What’s Your Favorite Time of Day to Read?

What kind of reader are you? One that reads in long and leisurely chunks? Or one that reads in fits and starts whenever you find a free moment?

Just as different people have specific sleep cycles that determine how much rest they get, I believe that readers are guided by similar circadian rhythms. If you think about your reading habits, you’ll likely find some patterns, and a specific time—or times!—of day where you feel most comfortable opening up a book and picking up where you left off.


Do you find that your best reading happens in bigger blocks of time? You draw a bath, you actually take a lunch break, or you schedule in an hour before sleep to trade your smartphone games and obsessive social media refreshing for good ol’ quality time with the book that is currently capturing your attention. Chances are, you’ve been thinking about it in your spare time, but you make a special effort to set aside time to really dive in. Even if this means longer blocks of time before your next opportunity for a long read, perhaps this is more intellectually and emotionally stimulating for you.


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While I absolutely love treating myself to a good long read, I find that this is only the case when I’m in the middle of a book I can’t bear to put down: a snappy YA, an epic fantasy, generation-spanning literary fiction. If I’m being completely realistic, the majority of my reading happens whenever I can manage it.

escalator reading

Not surprisingly, sometimes your “favorite” time is determined by necessity: Are you the kind of reader who can immerse yourself in a book no matter where you are, no preamble necessary? Maybe your train is unexpectedly delayed, so you pull out your eReader or the physical book—the spine cracked from repeatedly shoving it your tote—and snatch a few minutes simply because they’re there. Even if you get back on schedule in a few minutes and don’t get to finish your chapter, you can still keep track of where you left off—waiting for the next opportunity to inch forward a little bit in your book.


Ditto for waiting in line for coffee, riding a cramped elevator stopping on seemingly every floor, or even standing in line at the checkout while shopping: Without a second thought, you pull your book out of your bag and pick up where you left off.

What are your reading cycles? The comments section awaits!

About Natalie Zutter

NATALIE ZUTTER has always been a voracious reader, from reading Agatha Christie and Entertainment Weekly above her age level as a kid to squeezing 52 books into the year whenever podcasts aren’t taking over her commute. A 2016 Amtrak Residency writer, Natalie also writes plays about superheroes and sex robots, and Tumblr rants about fandom. You can find her giggling over pop culture memes on Twitter @nataliezutter.

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