Use Reese Witherspoon’s Technique to Plan Your Reading Times

For those who read for pleasure, it can be difficult to find time to read a book on a day filled with endless tasks: work, exercise, children’s activities, and housework take up most of our time; fit in one good book can mean sacrificing another.

Fiction offers an opportunity to get away, but for many people, especially those who read this site, there is also a feeling that what you read should help you become better – it should give you a couple of productivity tips, share new knowledge, or tell how to make the most of your time. There are just a lot of good books.

How can you balance the two? I love this sentence from a recent interview with Reese Witherspoon by The Book for The New York Times :

I like to read non-fiction books in the morning or books with “ideas” – “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg and the like. I read fiction at night to calm my brain and expand my understanding of what is possible. Most of all, I look for elegantly composed sentences that take me to another world.

This, of course, does not mean that you are not learning anything from fiction, but if you get to work by bus or train, reading nonfiction books can help you get in the right place for your work day. At night, when you’ve done what you needed to be done for the day, you can chill out with a good novel or fiction book and be transported to another world, which seems like a pretty good way to sleep.


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