City Reading Styles


I’ve talked about my reading habits in the past and I’ve started to notice that it varies greatly on the lifestyle I’m leading at the time. To many this might be a duh moment but for me it was very much like a, “Oh Wow, I never realised that I was influenced by this!” (imagine it said in a cheesy voice, please do).

In The Bahamas I read a lot after work, on my couch or on my bed. I have to be flopped down on my back, it’s something that I don’t quite understand about reading but I love to do it laying down. However, in The Bahamas I was home by 5PM latest every day and by the time I’d settled in I had like 6 hours free time. Oh, how I miss that.

Now, I get home between 8 and 8.30 (I work from 10 to 7) and it takes forever for me to get home on the tube and I have an early wake up to make sure that I don’t drown in the commute. For most of y’ all I imagine that this isn’t a big deal? Bahamians live a very slow lifestyle so I had to get used to it when I first came here. So I’ve had to alter my reading habits with this new lifestyle!

Commute-Time Reading

I have mastered the art of reading standing up, squished in a corner with one hand on a railing and another holding a book. I’ve even figured out how to turn pages with one hand! I am quite proud of my new found skills and those 45 minutes of precious reading make the commute in the morning or afternoon go by so quickly and completely painlessly. I’ve also gotten in the habit of walking with the book in my hand so if I’m stuck on an escalator, I read. While I wait for the tube, I read. If I manage to get a seat? I read. I forgot my book last week Thursday and I was so miserable, it felt so long!

Lunch Quickies

I feel like I have to be sociable with a new job so I eat my packed lunch (I’m becoming the master of awesome packed lunches, I even have a cute bento box!) and then spend the last half an hour curled on the office couch reading. It’s not enough, it never is but those 30 minutes are the most quiet, peaceful moments of my day.

Multi-Tasking Reading

I only have about 4 hours of me-time when I get home before I have to hit the hay so I try to smash as much reading in as possible. So what do I do? I read while I’m cooking dinner and I read while I’m waiting for my laundry and I love reading while I sweep. I’ve smashed into the wall a couple of times because I didn’t realise I was sweeping near it and I don’t think I’m sweeping very well, but it’s still a good 10 to 15 minutes of good reading time.

Normally I like to read in large chunks, for hours at a time and I do that still on the weekends. For the weekday’s I need to be a bit more creative and I love how I’ve adapted reading into random habits during the day!

Don’t think of these as my complaining, just as my way of adapting to a huge cultural and lifestyle change. I love it, and I’ve finished more books in this past month than I have in a long time. I go through almost one a week now. I never leave home without a paperback or a kindle in my purse– it’s always with me and I derive a great deal of comfort from those pages.

What do you do? How do you find time to read?



About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
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9 Responses to City Reading Styles

  1. Lola says:

    Oh wow you’re really good at incorporating reading in your day. I don’t read during cooking, although when I have some waiting time I dash back to my computer and work. I am working from home so no commute. When I still went to uni I loved readign during the commute, it makes the time go so much faster. And I love reading in lunch breaks as well. Nowadays I lunch behind my computer, but I do make tim to read during breakfast and an hour before I go to sleep. It’s nice to start and end my day with reading, but beside those two moment I usually don’t read.

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      Is it hard to find a balance when you work from home? My mum had that issue… she would read before bed but that was it really because she never felt like she could take a break. I hate commuting but reading during it makes it worthwhile.

  2. This is definitely a great use of your time! Sounds like you’re adapting pretty well.

    But.. please don’t injure yourself sweeping 😉

  3. chuffwrites says:

    Wow, you are SUPER committed to reading, I love it! I wish I could read during train or car rides — I just get so motion sick. Good for you for finding so many little niches throughout the day to read in, that’s so impressive.

  4. HOLLY says:

    I usually read before bed for about half an hour each night, but lately I’ve been having so much homework that by the time I crawl in bed I just want to go to sleep. Reading while sweeping- I give you major props! 🙂

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