Three easy tips to help you make it happen this summer, plus the best books to read when you only have a small window of time.

By Jane Borden

Maybe you don’t have a long, leisurely beach trip coming up. Maybe you want to read the latest bestseller that all of your friends are talking about, but you’re kind of devoting all your spare time to Hulu right now. Or maybe you just have kids. Well, this is the summer of no excuses. It’s easy to find small pockets of time to read—it’s good for your brain, and it makes you a more interesting dinner companion—so let our experts help you out.  

1. Steal a chunk of your social media time.
Just because you knew we were going to say it doesn’t mean it’s not true. According to Facebook, users spend an average of 50 minutes a day on its platforms (including Instagram and Messenger). Take half of that, and you’ve knocked out a chapter or two. “Stop saying you’ll find time to read. Start saying you’ll make time to read,” says time-management expert Mike Gardner.

RELATED: Your Ultimate Summer Reading List

2. Make it a meeting.
“Actually put it in your calendar and schedule it,” says Shelley Diaz, an editor at School Library Journal. And, just as at a real meeting, don’t check your phone—or even the clock, if you don’t want to. You can have the meeting last a certain amount of time, but you can make it less of a chore by thinking of it in terms of pages, says Gardner: You have a meeting at 4 p.m. for 30 pages.

3. Multi-task.
Always keep a book in your bag for unexpected line, waits, and delays. Read a few pages of something as you eat lunch, wait for a kid to finish swim team practice, or sit in a doctor’s office. It’s these small slivers of time that we spend looking at our phones, simply because there’s no other option, so have the other option handy. And download audiobooks to listen to while you do household tasks: dishes, laundry, even showering.

What to Read

Sure, you can read any book you choose in short spurts. But these are particularly suited for picking up and putting down frequently. (For all of our favorite titles, check out our monthly picks here.)

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