How I Made Time For Reading Again (Plus My Favorites from 2016)

If you’re frustrated because you don’t have much {if any} time to read, here are three things you need to make reading a priority again. Plus, I’m sharing my favorite books from 2016 to help jumpstart your list!

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If you’re frustrated because you don’t have much {if any} time to read, I've got three practical solutions to help make reading a priority in your life again. Plus, I’m sharing my FAVORITE books from 2016 to help jumpstart your list! #reading #timeforreading #favoritereads #fridayfavorites #howtomaketimeforreading

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved reading. I’d much rather escape into the pages of a riveting fiction story or learn something new from non-fiction than anything else. At least that’s how it used to be!

But somehow, somewhere….life got in the way.

I didn’t make reading a priority anymore. I put everything else ahead of my to-be-read list, which meant I never had time to sit down with an actual book. And as a result, I never made my reading goal of 40 books for 2015.

That wasn’t acceptable to me, especially for a girl who loves to read! My ho-hum attitude needed to change STAT.

So in 2016, I set another goal of 40 books, and this time, blew past it with 60+ reads. I fell head-over-heels in love with reading again, and most of all, I was making time for it. But I couldn’t have done it without these three essential changes. If you want to put reading back on your priority list, you’ll want to adopt these strategies too!

1) I carried a book EVERYWHERE

My Kindle lived in my purse 24/7, because I never knew when I’d have a few minutes to read. It could be in the car while Joseph runs into Lowes, inside a waiting room, or even if we arrive somewhere a little early and need to kill time. Instead of scrolling through Facebook on my phone, I chose a book instead….and it showed.

2) I had non-negotiable reading time

It doesn’t matter WHEN you read, just that you have a dedicated time to do it. This can be in the morning before kids get up, during naps, or right before bed. I would wind down with a good book as part of my evening routine, and again, it beats scrolling through my phone.

3) I read books that were interesting

I’ve wasted far too much time slogging through a book that is {yawn} boring, and oh, how I regret it! Now I ditch a book if I’m not excited 2-3 chapters in. Let’s face it—there are way too many books in the world for you to stick with someone who doesn’t write in an engaging way. For me personally, this is half the battle that keeps me from accomplishing my reading goals!

The thing is—we can find excuses to “not have time” for just about anything. And while you can’t add more hours to your day, you can always rearrange and replace the non-important stuff with the things you DO want to accomplish.

So if you really want reading to climb to the top of that list, I give you permission to read that book you’ve been dying to crack open. Here are my all-time favorites from 2016 to get you started!

Non-Fiction Favorites:

  • The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst – I loved this book SO much I even wrote a whole post about it! If you have trouble saying no, but are overwhelmed with how little time you have, you’ll want to put this one on your list ASAP.
  • The 21-day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo – I’ve always wanted to do a sugar detox, so I bought this book and both Joseph and I followed the plan for a full 14 days. No, it wasn’t the 21 that was recommended, but we’ve been a lot more conscious about all the sugars we put in our body since. I’ve never had so much energy!
  • Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected by Kayla Aimee – This is a blogger I recently discovered and immediately fell in love with her writing! She went into labor at just 24 weeks, and Anchored is all about her story and strong faith. All I can say is….WOW.

Fiction Favorites:


  • Angels Walking Series by Karen Kingsbury – I honestly wasn’t sure how the whole “angels among us” thing would go, but KK did an amazing job covering the supernatural. Everything seemed so real! I’ve only read the first two in the series—Angels Walking and Chasing Sunsets—but of course, the third is also on my list.
  • The Hideaway Series by Robin Jones Gunn – This author is most known for her Christy Miller books, which are geared toward a younger audience, but The Hideaway Series focuses more on women who are middle aged. It’s kind of a nice change from all the teen/young adult stories out there! I’ve read Under a Maui Moon and Canary Island Song so far and loved them.
  • My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade – What happens when a granddaughter helps her grandma renovate an old house, and meets a “keep-to-himself” hockey star/contractor? You’ll have to find out! Get ready to feel that tug on your emotional heartstrings.
  • Daughters of His Kingdom Series by Amber Lynn Perry – If you love reading stories set in the Revolutionary time period, you will love this series! The first book, So Fair a Lady, was my all-time favorite. Amber is a newer author, so I’m excited to see what books she comes out with next.

  • Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist – Downton Abbey fans rejoice! It might not be set in England, but you’ll still love a peek into a fictional version of the Vanderbilts. I hadn’t picked up one of Deeanne’s books in a while, and I’m so glad I did. I’m dying to go visit the real Vanderbilt estate now.
  • Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden – I’ve recently become a fan of Elizabeth’s fast-paced and very engaging stories. Her books are set in historical time periods, but are different than the normal “girl-arrives-in-out-West-and-falls-in-love-with-a-cowboy” theme that typically plagues most Christian Fiction. Very refreshing!
  • The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers – How did I go so long without reading these gems? The first book took a few chapters to get into, but then I was hooked. I especially loved An Echo in the Darkness {#2}, as evidenced by me staying up until 2am to finish it. Oops! Even though Colosseum drama isn’t pretty, each story is extremely well done.


  • The Selection Series by Kiera Cass – What do you get when you mix a dystopian bachelor reality show with the royal crown? The Selection Series! Yes, it sounds strange, but I could not put any of these books down. Although I have to say, the first book was definitely my favorite of them all.
  • The Siren by Kiera Cass – Not what I expected, but still good…..and refreshingly haunting? I have no idea if that makes sense, but I’ll let you read and decide! As I’m sure you can guess, it has something to do with mermaids.
  • Vampire Academy Series  by Richelle Mead – Probably my favorite YA series of all time. I could not hold it together until I found out what happened at the end! All six of the books were good, but I especially loved the third one, Shadow Kiss.


  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King – I first heard of 11/22/63 from the “What Should I Read Next?” podcast, and even though it’s a huge book, I was riveted by every page. Don’t worry…it’s not a horror story. It’s actually more of a historical/time travel themed book where the main character tries to prevent the assassination of JFK. Warning: There is language.

Phew! Hopefully you have some room on your 2017 reading list to add in a few of these picks! As you can see, I like a lot of variety and hope to switch it up even more by participating in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge this next year. You should totally join!

What books did you love in 2016?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. One of my goals for 2017 is to be able to read 24 books in a year :). I even started a book club with the books to hold me accountable.

    1. That’s awesome, Lindsey. You can totally do it, especially with others going through the books with you! πŸ™‚

  2. Thank you very much Kalyn for sharing this wonderful article..I really enjoyed reading it and It was very useful for me..

  3. Love this post Kalyn! Reading is one of my favorite things to do, but unfortunately I haven’t read nearly as much as I would like to lately. I love your idea of carrying a book everywhere, that will help me get some pages in here and there. I am bookmarking this for new book ideas! Going to the bookstore to spend a little Christmas cash today πŸ™‚

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