with my husband. When I’m really into a book though – I’ll find a way to keep reading it, kids and chores and work be damned :)

  28. Caroline says...

    Always have, always will! Although I just call it “reading”! I had some trouble getting enough sustained reading time when the kids were tiny, but when my oldest was 2, I stopped watching television (not liking its influence on her tender mind), and from then on I read novels every night once the kids were in bed. I’ve always read too late into the night. Reading in bits is very unsatisfying. Now that the kids are almost all grown up, I usually read 3 novels a week.

  29. Carly says...

    I do this! My commute is about an hour roundtrip and I devour about a book a week as a result of reading on the train every morning and evening. I’m about to finish ‘conversations with friends’ and agree, it feels like I’m in a trance, completely glued to the protags voice (and Sally Rooney’s incredible writing ability). I recently finished ‘Pretend I’m Dead’ (I think I found it through COJ because you mentioned the follow-up book ‘Vaccum in the Dark,’ which is next on my list) and found myself thinking about the main protag constantly like she was a friend.

  30. Anu says...

    One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to read 24 book this year. I’ve already read 16 so far and it’s making me deliriously happy that books are back in my life again. I read in snatches of time here and there but love this idea of binge reading. My daughter is ten and is a voracious reader and one of our favorite things to do is lie down with our book on opposite ends of our couch with our legs touching and just read. I hope we keep doing this for many more years to come.

    • Yulia says...

      I love the image of you and your daughter reading on the couch, legs touching. <3

  31. Lisa says...

    At the moment I read when I can, given I have two toddlers and my husband and I both work full time AND I’m working on a novel and and and … so mostly it means I read on the tube on the way to and from work, or when the kids are playing quietly. I have found that I can binge read when the book warrants it – last one I did was Red Notice by Bill Browder which was NUTS. It’s the true story of how he made a ton of money in Russia, and then ended up on the most wanted list when his tax lawyer (Magnitsky) uncovered a massive tax fraud and got murdered for it.

  32. C says...

    I definitely binge-read! Only novels, and usually thrillers or mysteries that I *have* to know what happens. It’s a luxury! I need to be better about carving out time for that type of binging, as opposed to tv, but it’s lovely when it does happen. Recently I binged The Dreamers, by Karen Thompson Walker. I only gave it 3 stars on goodreads, because I weirdly didn’t love the book but yet could.not.put.it.down! Another recent binge was Educated, by Tara Westover, which got 5 stars from me.

  33. ariane says...

    I started a new job a few years ago that requires me to travel almost an hour by public transit to get to the office (I work from home a few times a week too). While I’ve always been an avid reader because I don’t let myself look at my phone during this time, it really increased my time with a book. Reading for a dedicated time makes you want to read more because you enjoy it so much more. Now I’m reading about a book a week, and I’ve also made Wednesday’s No TV Night. I set this time aside to remind myself I don’t always need to watch something to be entertained.

  34. Amy P. says...

    I was just talking to my fiancé about this very subject! I’ve recently started a new 1-hour each way commute for work. The thing I look forward to most every morning and evening is listening to my audiobooks. I use to listen to them on my shorter commute, but it wasn’t the same. Having a larger chunk of devoted time is the game changer. I am completely submerged into their world day in and day out. And I truly believe there are some books (especially the ones with detailed worlds and rich descriptions) that almost require you stay tuned for longer stretches of time in order to truly appreciate them.

  35. Abbie says...

    Joanna, et al,
    Would it be possible to have an ongoing list of all the books ever recommended here? That would be the most lovely “summer reading” guide of all time.

    • Dana says...

      Yes please!!

    • Sarah says...

      I would LOVE that!

    • Laura says...

      Great idea!

  36. Sheila Mary says...

    This is so timely because I just started doing this at the beginning of the year, but didn’t think to call it anything like “binge reading.” I used to devour books when I was still school age, but in the past few years would only read if I was traveling or on a commute. Since March/April I quit TV and head to bed earlier, too, because I’m more excited for my book!
    I will say, truly enjoying the book is a major factor. Since Jo mentioned “The Farm” in the last books post, I will plug it again: it is SOOO good. I stay up late reading it, it’s so compelling!

  37. Erin says...

    I have always been what I refer to as an addictive reader. Once I really get into a book, I CAN’T put it down. It’s kind of worse now that I read many books on the Kindle app on my phone because my books are always with me. I guess it’s a healthy addiction, but binge reading is definitely my favorite.

  38. Jennie says...

    At least once a week, after I put my son to bed at 7pm, I then walk directly to my room, get ready for bed, I read until I fall asleep (usually around 9). I love it!

  39. Tricia M says...

    When my dear old Mum was at End of Life stage, I needed to read a lot. It was such a comfort and a distraction. She had been a great reader too. I read a particular series of books, not especially well known, and the characters felt so familiar like old friends. I am, and always will be, a binge reader. I think it’s the sign of a really riveting read, if you can’t put it down ( I have been known to take a good book into the kitchen whilst cooking). Commonwealth is such a great book, by the way and one of my favourites. Can I recommend a book which is very popular here in the UK? It’s called The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson ; about a nurse’s experience of working in hospitals. It is fascinating; informative ;wise; funny and incredibly moving. I keep dipping back into it from time to time. The title says it all.

  40. Sarah says...

    In January I deleted Instagram and Facebook from my iPhone and committed to reading more. It was amazing how quickly my brain switched from craving those little doses of information and updates that I would get from social media! Without those pings of dopamine, my brain was hungry for it elsewhere. In came books. It only took a few days to reset my brain to de-clutter from the “internet fugue” and to get used to a longer, more interesting idea and conversation. It was like I could feel my brain (any maybe my soul?) healing a little bit.
    I’ve haven’t read that much in one month since college!
    The NYT author is right. Most of the internet is terrible. Except for CoJ.

  41. Madeline says...

    “maaaaaybe wash my face but probably not wash my face” speaks to my heart on another level.

  42. Lindsey Joy says...

    Omg. Same. Same! To Frasier. To “no more talking” (my boys are 4.5 and 2). To wanting to read more.

    This Christmas I decided that I would become a person who read all the time (like 6-year-old me) and set myself a goal to read 20 books in 2019. I’ve already read 16!

    The key was finding a few excellent “first books” and carving out chunks of time to read them. Binge reading totally worked for me!

    Love this. Love all of your readers who have left such great book recommendations.

    Xoxo

    Linds

    PS Yesterday I read My Sister Is A Serial Killer in one sitting during nap time because I couldn’t stop. <—- a binge reading success story

  43. Tania says...

    Ha! This describes my evenings almost exactly. I am lucky (I guess!) that I have a pretty long commute and that is where I do most of my reading — on the subway, and then sometimes while walking to work on the other side (to the consternation of people walking the other way!) I’ve almost finished She-Wolves by Helen Castor and Working by Robert Caro (Robert Caro! I just adore him — he’s so fascinating, the subjects he writes about are so fascinating, his process is so fascinating), and then I am reading Anna Karenina 5-10 pages at a time at night and will probably never finish :)

  44. Mary says...

    When I was a kid, we would spend hours in the library during the summer holiday, and often I would spend the whole day reading at home lost in books. As I got older and went to university and grad school, reading for fun seemed to be the first thing to go. Recently however, I moved overseas to a very remote and rural region of Tanzania for a job, and with nothing else to do in my spare time, I have read book after book after book since getting here, often finishing them in one day. It has been a joy do rediscover this love of being completely lost in a book (and also as an escape from the day to day exhaustion of work here), and I hope I don’t re-lose this after I leave!

  45. GJN says...

    As a mom of a 2 year old (and another on the way), the time I spend reading has certainly dropped, especially since reading on the metro makes me sick while pregnant. I read on Elise Cripe’s blog about how she’ll read when her kids are playing. A light bulb went off when I read this – what a wonderful idea! While I certainly get interrupted while reading, my son has now shown an interest in “reading” the newspaper in the morning while we eat breakfast because he sees us doing the same. Sometimes while I read a book in his play area, he’ll pick up a book and want to read with me. I then happily put my book down to read one of his. Instead of feeling guilty that I’m not playing with my son 100% of the time, I believe that I am introducing him into the wonderful world of reading.

    • Sara says...

      Oh I love this so much! I’m getting my masters right now in Early Childhood Education and one of my literacy textbooks talks about how teachers should model independent reading for their students by reading their own books while students are doing their independent reading or working independently. While I don’t know that most teachers really have time to be reading in class these days, I love how you are modeling reading for your own kids. I’m an avid reader myself and hope to pass on that love of reading to my future children, so I will definitely be keeping this in mind even if I’m not able to do it for my students.

  46. ale norris says...

    Reading while drinking a glass of red wine in bed is one of my absolute most favorite things to do. When we got my now 4 year old son regularly going to bed at 7:30pm, I sooo looked forward to spending an hour or two a few times a week doing that! Now, we’ve added a 5 month old daughter to the fam (the sweetest little lump you’ll ever know), and my evenings aren’t quite so relaxed…but, once we get that little thing on board with super regular bedtime, and I know my nights of sleep will be calm, I am going straight back to that ‘me time’!

  47. Sarah says...

    I read my kindle on the elliptical, and it makes my workouts fly by! I agree with a lot of the other commenters that this doesn’t really sound like “binge-reading” but just “reading” to me, but sometimes I do have to do what I would classify as binge-reading: when a bunch of the ebooks I have on hold at the library come up at the same time! Then I have a matter of 2 or so weeks to finish 4 -6 books. The one downside of a shorter commute at my current job compared to my last job is that I have less time to read. 15 minutes by metro just doesn’t work for making progress in a book. Especially as I tend to deep-dive and tune out the world when I read, and I’m afraid I’ll miss my metro stop!

  48. riye says...

    Definitely! If I’m really into a book I start reading as soon as dinner is done. Pretty soon its 10 pm and my family (including the cats) are sleep and I haven’t showered or brushed my teeth. I tell people that books are my friends and it comforts me to have them around me–which explains the five bookcases in my studio apartment! Right now I’m bingeing on murder mysteries.

    P.S. I also binge read while traveling or if I’m home sick–feeling crummy enough to stay home but not terrible enough to sleep all day.

  49. Molly says...

    Yesterday after work I walked a couple of miles across Rome reading An American Marriage. So dangerous with the car situation and the dog poop situation, but I. could. not. stop. So good!

  50. Juliette says...

    I binge-read all the time! In the metro, during lunch, before sleep… I usually have 2 sometimes 3 books started at the same time (usually a heavy hard cover book from the library to read at night, and a lighter paperback to carry in my purse). One of my favorite parenting moment so far is that my 8 year old is finally enjoying reading by herself: this weekend she laid with me on my bed, each enjoying our own book next to each other. It had me all giddy inside. I have been waiting for this moment since she was born! I hope her love of reading stays forever!

  51. I am a voracious reader! I’ve usually got a story slipping along in my mind alongside the outer world.

    I have a solid rule: no good fiction in bed at night. I’m just not good at setting the story down at night, so I only read poetry or dry nonfiction in bed. I read primarily on the Kindle app on my phone; also on my Kindle (if it’s on the same wifi network as my phone, they’ll sync automatically for continuity and ease, and the Kindle is easier on my 49 year old eyes), and some paper books. Phone reading means I always have a book with me. I read on public transit, while waiting for things, during meals I eat alone and sometimes with my husband (we have a discussion about whether to talk or to read; “Do you want to have a book lunch?”), and… really in any free time I have. It’s my favorite thing.

    There is currently no form of television in my life other than some SNL highlights via YouTube. I am much happier this way. Yesterday I took a 28 hour trip by car and airplane with a whole lot of long waits, and it was quite enjoyable with a good book and a deck of cards! I read an entire 416 page novel and was pleased to have the time to go deep with it.

    • Amy says...

      With three young kids, my main reading opportunity is after they go to bed (although I’ve been trying to read during the day occasionally so they can see that enjoying books isn’t just for kids!). But like you – I’m terrible at going to sleep at a reasonable hour if I’m in a book. So I’ve sort of given up on reading lately in order to get the sleep I need. That said – two books I had on hold just came available at the library, so I guess this weekend is shot ;)

    • MarlaD says...

      I’ve been a big reader all my life, but I’ve noticed in the past maybe as many as 7 or 8 years, I go through phases when I’m unable to read. I know I’m in one when all of a sudden, I have no ability to concentrate and struggle with more than a page or two. At first I attributed it to too much internet, or too much job, but mentioned it to my mom (who has no internet and no job) and she says it happens to her too! It usually lasts a month or two, even if I have a pile of books I’m dying to read, there’s nothing I can do except wait it out. So weird!

  52. Emily says...

    Just came here to say: +1 for Frasier reruns on Netflix before bed. The show has basically become part of our family nighttime routine, to the point where we can’t really wind down without one. 😂

  53. Alison says...

    I have been rereading the epic fantasy series, Wheel of Time, with my husband (who only had made it through 4-5 of the books previously). I read it in middle school/high school/briefly in college as it was a LONG saga and still being published at that time. It was hard to engage and follow the plots, but I’ve found binge reading it is JUST the thing to have me fully enjoy it and keep any of the books from feeling too long or boring. I’m currently on book eight of fourteen (plus a prequel). I honestly thought this series would take me all year to read and am surprised that less than halfway through the year I’m over halfway through this massive undertaking… and still reading books outside the series! I honestly think that the more you read, the more you want to read, the faster you start to read, etc. It’s totally a skill and habit, and one that I’m SO glad to have found my groove on!

  54. Kelly says...

    Lifelong binge reader here! Since your ‘what we’re reading’ post I’ve finished Southern Lady Code and Normal People, along with Heather Armstrong’s Valedictorian of Being Dead.

    I too like to head to bed early and indulge. Unfortunately I’m also a lifelong insomniac and much of my reading takes place when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep. So, i’m often tired, but well read! Trade offs.

  55. Sarah says...

    I pretty much only read in binges (due in no small part to my library’s 10-day loan policy, and also my attention span) so I’ll binge a couple books in a week or two, then take a stretch to balance out all the things I neglected while my nose was in a book.

    Sometimes the timing is perfect, though: my husband and I did a mini-moon after our wedding last summer and spent a couple days at a resort in Big Sur that had a cozy little library. In between fancy meals and poolside games of bananagrams, I binged “Commonwealth” by Ann Patchett in those three days. It was a great way to relax my brain after the wedding (and graduating from grad school two weeks prior). The story was wonderful, but I’ll always treasure having that relationship with the book: it’s like my own little secret with the story that can be pinned to a specific moment of my life.

  56. Kathleen says...

    I think binge reading is my default state. I have to choose carefully which books I read before bed – if it’s too compelling all of a sudden it’s 2am and I have to get up in four hours. I’ve settled on slightly dry New Yorker articles and interesting non-fiction before bed, with the good books reserved for earlier in the evening once the kids are in bed. I just got “Normal People” from the library so that’s on tap for the weekend!

  57. Elizabeth says...

    I think I read a lot, for someone in grad school (18 not-school-related books so far this year) but I can only do it because of audiobooks. I listen when I’m driving, cleaning, walking my dog, and playing Drop7 on my phone. I don’t know if I’m getting the same kind of world immersion I did when I read paper books, but I think some reading is better than none at all. Plus, I get 90% of my books free using library apps like overdrive and hoopla. Knowing I have to finish in 3 weeks provides motivation to finish that I don’t have with books I own. Highly recommended!

  58. Jillian says...

    I really felt it when I had my children and couldn’t read whenever I wanted. I realised how much I missed it so I rejigged my evenings and am often in bed by 9 to read for at least an hour. I’ve also stopped fighting against my new 3 hour commute to/from work and embrace the binge reading time it gives me. In a busy life properly reading, where I can become fully absorbed in the story, has become a form of self care for me :)

  59. kate says...

    I didn’t realize “binge reading” was a thing – I always just called it reading. But then, I could never understand how people would “read for 15-20 minutes before bed” because I’d always be up past midnight trying to “finish this chapter” and “get to a stopping point”. I have a strict “no starting to read after 9 pm” rule at our house!

  60. Emma says...

    I love to read and as a stay-at-home mom I probably get to read more than most. The only hard thing is keeping myself supplied! Especially once I hit on a really, REALLY good book it feels like work keeping the addiction fed! Nothing worse than a couple of duds after a read like Unbroken or Where the Crawdads Sing! Does anyone have any better sources than Goodreads. I haven’t had much success finding books that way.

    • Meg says...

      You might like following Modern Mrs. Darcy and listening to her podcast, “What Should I Read Next?”

    • R says...

      Go to your local library! They will likely have awesome displays and booklists, and you can always ask a librarian for recommendations based on books you’ve liked :)

    • Mandy says...

      Yes! I totally hear you on this – I am a life-long binge reader, which feels amazing to be reading so much, but the worst part is finding the next great book. Watching this thread to see how others find theirs!

    • Marlena says...

      When I was a SAHM I was a ravenous reader too. Still am, as much as I can anyway. And I also have the same problem keeping a good stock going. There is nothing worse than finishing a delicious read only to end up snoozing through the next book. YUCK. I don’t have a resource for better books and am curious if anyone else here does. So far, I have just gotten lucky with blog mentions and lucky finds at the thrift and book stores.

    • Jane says...

      I second what Meg says “what should I read next?” Podcast will explode your TBR list! :)

    • nora says...

      NPR book reviews. Also the LARB and NY Review of Books podcasts. If I get a dud, I move to the next book – and I’m thankful for the library that makes that possible, I always have three or four waiting to be read.

    • Yulia says...

      Kirkus Reviews does really great honest reviews sorted by genre. They give their best reviews stars. I always go for the starred books and they’re always spot on. What’s nice is their database goes back years and years, so if you’re all caught up on the great new books you can go back in time and see what’s great there! (I used to be a librarian in a past career and this is what a lot of us used to find great reads for ourselves!)

  61. Cassidy says...

    I just read Southern Lady Code because I read anything and everything Caroline recommends and OMG!!! I need everyone to read it so we can discuss what her Dad did at her 13th birthday party. It’s so insane and hilarious and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.

  62. Well, funny, this is how I used to read books all the time and missed out on some of life because I was totally lost in a book. So I consciously dialed that back, and I don’t regret it; I read for maybe 20ish minutes at bedtime daily. I see this lost-in-a-book tendency in my son and it makes me laugh. I still binge on books almost every Sunday afternoon as well as vacations. I sort of would like to cancel our Sunday newspaper subscription because I feel compelled to read it and it’s quicker to read articles than plunge into a book.

  63. Sarah Jane says...

    As a school administrator I have time to binge in the summer and prefer a paper copy. To read faster during the school year I read the same book on both Kindle and Audible. They sync and help you move through books with greater speed.

  64. Binge reading (especially Nancy Drew mysteries) – now that’s what summers were made of when I was a child. I come from a family of readers and had the best and most encouraging role models. Thank you Mom and Dad.

  65. Rachel says...

    Every year I take a solo vacation to somewhere pretty, but “boring” (i.e. not a lot of distracting activities) and read a book a day while sitting outdoors. It is my FAVORITE time of the year. I feel so fortunate to be able to take some time to reset my clock on what I want, rather than what those around me want, and it turns out that what I want is to read. And eat good cheese.

    • This sounds amazing.

    • Megan O'rourke says...

      Yeah…I think we are all dying to know where you’ve vacationed for these solo trips! This sounds like THE DREAM!

  66. Em says...

    I do this!! And it’s awesome! My goal is 50 books in 2019…I’m at 26 so far. Documenting each one in an insta story review. It’s been really fun!

  67. Nik says...

    When I was a child, my mother used to refuse to buy me books because I would polish them off in an hour or two. However, she would take me to the library any time I asked, allow me to take out huge stacks of books, even up to the 100 book limit, if I so wanted. And I would devour each and every one of them.

    This tendency has lasted until adulthood. I will voraciously consume literature, finish books within hours. There are those books that you ‘binge’ that you cannot put down and have to consume frightfully quickly, all in one long-drawn burst – most recently, “The Maid” – and then there are those that you have to set down, ponder and allow time to do justice to their beauty and poetry – most recently, Annie Dillard’s “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek”. Different books require different paces, different rates of consumption.

    • Rachel says...

      THIS. I call in “inhaling” a book, in part because I feel like I’m reading it all in one breath, and then finally exhale only when it’s done.

  68. Alexis says...

    I am a full-time school library and a part-time public librarian. When I see kids/teens leave the library with giant stacks of books, I am wistful and maybe a tiny bit jealous of the hours upon hours that they will get to lounge around and read those books. Sometimes I have a strong urge grab them by the shoulders and tell these kids to soak it up, and enjoy reading for hours on end. With two young boys myself, I still binge read… but it’s always a trade off between reading and sleeping. Contrary to popular belief librarians do not get to read on the job.

  69. Over the last few months, I’ve struggled to pick up and stick with a book, but I just devoured all 350 pages of The Atomic Weight of Love in under a week and it’s reignited my love of binge reading!! I think, sometimes, we just need to find the right book to draw us back into a world of fiction… a story so riveting, you’re either reading or thinking about the darn book. I went to the library yesterday and am already looking forward to binge-reading Little Fires Everywhere this week. :)

  70. Rebecca P. says...

    I am with you! A few years ago I realized that I was spending no time doing what I love most (reading!). There is a quote that goes something like “everyone has the same number of hours in a day.” And it made me think – why is it that I say I have no time for reading? I have the time for what I make the time for. So I put my phone away before dinner is on the table, and after my three little ones are in bed, I read and read and read. There is nothing more magical than a book, a candle, warm socks, a cup of tea or a glass of red wine, soft music. Ahhh, I feel more relaxed just thinking about it!

    I have two tips for easing into biblio-paradise:

    1) I always have 3+ books on the go at once, from different genres. If that heart-wrenching novel feels like too much of a downer on a hard day, I pick up the collection of humorous essays on motherhood instead.

    2) On those nights when reading feels like too much effort, I force myself to “read just one page.” Usually, one page is not enough.

  71. Shanna says...

    For me, reading is feast or famine. I can go months where I read maybe 1-2 books, but then I get into these grooves where I can read a book a day at times. It mystifies my husband. I probably read 70 books over the course of my pregnancy and I loved how it helped me slow down and rest my physical body while exercising my mind.

  72. Kim says...

    I read at night before bed, but a lot more than a few pages. I grew up in a house with no tv channels, so I grew up binge reading mostly every day. Of course, life, responsibilities and kids have since gotten in the way of my beloved pastime.

    Recently, I did binge read almost an entire book in one day because it was an e-book loan from the library and I was afraid I wouldn’t finish it in time as there was a long waitlist.

    • melissa trinidad says...

      I also do ebooks from my library on my Kindle. As long as I don’t connect to WiFi, they stay on it. I don’t think I’ve ever “returned” a book on the due date.

  73. I live in Crown Heights and work in the Flatiron District so I have almost an hour commute each way to and from work (about 50 minutes on a good day), and about 40 minutes of each trip is on the train. I grumble about it all the time, especially when I hear about people who WALK to work, but then whenever the topic of books comes up my list is always waaay longer because I have 40 minutes twice a day to read. As with every single other thing in this city, it’s a compromise.

    • Karyn says...

      This is one of the things I miss very most about living in New York! My Clinton Hill Upper West Side subway commute routinely let me read over 60 books a year.

  74. Kara says...

    I LOVE binge-reading. My favorite feeling is getting sucked into a book and reading late into those magical middle of the night hours. I can only do it once or twice a week though, since it totally impacts my sleep and general quality of life the next day. My mom (also a late night binge-reader) taught be a useful trick: don’t look at the clock before you go to bed. As long as you don’t know for sure how late you stayed up, you can trick yourself into thinking you got a decent amount of sleep :) My most recent binge read was My Sister the Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite. Definitely recommend it for anyone wanting to get hooked on a page-turner!

  75. Janey says...

    My new years resolution for 2018 was to keep my book in my bag. This way when I’m waiting for kids to do their sports/travelling to and from work/having a coffee or whatever where before I would pull out my phone and scroll mindlessly, instead I would read a chapter of my book. It’s a resolution which has turned into a habit and I’m so much happier for it! Highly recommend!

  76. Mac says...

    Mmmyes! I’ve binged two books in the last week—Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (incredible) and Inheritance by Dani Shapiro (wild story). That’s how I like to read, but I try to balance it out by having a “slow” book I work through at the same time, like a biography, just some kind of dense book that demands more from me. My slow book right now is The Taste of Empire: How Britain’s Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World by Lizzie Collingham. It’s fascinating!

    • FGB says...

      I loved Pachinko so much!

  77. HILARY DAVIS says...

    I love to read so, so much! And I agree with all the other new(ish) moms out there that I used to have way more time for it than I do with a 2-year old running around. My solution: airplanes, early mornings (when I’m up, which is rare, let’s be honest) and in the hammock out in the backyard during nap time. Our hammock is just big enough that it wraps around you and nobody can find you! Especially nobody who is 2 and playing hooky during nap time :)

  78. joana says...

    hi joana!
    i have the habit of carrying my book with me wherever i go, so i guess i’m a bit of a binge reader :) i would really recommend it, actually, because it makes you really take advantage of “dead moments” and take out your book instead of your phone :)
    i read in bed at night, early in the morning if i wake up too early on weekends, when my boyfriend wants to watch something i don’t (like football :), when i’m waiting for doctor’s appointments, when i’m on my lunch break at work, in my car (if i’m really early for an appointment or something)… and also when i’m waiting for someone, because i’m extremely punctual and, well, let’s say usually other people are not!

    :)

    • joana says...

      joanna, sorry! i just wrote my own name :D

  79. Sonja says...

    Ha, yes, definitely a binge reader. I binge read both of Sally Rooney’s books (Conversations with Friends and Normal People) this week (long-plane ride and a sick day) and it was wonderful! The only problem with binge reading is I get an emotional hangover when I finish a book – like someone I love deeply has moved away! Even my family knows that I will be in a funk for a day or so. Is there a word for book hangovers?

  80. Katherine says...

    Recently I realized I need a break from listening to the news on my commute. Now I check out audio books from the local library and listen to them in the car. Granted, it’s not “reading”, but it allows me to get through more books and it’s better for my mental health. :)

  81. Abby says...

    Absolutely. Each year in the second half of the year, my friends and I have a book reading competition (simple rules: most pages of completed books read for fun in six months). Each year I’m quickly sucked into new nighttime reading routines and find my way back to audiobooks while out and about. It’s truly wonderful and what I realize is that I read more and still get to enjoy great TV, but I am on my phone and computer less often (and I don’t miss a thing)! Now I just need to convince myself to do this year round!

  82. bailey says...

    i gave up netflix for lent this year, and it was a huge stretch. i recently moved to ann arbor, mi and was using tv to numb the new town and limited social connection blues. and also the winter blues…geewhiz, michigan. anyway, giving up netflix meant that i started reading…a lot. and it has been so good for me. i have found myself to be less anxious, more alert, sharper, more reflective, and more curious, and i’ve met new friends in the books that i’ve read that i am eternally grateful for. never in my life did i think i would sit down a read a book in a night, but it has been a blessing, surprise, and delight.

  83. DaniB says...

    I’ve never heard it called binge-reading before, but that’s pretty much how I always read! I read when I can read for a long stretch. I won’t open my book (or kindle app) at all if I know I only have a few minutes to read. Give me an hour or more please! I usually read in long stretches during down time at work or an early night in bed when my husband is busy doing something else.

  84. Amy says...

    That illustration really caught my eye because of the first title: Vox by Nicholas Baker. I was an 11th grader when that book was published and felt so cool reading an “erotica” book, especially at the local coffee shop where others could clearly see how cool I was, too! Ha! Thanks for the fun flashback; I’m going to re-read it to see how it holds up. Maybe even in the coffee shop!

  85. Asia says...

    My kids are teens now, so I have a lot more “free” time between dinner and bedtime… I usually read while they have sequestered themselves in their rooms;) Right now I am devouring Normal People by Sally Rooney.

  86. Steph says...

    This is one of my favorite things about flying/travel – a few uninterrupted hours to read. I usually go through an entire book or two by the end of the trip. It’s definitely tough to pull off during the work week, but I try and pick up a book on the weekends instead of flipping on the TV (and I LOVE my Netflix). P.S. Southern Lady Code is very binge-able – I read it one day after Caroline’s recommendation! Hilarious.

  87. Kile says...

    I am always happier when I have a book in my life. I read so much when my last baby was born–on a kindle paper white while nursing in the dark. With my 1st, I just googled baby stuff on my phone and felt fried and anxious after every feeding, but having a book to look forward was so different. It was lovely and way less lonely. And, it became a silly pavlovian thing to hear my baby cry in the night and think, “Oooo! I get to read my book! I get to find out what happens next!”

  88. Marie-Eve says...

    As my kids are a bit older ( 6 and 3 and a half yo), I have a bit more time to read now and definitively binge read! I almost don’t watch netflix anymore and spend at least an hour reading every night. It feels so great as I have been an avid reader all my life and missed it in the last years! I have piles of unread books at home and cannot wait to read them all! I also always wanted to take a year of work someday and spend it reading eveything I want too! I feel there is not enough time, so a year would be great! Thanks for this great post!

  89. I’m an avid binge reader and love it. Because I can’t be thinking of other things at the same time when I’m truly engrossed I think of it as a form of therapy.

  90. Yes! This is me. I’ve also been in the habit for the past few years of coming home from work and, after finally finishing the bedtime rodeo with a preschooler, “turning my brain off” with a show with my husband (my sister calls these kinds of TV shows a “brain jacuzzi”). But growing up, I’d spend HOURS reading, and even before I had a kid, I could easily sit for two or three hours on the couch reading, much to my husband’s amazement (he can’t sit down for more than 45 minutes).

    I’ve found two things lately to help me get back to my “binge reading” (or, as I like to call it, “reading”):
    1) Always have a good book to read – I realized this was a sticking point for me. If I wasn’t excited about a book, or it was taking too much out of me to read (I’m looking at you, parenting and self-help books!), then I wasn’t going to melt into the couch with it. Having a good list of highly recommended novels has helped. Also, abandoning books with no guilt if they aren’t doing it for me! Life is too short.
    2) Getting over the initial urge to watch TV – In the evening, once we’re settling down, I naturally crave sitting in front of the TV with a sparkling drink and maybe a snack. But if I push through that craving and pick up my book instead, like 5 minutes later I have no desire to watch TV, and I end up feeling like my evening is longer and more restful!
    Right now I’m reading Inheritance by Dani Shapiro; before that I was enjoying Modern Lovers by Emma Straub, and also I finally started the Maisie Dobbs series thanks to the gals from the Forever 35 podcast!

  91. Mia says...

    So, so agree! Also, I really want to echo another commenter’s sentiment that you are not!! obligated to read or finish books that you don’t like! And an addendum, you should give yourself license to read whatever you want/for a variety of different reasons.

    As much as I love books that can be complicated, literary, or dense, I also read a much higher volume of not-so-serious, easily digestible and still fully engaging novels that I get from the library on my Kindle and can breeze through. I love the page turners in part because they keep my “reading muscles” primed, making it much easier to spend the time on more demanding books (that I still really want to read) that can be hard to get into cold turkey.

  92. Maria says...

    This is exactly why I avoid watching TV during the week. I literally do not turn it on. This also includes the news and crappy shows on the tablet. My nights have become delightful! I read, listen to podcasts, do a face mask or a diy manicure. It’s bliss after taking care of two little kids all day.

  93. Steph says...

    An hour or two at a time seems pretty normal to me. And yes, I’m a parent of a toddler and have a full time job. Basically I loathe multitasking or dipping into books for less than a 15 minute stretch so I just won’t read if that’s all the time I have. While I’m reading a little less than pre-parenthood, I’m still able to immerse myself in the story because I’d rather have that rich experience than flit in and out. My brain can’t handle it and it becomes another nuisance task vying for my attention at the end of a long day full of stuff competing.

  94. Sasha says...

    That’s how I read novels! Otherwise, I will not remember the plot and stop caring about the characters. Books should challenge you- not serve as a sleeping aid! For bedtime reading, I have a pile of unread New Yorkers on my nightstand. One article is a usually a good length to read before bed, though some of the more interesting ones will definitely get you wake you up.

  95. Amanda says...

    Binge reading is the only way I get any reading done! But it happens like twice a year, lol. I would really, really like to read more. I know the secret is to just get off my phone at night and grab a book instead, but it’s so hard to change that habit!

  96. as terrible as my hour long subway commute was (1 hr each way) it afforded me so much precious reading time. since i’ve moved i make it a point to start my day with reading but still don’t have that hour long stretch i sort of miss.
    i’m always curious how people read in terms of quantity – if its fiction i like to be emerged in one single world. non-fiction i can do more than one at a time so i made a list for spring. reading just kids by patti smith and some other ones from this list on the side https://tps-steph.blogspot.com/2019/03/0032-becoming-local.html

  97. Caroline says...

    Haha I think for me binge reading is probably just reading! I don’t have kids and I have a train-based commute of 45 minutes each way so I am usually reading for at least 90 minutes a day. I’m sure this will change with different seasons of life but at the moment I am loving being able to polish off 10 books a month.

  98. Jenny says...

    One of my new year’s resolutions (omg is it really May) this year was to try to read instead of scrolling, and since I’m addicted to my phone, I’ve ended up reading a lot and it’s definitely been on the binge-y side. The best part about this is when I whip a book out, for some reason my 4 and 6 year old will go independently play or read their own book next to me. They are all over Mom With Phone, wanting to see, touch, annoy. Mom With Book, however, is of no interest to them (p.s. knocking on wood as I type this).

    • Elizabeth George says...

      This Is so bloody true :D

  99. Sara says...

    i think my book club really helps! i want to be able to chime in and chat about the book, so i remind myself of that feeling when i am choosing between reading or tv at night (for the record, tv totally wins many-a-night as well). but i do feel like i binge-read our book club book if i like it, then return back to my tv friends of choice. i also had to laugh out loud at “maaaaaaaaaybe wash my face but probably not wash my face” because…solidarity on that one.

  100. jen says...

    I get in bed every night around 9:30 and read till 11/12. It’s GLORIOUS. My favorite time of day.

  101. Bryn says...

    I’m a huge binge reader. When co-workers ask what my weekend plans are, I typically reply “reading a book” and then spend my Saturday inhaling one. This is the only way I know how to read books. Growing up, my mom and I would spend our Saturdays laying on the couch in the “reading room” (as we dubbed the living room) and would silently read for hours. After nine years together, my husband has finally learned that when I read, I am all in and he should let me be. :)

  102. Ashleigh says...

    For me, reading in the morning works. I start my day with coffee in my reading chair turned toward a window while my husband gets ready for work (he goes in about 90 minutes before I do); when he’s out the door, I hop in the shower with about an hour of reading under my belt. It’s such a nice way to warm up to the day and not start immediately rushing around.

  103. I like to use the Forest app and read in 25 minute spurts. I find that if I put my phone aside and let the tree “grow,” I typically get sucked into the book and read for longer. I also read more than one book at a time, and I like to throw audiobooks in the mix every now and then as well. Reading is my very favorite hobby and the most meaningful way I practice self-care.

  104. Linds says...

    Yes! I’ve been really into reading children’s literature, lately—picking up those classics that I somehow missed growing up. Peter Pan, A Wrinkle In Time, The Chronicles of Narnia. It’s been so nice!

  105. Lindsey says...

    I love this! It’s how I have to read books, or I realize I don’t get invested in them. For the last month, I’ve been trying to read the first Outlander book, because so many people have recommended it to me. I was not really getting into it, despite seeing that it was objectively well-written, until my recent trip to Mexico City. On our last day, we decided we wanted to see the Biblioteca Vasconcelos and read our books there for an hour or two. All of a sudden I had nothing to do but read and I was completely engrossed! Since it was our last day, we had a lot of travel and airport time, and I flew through a couple hundred pages that day, and it was all I could think about. Since I’ve gotten back, I’ve struggled to get back into it as I’m re-settling into the routines of life, but the memory of being saturated by that book is pushing me towards choosing that for tonight’s entertainment only.

    • L says...

      The entire series is amazing! I started reading it 15 years ago and have reread all of them. These are Book Hangover books for sure!

  106. Denise says...

    I love how it’s called binge-reading now, a name drawn from watching lots of netflix, when it used to be just reading. But yes, I do binge-read and I admit I do it less than I used to because of the internet. I want to get back my longer attention span and ability to focus so this is a timely post.

    • Alix says...

      I agree! I was intrigued by the title of this article, but then I realize this is just regular reading. I don’t have a TV (or subscriptions to Netflix or Hulu or anything else), so my default mode of relaxing in the evening is reading. Sometimes it’s my latest book, sometimes it’s long-form essays from Atlantic Monthly that I’ve bookmarked, sometimes it’s blogs like this, but it’s still reading.

    • Would humbly suggest reading Amusing Ourselves to Death. That’s my current read and it is reshaping my interactions with technology.

  107. Elizabeth says...

    I’m all about the binge-read! Every now and then I’ll polish off a novel in one day (I read Conversations with Friends in one day–loved it). I keep anywhere from 5-6 books going at the same time. My weekend morning routine is that I wake up early, make coffee, and I sit in my reading chair undisturbed for a couple hours while I read. I read literary novels and mostly nonfiction–a lot of thick stuff like criticism, religion, philosophy, history, etc. I think these genres must be read in longer sittings rather than in shorter bursts. Thoreau said, “Books should be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.” I agree.

    I’m sure it goes without saying, but I don’t have children. (I feel like the author poo-poo’d that excuse a bit too much). Actually, this has been one of the concerns I’ve listed when thinking about starting a family with my husband: what will become of my reading time?! haha! I know that might sound silly to some, but the time to read undisturbed is, for me, as necessary to my sanity as a daily run or time at the gym is for others.

    I still like the 20-30 minutes to read before bed as well, which is one of reasons I got a Kindle–so I could read without disturbing my husband. I freaking love my Kindle and don’t know why I took so long to get one. I read a lot of romance novels on it because they are crazy cheap, easy to read, entertaining, and simple enough to dip in and out of in a drowsy state each night. Highly recommend!

    • Anna says...

      I’ve read more as a new mom than any other time in my adult life. I read when i nurse my baby. Therefore I have several solid chunks of time a day devoted to my books. I’ve flown through them!

    • Leanne says...

      Having kids is the one thing that finally pushed me to get an e-reader! I spent so much time with a newborn attached to me in a comfy chair with a book and snacks. I can also be a book-a-day reader.

      No matter your choices around children, you’ll find time to do the things that are important to you – I wake up early to get some alone time (I alternate between running and reading), and often stay up far too late blasting through library books on the Libby app (free! on my phone! literally always with me!). I have no problem sacrificing Netflix for reading time – a juicy romance is better than an episode of some show I don’t really care about.

    • Mac says...

      Your morning routine sounds absolutely lovely 😊 Since having children my reading time has just moved to a different time slot during the day—an hour long (minimum) bath most nights. And I read more books while breastfeeding that at any other period of my life except uni when it was all required reading. Whatever’s important to you will find a way to stay in your life!

    • Kelly says...

      I am like you, a huge reader…it does get a bit more difficult after you have kids but reading is like air to me so I always find a way!

      A funny thing about e-readers – I was an early adopter, mostly because I read so much I can’t keep myself in real books, especially when traveling, and my Kindle makes it sooo easy. But one day, I was selecting a hard cover book from my bookshelf for some reason, and my then 5 year old shrieked, Mama, you’re reading???

      She did not associate my kindle with reading! My heart was shattered and mind was blown that my daughter did not appreciate how much I love reading and how much a part of my life it is!

    • Ruth says...

      I have 3 kids, and I still binge read. My house would definitely be cleaner, and I would also get more sleep if I gave up this habit, but I have such a hard time stopping in the middle of a story. Poor impulse control when it comes to books! Still I think binge reading makes me much happier than binge watching a show.

    • Rita says...

      I guess that you do find the time for what you really want to do, but I have to admit that for me, finding the time to read and to do other personal things has been extremely hard, even if I am getting better at it and definitely never prioritize cleaning or any house tasks.
      I work full time and share my commute with my daughter, so she doesn’t spend so much time in school (I work 8 hours a day with a mandatory one hour lunch break, so it is a minimum of 9 hours as it is and adding the commute would make it 10…).
      I try getting up earlier to enjoy some “free” time but I think she can smell me, and after I put her in a bed I am too exhausted for anything, especially with baby number 2 on the way…
      Maybe a post about how mothers carve time for themselves could be an idea?
      As much as I love my daughter, as an introvert I really depend on it for not going insane soon…

      (audiobooks and ebooks are part of my saving strategies, but I had never thought about the side-effect of my daughter not knowing that I am reading…)

  108. Anna says...

    I binged “My Name is Asher Lev” by Chaim Potok in a weekend. One of my professors recommended it to my New Testament class and I was absorbed by its family drama and examination of religious duty and personal longing.

    • Emily says...

      One of my favorite books of all time! So incredible. His others are also wonderful.

    • Oh, that book and the sequel completely devastated me when I first read them, and 20 + years later I still think about them a lot.

  109. Kim says...

    I only read novels if and when I can binge them – plane rides, lazy Sunday mornings, summer day at the beach or an occasional snow day. Reading 5 -10 mins at a time does not work for me at all -unless its a how to or self improvement type book.

  110. Kristin says...

    I have about 25 big, thick text books that I am reading right now for a series of professional exams – over 20 hours of testing! I read for about four hours a day, typically in the mornings. I am 100% binge reading but I CANNOT WAIT to actually pick up some novels and read for pure pleasure when all this is behind me!

    • Marie-Eve says...

      Wow Kristin! 25 textbooks! What kind of field are you in?

  111. Erin says...

    Earlier this year, I binge-read Shirley Jackson’s “We Have Always Lived in the Castle.” It’s a short novel and perfect for binge-reading … wonderfully creepy.

    I binge-read constantly in high school; less so as I got older. One of my favorite photos of me with my mom and sister was taken on a vacation when I was in grade 11. We’re all lying on the floor, looking up at my dad, who took the picture. The photo was taken there there because I was already on the floor with a book and refused to get up. I did look at the camera and smile, though. :)

  112. Ariana says...

    It’s been so long since I’ve done this, too. I used to be–and still consider myself, despite lack of action–a voracious reader. When I was a kid, my family used to know when I’d been reading all day, because I was a little too “out of it,” living in my characters’ worlds and hardly able to connect with real people ha! Somewhere between adulthood, and law school, and the ease of binge watching too many shows, it got lost, and I miss it! I might just have to use my summer to reset my entertainment/winding down habits.

  113. Stephanie Bailey says...

    Do audiobooks count? One of my favorite ways to spend the evening after the children are in bed is listening to an audiobook with my husband–him doing thingson his laptop and me doing some hand sewing or watercoloring. We get to share a book together and still do our own thing. The only downside is a movie is only 2 hours or so, but if we get caught up in the story (like our latest Clive Cussler adventures), we stay up waaaay too late!

  114. Rebecca says...

    This is (one of the many reasons) why I love your blog so much — another “life tip” to carry with me. My kids are just around Toby and Anton’s age, and I experience books in the same way you described, until your recent shift.

    Dolnik’s description is exactly why I love “vacation reading” — it’s the only period of time I give myself to read while actually awake and attentive. And it’s glorious. I’m going to attempt to make this shift in my regular (non-vacation) life now, too. Thank you for sharing, Joanna!

  115. katie says...

    I’m a binge reader for sure. I don’t have kids or a spouse tho, so that might disqualify me from this convo… I have loads of free time :)
    I will spend half a saturday rotating bt my bed and the couch reading. And of course, I have a 45 minute each way subway commute, so that’s lots of reading time every day.

  116. Emily says...

    My 11-year-old fifth grader has been required to complete 30 minutes of reading nightly since he was in first grade. When he began reading to learn (after he progressed through learning to read…), I began picking up what I was reading and together, after pajamas and brushing teeth, we snuggle up in my husband’s and my bed and spend 30 minutes reading side by side. He then shuffles off to bed and I often remain, still engrossed in whatever novel has my attention.

    Reading together with my son has been one of the most pleasurable parts of my mothering journey over the past few years. Occasionally he will interrupt me to ask me what a word means or read me a paragraph or tell me something interesting about what he is reading but mostly we sit side-by-side in silence, lost in the depths of our own novels. I just know it will be something I miss the most when he is grown up and out of our home. I hope he always reads before bed and that he thinks of me when he does.

    • Emily D says...

      This is so sweet. Growing up, my family always read together. Even now, as a 30-something, what I look forward to most on the rare occasions our immediate family is all together is reading together in the same room. My husband is baffled by this, and alas my mother is now terrible about interrupting everyone else to talk about what she is reading, but I love it nonetheless.

    • Nikki says...

      As a teacher, my heart just swelled. So many parents see this thirty minutes as a “chore” and it drives me bananas. Thank you for instilling the love of reading in your child, this may be one of the greatest gifts you ever gave him

    • Emily says...

      EmilyD-how could an Emily not be a reader, I’ve always wondered?! I love that you all read together. In my family we share books together-passing them through the mail. My dad just retired and is reading almost a book a day so I cleared my shelves and have sent him so many. What a great way for a family to have even more things to talk about, right?

      Nikki-I’ve never understood the complaints about nighttime reading OR having to beg my kid to read! I do think readers are raised on the laps of their parents, for sure, and a child who sees his parents reading is likely to do the same. I was lucky to have two reader parents and have always felt so strongly that I wanted to raise a reader. Because my parents and their parents before them loved to read, I grew up loving it and now work in book publishing. It is a true pleasure for me to pass this on to my child–reading takes you everywhere. Happy Teacher Appreciation week! Thanks for all you do.

    • Laura says...

      THIS!!!!! My son is in 4th grade and receives Title 1 help for literacy. Since he was born, I have read to him Every. Single. Night. It is one of my most treasured parts of motherhood, and I have kept his most beloved books, (Little Blue Truck, I Like it When…., several Curious George books, etc) It must have payed off because despite struggling with reading, he wants to have “book time” every night. He is required to do 20 minutes of reading per night. He reads on his own, but we have been reading the Harry Potter series together over the past few months. I was in college when these books came out, so I never got into them the way my younger sisters did. But I have to say that this has been a wonderful opportunity to get into them as an adult! We also do as Emily does and read our separate books together. We then “report” to each other what we just read about! I hope this continues as he grows. I am an avid reader and I am grateful that despite his struggles with it, my son still enjoys books and reading when he could easily give up out of frustration.

    • Rita says...

      That sounds lovely!

  117. Kristin says...

    I always read this way. I read about 100 books a year, and I usually read every day for about an hour. More on the weekends if I can get away with ignoring my family. :) I know a lot of people want to read more, so here are my tips:

    1. I often go to bed earlier, like 9 or 9:30 and read for an hour.
    2. I ALWAYS have a book in my bag. I read when I’m waiting to pick up my kids from practice, I read at lunch if I don’t have plans with someone, I read when I’m waiting for an appointment…you can get 10–15 minute snatches in many times per day if you have your book with you.
    3. Through long practice, I can read while many other things are happening around me. For instance, I often sit next to my husband on the couch at night and read while he watches tv. If you love the book, I find it’s easy to ignore everything else.
    4. I read with my kids. Now that they are older (12, 9 and 6), I will bring out a book during a slow time on the weekends and ask one or more of them to get their books and we read together (separate books) in the same room. Introverts unite! :)
    5. Make the public library a part of your schedule. I love the hold system at my library, and I frequently have 10 or more books on my list of holds. Then I can just run in to pick up my book, because I don’t often have time to browse. I go there once a week or so to get new books and return the old ones.
    6. Join a book club! I’m in two, and it helps to keep me accountable and it helps me get out of my reading ruts to try new books. Plus, there is a lot of drinking wine and laughing with friends–I highly recommend it!

    • Caroline says...

      Yes, 100% agree with all these tips!

    • Leanne says...

      The Libby app changed my life. Digital holds/borrows directly from your library to your phone. No need to visit the physical building (unless you want to).

  118. laura says...

    One of the books I’ve enjoyed most recently was The Secret History by Donna Tartt. As great as the writing was, I can fully acknowledge that part of the reason I enjoyed it so much was due to the style in which I read it. I visited my parents’ hometown for a week, where there was no WiFi, internet, or TV channels that I enjoyed. The book was my only source of entertainment when everyone else was busy, and it was wonderful.

    I think we often think about the author’s responsibility to readers, but what about a reader’s responsibility to an author? How are we consuming their work? Is it what’s best?

    To be honest, I haven’t read again like I read The Secret History, but I have tried to mindful of when I’m truly enjoying a book, and paying respect to that. Maybe it’s by putting my phone away, or by setting certain music by blocking out all the other music. It’s great!

    • Sarah says...

      One of my all-time favorites!

  119. oma says...

    Love Fraiser. Especially in the winter. Especially with a good blanket.

  120. Emily B says...

    For me, I naturally fall into binge reading when I’m truly enjoying a book. I will find all sorts of time during my day to read that I didn’t seem to have before like right after work or at lunch time. If I don’t find a book as compelling my reading drops off to 10 minutes before bed and then takes me forever to finish!

  121. I have a 1.5 year old and am 24 weeks pregnant with my second, so I am also not able to binge read right now either. Now that my son sleeps in a little I am up early before work and have almost 20 mins to read while snuggling with my dog. It’s very lovely! I hope you can find some time for yourself too in this busy time!

  122. Britta says...

    I LOVE this! I most definitely binge-read, and the key is to keep your phone out of arm’s reach – it’s so easy to get distracted when it comes to reading. But to really binge read you want to get as cozy as possible – I have to have my comfy pjs, a cup of Sleepy Time tea, either a candle burning or my diffuser going, and lots of blankets and pillows. There is nothing better!

    • Suzanne Martin says...

      I bought one of those inexpensive hammocks that you can string up pretty much anywhere and positioned it in the shade between two perfectly spaced oaks trees in my back yard. When I saw the hammock my mind would say “time to read” then once I was in the hammock (sans phone) I would linger there for a couple hours…..best hours of my day!

  123. Bailey says...

    I love this!! I am a big reader and my #1 piece of advice when folks ask me how to read more is this: STOP READING BOOKS YOU DON’T ACTUALLY LIKE. Just stop! If a book isn’t right for you–you thought you were going to like it but don’t, or you have been struggglinnnnggg to get through it for months, or you just thought you “should read it” (I’m lookin’ at you, Infinite Jest) but you actually hate it, just STOP READING IT! Put it down, and pick up something else you do like. You can always come back to that book if it feels right later on. I am an avid book abandoner and I read so much more because of it!

    • Alex says...

      This is so, so true! Sometimes an author’s “voice” just doesn’t agree with me, or I can’t like the pacing, or the characters just don’t come alive for me – it doesn’t mean it’s a bad book, it just means it’s not a good book for me. Reading is probably the most personal avocation of all, and if a book isn’t working for you, put it down. Life is too short to read books you don’t like!

    • Amanda says...

      I love this so much! I finally gave myself permission to put down (forever) books that I just couldn’t get into and only read the ones that really sucked me in! Pleasure reading is meant to be pleasurable! :)

    • AMEN. I was just telling a younger colleague this. He’s a writer and very into the lit world, so he has a lot of pressure to be in the know about all these books. He’s about 10 years my junior, and I said recently, “Not to be matronizing, but you get to a point in life where you realize life is too short, and there’s just too many good books out there, to waste time on ones you don’t like.” I don’t even have a page number I have to get to, I just abandon it with no guilt and move on! The last book I forced my way through was Fates and Furies, since so many people absolutely loved it and I thought something was wrong with me for not liking it. Who cares? Now all I can think is that I won’t get those hours of my life back!

    • Hannah G says...

      This has changed my reading habits hugely! Life is too short to read books that I’m not enjoying. I set aside so many books aside when I was pregnant with my first because picking them up felt like getting on the struggle bus. I’ve revisited most of them since and loved them, the time just wasn’t right.
      And I do make sure that I am still challenging myself to read difficult things outside my perspective/comfort zone- just in-between my cozy mystery novels and cookbooks.

    • YES THIS! My mantra is “Life is too short for bad books.” I used to muddle through books that I thought sounded impressive, and now I read the YA fantasy novels of my dreams and reading makes my nightly gratitude list on the regular. Read your way! It’s great to challenge yourself with a book outside your comfort zone, but you’re allowed to treat books like entertainment too!
      And I love binge-reading. I call it “book devouring.” I love when I can swallow a novel whole.

  124. Annie says...

    I’m trying to get back to reading more (see: small children, like commenter Sarah)! I keep thinking back to a Cup of Jo post about memorizing poetry, and how poems are like furniture on which your mind can rest. (this one! https://cupofjo.com/2012/10/fall-challenge-2-memorize-a-poem-howd-you-do/) I find reading books similarly beneficial. Good for those of us with anxious minds. :)

  125. I have a 9 month-old so I haven’t been a binge reader in, uh, 9 months. Hopefully when he gets a bit older I can get back into it. (Wait, I guess I binge read board books. Does that count?)

    I love, love, lovelovelove to read and would gladly spend all day doing it if I could. Right now I try to read a bit before bed or while in the occasional bath, but it’s just not the same unless you’re fully absorbed. Now there’s a timer in the back of my head.

  126. Julia says...

    Yes, but that hollow/vertiginous feeling when you turn the last page after a binge read is so disorienting. I tend to feel reluctant to come back to reality.

    • Kelsey says...

      So beautifully put. I feel this way after many books, but never more than after I finished reading Kavalier & Clay back in college. That book, that moment in time for me, I grieved losing that fictional world for days.

    • nadine says...

      I know exactly how that feels Julia! I felt it really hard last week after finishing The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neill, I even started a new book but kept thinking of those characters.
      Kelsey I’m going to check Kavalier & Clay.

  127. Yana says...

    Great post and great article! I am a binge reader through and through, always have been. Immersing myself in the world of the novel is one of life’s greatest pleasure. After having my son 5 years ago, I was worried about losing my ability to binge read, and I’m happy to report that I haven’t. I binged through the early months of nursing and sitting under a sleeping baby. I am still able to binge in the evenings after my son is asleep. It’s about what you choose to prioritize. I bring a book to every doctor’s appointment or anywhere that I expect to wait, so instead of aimless scrolling on my phone, I am indulging in my book.

  128. The only way to read is binge-reading! I’ve tried slow reading and by the end of one week, it’s harder for me to stay interested. So I make time once or twice a week to just immerse myself in a good book or three. It’s the best. Thanks for sharing this NYT article!

  129. Cate says...

    My favorite line in this is “maaaaaybe wash my face but probably not wash my face.” 😜 I can so relate!

  130. Lisa says...

    I live for reading. My spouse is an artist and is often working in his studio in the evenings, which leaves me with alone time. I don’t want to get ahead on shows we might watch together. And, so I read. Voraciously. It fills the creative need of my brain. I sleep better. I’m happier. In some ways, I read more now than before I had kids, when I would just have the TV playing. Now, the TV is off because we don’t want to the kids watching it. I read while they fall asleep and then just keep going.
    It is my greatest happiness that my children are readers. Our daughter is 7 and an exceptional reader. We often lay next to each other reading. Or, in the cutest game of you are so my kid, she takes her book into a hot bath where she languishes until the water turns cool.

  131. Katie says...

    Yes, I’m always so happy when I read instead of watching t.v. at night after the kids are in bed, either when I’m really into a book or my husband is watching something I’m not into (sports). I also have a pretty long train commute, so I get some quality reading time in then, too. It’s much easier to become invested in the story when you read for long chunks of uninterrupted time. I so miss weekend mornings staying in bed and reading (before kids). But, someday they’ll be teenagers and won’t wake up at the crack of dawn.
    Just started There There yesterday!

    • omg I forgot about staying in bed to read on the weekends! I used to do that probably until I got married. I always had a book by my bed and it was the best feeling ever to wake up, grab the book, and read for an hour before doing anything else. sigh. you’re right, though. when my daughter is a teenager I’ll get back to it!

  132. Jenna says...

    I just binge read an entire series of a very guilty pleasure, recommended by Sherry at YoungHouseLove. I can’t remember the last time i did that, and am a bit sad its over. It was the perfect binge – drama, action, and a little sexy times! I used to read all the time, but also lost the art/skill/patience and totally blame Netflix, Instagram, and kids.

  133. Ro says...

    I was just talking to a friend about how she reads as soon as she gets home from work, instead of turning on Netflix. I, on the other hand, watch shows all evening and THEN open a book once I’m already in bed — only to fall asleep three seconds later. She plows through books like a professional speed-reader while I’ve been known to take up to a year just to finish one. (Thanks to my one-page-a-night-before-I-pass-out reading method.)

    I admire my friend’s ability and desire to sit down and read without letting other things get in the way. She’s definitely a binge reader and always has so many interesting things to say about books. I want to give this method a try. The few times I have sat down to read (usually, like the NYT writer, when the power goes out) I’ve found it to be more enjoyable than watching a movie, as it’s 100 percent absorbing.

  134. AY says...

    If there’s a book I am reading that I am completely into, and I just cannot get enough, I look for spare minutes throughout the day to read snip its. On my subway ride to work, during my lunch break, and the dreaded busy commute home. Then when the house is quiet, dishes are done, and Netflix is off, I sometimes can’t fall asleep without finishing it!

  135. I’ve started reading for an hour each day during my lunch break at work. It is marvelously refreshing, and I’ve finally started making respectable progress through books.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds so, so wonderful, cara!

  136. Em says...

    My best binge reads are on airplanes! On a long flight, I love to crack open a new book (err… my Kindle loaded with a new book) as soon as I’m settled in my seat, and read straight until I finish the book. Reading for 6hrs straight is pretty unlikely to happen in my daily life but on a plane it’s the best.

    And at home, I have a “reading chair.” It’s in the corner of a spare bedroom. And my rule is that I am not allowed to bring a phone or laptop to that chair, ever (and it’s not in view of the TV), so any time I’m wanting to get lost in a book without the temptation to check my phone every 10min, I go to my reading chair.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg yes!! loooove reading on a plane.

    • Yes! I finally got to turn the front room into a reading area, and absolutely no phones are allowed. I never thought I would get so addicted to my phone, but, well. Here I am.

  137. Julia says...

    One of my favorite memories from childhood is when I would be able to stay up super late in the summer reading a great book all the way through! Now I like to still do that occasionally as an adult when I know I have nothing to do the next day. Just grab a book and immerse myself in the experience for the night.

  138. Claire says...

    I always read during my lunch hour and a full hour to read is great. I always attempt to read before bed but I get tired and start falling asleep :( I truly don’t think it has to do with the books I’m reading-I just associate my bed with sleep!

    I think I will start to make an effort to get into bed earlier so I’m less tired and can read more! I’m going to make an effort to take 2-3 hours a weekend to binge read so I can get fully absorbed into the book. Great post topic, thanks Joanna!!

  139. Ali says...

    I read most nights after the kids are in bed, at least 2 hours. I never thought of it as binge reading though. When I did have a commute to work I always read on the train so that was another 2 hours per day. I guess I just really need 2 hours a day to sit quietly and read a good book. So far I’ve read 20 for 2019! Thanks for all the book recommendations in your posts and the comments section, I’ve read so many from there!

  140. Bianca says...

    I go through phases where I binge read a bunch then need a break. I just finished a binge read of several books, the last one being the Night Circus. I love getting really into a book that consumes you.

  141. Sarah says...

    I exclusively binge-read. That is to say, I only read 2-3 books a year, but I devour them in a week or less. I last read Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me? on a trip to Jamaica . No regrets.

  142. YES! I went on a solo vacation for 6 days and plowed through 5 books. I love getting completely immersed in the story, and it doesn’t allow other worries to break through. Since getting back from vacation I’ve found myself carving out whole evenings to keep up the binge.

  143. Amanda says...

    I can relate to your reading patterns, Joanna. I now remind myself at 8:30 when I’m about to start another chore that I will feel better having spent an hour reading in bed then getting that one thing done. Reading has become a favorite way of asserting time for myself.

  144. Kathryn K says...

    This! This is me! When I was a kid, I HAD to finish books in one or two sittings, even if it meant cleaning my room by picking up my dirty clothes with my toes so I could keep turning pages. Now, I too often give books my “last 1%”– I’d almost not noticed how I’ve changed. Thanks for this! I love “binge reading”– it’s like a personalized, self-illustrated movie that doesn’t manipulate you so much as help you experience and learn.

  145. Nix says...

    Yes! I read Bossypants on vacation and it felt like Tina Fey was on vacation with me! I was so sad when I finished because it was like she’d gone home.

    • Claire says...

      Right! I read Bossypants while in Hawaii and it was like Tina Fey was on vacation with me! That’s a perfect vacation book.

  146. Abbey says...

    I almost always read this way! Mainly because if I start a fast-paced book, I will get sucked in and I MUST KEEP READING, haha. One of my favorite things is picking up a YA novel or a quick romance on the weekend or another time when I know I’ll have hours of free time in a row. It feels so cozy and indulgent, but slightly more involved than watching tv. The only danger is when I have 200 pages left and it’s midnight and I don’t have the willpower to put it down and go to sleep, oops!

  147. Michelle says...

    My kids starting listening to stories/songs on my phone at night, which means I don’t have access to it at all after ~8PM. I read for about an hour a night, sometimes more. Rarely do I reach for my computer to work/shop/read emails/scroll (which is totally what I do if I have my phone nearby.) It’s been the best change!

  148. Sarah says...

    I love long journeys in planes or trains (can’t read in cars/buses-bleurgh) because I will read a whole book! On a recent journey to South America-11 hours from London – I had the best time reading 2 easy reads; and one more intense read on the way home. BLISS. My best time off would include losing myself in a book without distraction.

    • Alison says...

      I love travel for this exact reason! Give me any flight or car trip and I will devour a book.

  149. Sarah says...

    “Although I love books, they were getting the last gasp of my attention. ”
    I’m totally there right now, Joanna. With a 4-year-old and a 2.5-year-old reading isn’t even on the agenda. I’m so looking forward to devouring a book again – I miss my “friends.” At least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel now. Almost there!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it gets easier!!!!