AtoZ, Blog Challenge, Books

Zeitgeber – Few tips to economize my reading time


Zeitgeber literally means time giver. It is derived from two German words – Zeit meaning time and Geber meaning giver. A zeitgeber is nature’s alarm clock and is a recurring pattern that maintains the body’s circadian cycle in working order. So while light and dark are environmental cues for plants, humans run on societally induced patterns like mealtimes, going to school/work, etc. I am decoding it as making time for reading. So sharing some of my tips that have helped me read more efficiently.  

Even though reading is literally my oxygen, there are other things like chores, work, etc, which need to be factored in the twenty-four hours. I would like nothing better than to spend as much time as possible reading than doing anything else. Alas! life is not perfect.

But I have managed to devise a few reading strategies to take a serious crack at my TBR and I am going to share their zeitgeber ideas with you in this post. Do let me know if any of these are your reading tips too. Any new tip would be really welcome, so don’t be shy to share them with me please.

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Set a reading challenge

I have been participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge every year since a decade now. It generally lets me set a number of books I plan to read in the year. Once the number is set, I then figure out which books to read from all the reviews, recommendations and lists from the bookstaverse. I try to be realistic in setting the reading goal. Being able to track the books and shelve them as per my reading tastes and thoughts is an added bonus of this challenge.

Multitasking while reading

One of the things that I have become a huge fan of is the audiobook. Thank heavens for Audible and the amazing variety of books available on it. I have started to listen to books more than read them physically as it lets me multitask as the same time. So now just not on the walks but also when I am driving, cooking. cleaning and other such chores, I have the headphones on and am powering through a book. Plus I can easily carry the books everywhere without the extra weight in my handbag. Believe me when I say this has been a game changer for me like anything.

The joy of being read to

Audiobooks allow me to experience a book being read out to me. I don’t have to imagine the character or the inflexion in their voice or any such imagery which is required during reading. The audiobook narrator becomes the storyteller and often has the perfect pitch to tell the tale in a beguiling manner. I have read (listened to) more books in the past two years (since I joined audible) than ever before. This has been a huge game changer for my reading spree.

I have also taken up re-reading some of my favorite books in this manner. Believe me when I tell you it feels like a fresh read. So if you have any such books that you wish you could read for the first time, do it with an audiobook the second time around.

One book I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading through the audiobook is Night Circus

Reading routine

I try to read a few pages every night before I sleep. Not only does this help me in detoxing from the screen time but also lets me relax favorably. I have set my page number to 50 pager per night. Or I just divide the total number of book pages to be able to finish it in x number of days. This has helped me hugely to read physical books successfully.


I commit readadultery by reading two books at the same time. One is an audiobook which I can listen to at any time of the day and one is a physical book which I read at bedtime. So reading two books together lets me indulge with variety. Just in case one of the books is a heavy read, I  ensure the other one is a light read. This keeps my reading balanced and the tedium does not bore me down.

Self Incentives

I give myself incentives for reading books as per my set TBR. This way I don’t get distracted from my reading list and am able to read by variety. To motor this further, I also program buddy reads on my bookstagram. This lets me read difficult or heavier reads in tandem with other readers. If you haven’t attempted a buddy read ever, I sincerely suggest you remedy that immediately.

Well there you have it. These are a few tips which help me read more efficiently and mindfully. I would love to hear your thoughts on this please. Do share them in the comments and I would love to learn a new reading trick or two, too.

Thank you so much for reading my posts through this years challenge. Your daily encouragement and suggestions were hugely helpful in making me stick to this. I am extremely grateful to all my readers. Until next year………….

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For the uninitiated, AtoZ challenge is a blogging challenge wherein one has to write on every alphabet from A to Z and post on all days of April, except Sundays. Usually its better to devise a theme as it makes it easy to write the posts. Plus readers have a reason to stay hooked too.

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8 thoughts on “Zeitgeber – Few tips to economize my reading time

  1. My husband likes audio books too. In the past I have listened to radio readers who read books a chapter a day or for half an hour. I really enjoyed that. I have never done a book reading challenge. I do enjoy reading books with others or even after they read them so we can talk about them.
    I found you late, but enjoy your challenge and look forward to seeing you next year.

    1. Nice to hear from you Kristin and thanks for reading my blog. I didn’t get around to exploring too many blogs this year and that’s all on me. I will try and catch up with yours now. The chapter reading sounds interesting – was it on the radio?

  2. I haven’t read a book on the audiobook but would love to do it. It should be fun! I don’t follow any reading challenges as I like to read as and when time permits and I feel like reading. I do discuss books I have read with my friend and we also recommend books to each other so we can discuss them or the movies based on those books. Makes for a great chat!
    Congratulations on completing the A to Z Challenge, Shalz!

    1. Thanks so much Shilpa. I almost didn’t make it there in the end. I hope you pick up an audiobook someday soon. The experience of listening to the book is just amazing. Discussing books one has read is so much fun. I keep wishing for bookclubs near me – do you have one near you?

  3. Congratulations on completing the A to Z Challenge, Shalz! Audiobooks are the only way I have got any reading done lately. Picked up a print one and it took me ages to finish.

    1. Thanks so much Ritu. I know what you mean about audiobooks. Now that I am hooked, physical books have been relegated to the background a bit.

  4. I love reading on my kindle and like you, try multitasking while I’m listening to audiobooks as well. Both options are great when time is tight. But, I do love physical books and crave spending time at book stores where I can browse and read for any length of time without being rushed. Travelling allows me to read at an unhurried pace and so I can completely see the significance of the word ‘Zeitgeber’ in our lives.
    Lovely post, as always! And so glad that you made it to the finish line as well. Well done, Shalini!!

    1. Thank you Esha and so glad to have made it to the finishing line too. It’s been quite a ride this year for me at the AtoZ. Getting back into the writing mojo after a 2 year break is seeming very tough to me. I find more things to do than write. Do you know what I mean? I keep putting it off. Wonder if I need to give it up or change things around a bit on the blog/writing front?

      I love reading on travels too – its the best thing to do and makes travel all that much more exciting for me. Audiobooks have made life really simple. I just put the book on, relax by the window seat, close my eyes and voila, I am in another dimension altogether.

      Bookstores are a hot fav with me too. Perhaps one day some of us would meet at one and browse at leisure together 😉

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