Pigeon of Discontent: “I Don’t Have Time To Read for Pleasure.”

Each week, I post a video about some Pigeon of Discontent raised by a reader. Because, as much as we try to find the Bluebird of Happiness, we’re also plagued by those small but pesky Pigeons of Discontent.

This week’s Pigeon of Discontent, suggested by a reader, is: “I don’t have time to read for pleasure.”


If you want to read more about this resolution, check out…

12 tips for reading more.

Want to be happier? Read along with the Happiness Project book club. (Each month, I suggest one book about happiness, one outstanding work of children’s literature, one eccentric pick.)

Need a happiness boost? Read a good book.

Have you found any great strategies for making time to read–or to do anything that you love to do?

You can check out the archives of videos here. It’s crazy–my YouTube channel has passed the mark for one million viewers.

  • I use audiobooks to read for pleasure. Everyone has to do mundane tasks like washing dishes. Audiobooks make them a pleasure. The library has a large selection to download from.

    • Katherine

      I put audiobooks into my iphone and hook it up to my bluetooth so I can listen to them when I drive, and not lose my place and listen when I’m doing chores or getting ready for bed.

  • peninith1

    I think that you could substitute almost anything in that sentence “I don’t have time to . . . .” Since I am guilty myself (excercise, meditate, seriously change my eating habits, & work in the yard would be the substitute words for me) I don’t feel judgmental about saying this: If you can’t find or make time to do something, then you really don’t want to do it that badly. Honestly. For many years, I have written in a journal every day, I nearly always read something for pleasure for at least a half an hour before bedtime, and most days I do some kind of sewing. Those are all activities that many people ‘wish’ they had time to do. I do those things not out of some genius move of scheduling, but because I passionately want to fit them in and I can’t imagine NOT doing them. The challenge is to let go of your ‘wannabe’ status by either deciding HOW and WHEN you are going to do that thing, or deciding that it really is as unimportant as your behavior says it is. So me, I’m not on the spot to find time to read–I WILL do that . . . I’m on the spot to think about my approach to those wannabe things on my list. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Brooke

    I actually have this exact pigeon of discontent myself. I find that I literally need to think of reading my book as an appointment or assignment in my day planner. i have to commit to it in that way for a little while until I no longer need to make such a concious effort.

  • nielmalan

    I made my reading for pleasure part of my bedtime routine. No, not routine, schedule. I am in bed by 9 p.m., and then drink hot chocolate and read a book before I put out the light out. It’s part of my sleep hygiene project. The rule is that I’m not allowed to have the hot chocolate while the laptop is still on, otherwise I would keep working until midnight.

  • Heidi

    Julia Child’s My life in France was very enjoyable for me. A mother of 2
    kids under 3 I have very little free time to read for pleasure, but I
    gobbled this book up in 3 days:) Now I am reading Julie and Julia, not
    as good, but enjoyable. Cooking is my favorite past time and I enjoy
    books involving it. On a side note both books had to go political and
    frankly right now with the political arena all fired up it was a big
    turn off. Thanks for the suggestion, I am richer for it.

    • gretchenrubin

      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it.

  • Diana Prince

    I feel guilty saying this but when my 2 year old watches Sesame Street before bed, I read a book while sitting next to her. It’s my time to read and hers to watch Elmo.

  • Carla

    No quote?