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Tips for Developing a Reading Habit

by Byron Hoffman
6 minutes read

Reading can change your life, expand your knowledge, increase empathy and give you a break from the daily grind. But many struggle to fit reading into their busy lives or lose interest in books compared to other forms of entertainment. This guide will give you practical tips to get into a reading habit so reading becomes a pleasure and a part of your daily life.

Set Specific Goals

Setting specific goals is key to building any new habit including reading. Decide on a number of pages or books you want to read each month or week. For example setting a goal to read 30 pages a day or a book a week gives you a tangible target to work towards. Tracking your progress with a reading journal or a digital app can also help you stay on track and feel a sense of accomplishment as you hit your reading targets.

Make Time for Reading

Consistency is key to habit formation. Schedule a dedicated time each day for reading, whether it’s during your morning commute, after lunch or before bed. Treat this time as a non negotiable appointment, just like any other meeting or commitment. By reading at the same time each day you’ll start to form a habit that naturally becomes part of your daily routine. If you find certain times of day more conducive to focus, read during those windows.

Pick Your Books

The books you choose are a big part of maintaining your reading habit. Choose genres and authors that really interest you. No need to force yourself through a book that doesn’t interest you – put it down and pick up something else. A good strategy is to alternate between different genres to keep your reading varied and fun. Consider joining book clubs or online communities where you can get recommendations to help you find books that will keep you hooked.

Make it a Pleasure

Create a personal reading space that beckons you to stay and read. This could be a corner of your living room with a comfortable chair and good lighting or even a quiet spot in a local park. Make sure your reading space is free from distractions like TV and noise. Add some plants, a soft blanket or your favorite cup of tea to your space and reading time becomes something to look forward to each day.

Eliminate Distractions

In today’s digital world distractions are the biggest obstacle to focus. When it’s time to read, mute your smartphone notifications or leave your device in another room. If you tend to read on a tablet or computer, use apps that block distracting websites during your reading time. Tell your family or roommates about your reading schedule so they know not to disturb you and you can make the most of your dedicated reading time.

Connect with Others

Connecting with other readers can make reading more enjoyable. Join a reading group or book club where you can share your thoughts and discuss the themes. This social connection not only makes reading more fun but also motivates you to keep up with your reading so you can contribute to the discussions. Seeing others excited about reading can also boost your own enthusiasm and introduce you to books you might not have considered otherwise.

Try Different Formats

Don’t just stick to physical books – try the various formats. E-readers and tablets allow you to carry multiple books in one device and often have features to adjust text size and background color for a comfortable reading experience. Audiobooks are another great option for reading during commutes, workouts or while doing household chores. Rotating between different formats keeps your reading habit fresh and flexible and accommodates your lifestyle and preferences.

Try Different Reading Challenges

Reading challenges are a great way to mix up your reading and stay motivated. Libraries, bookstores and online platforms run annual challenges with themes like reading a book from each continent, books by authors from underrepresented groups or classic literature. These challenges often come with a community aspect, a forum or social media group where you can discuss your progress and share your experiences. Doing these challenges not only makes you try genres or authors you might not have tried before but adds a game element to your reading making it more fun and rewarding.

Teach or Share What You’ve Learned

One of the best ways to get more out of what you read is to teach or share what you’ve learned. This can be as simple as discussing a book with friends or as structured as writing a blog post or social media review. You could also join or start a book club, in person or online. Sharing your thoughts helps solidify your learning and the feedback you get opens up new ideas and interpretations. Plus articulating your insights makes you more engaged with the text and helps you develop your critical thinking and reflection skills. This makes your reading more enjoyable and reinforces your reading habit by integrating it into your social life.

Celebrate Your Success

Acknowledge and reward yourself for reaching your reading goals. This could be as simple as buying a new book, spending extra time on your favorite hobby or anything else that acknowledges your commitment. Celebrating your achievements will reinforce your reading habit and make reading a part of your DNA.

Developing a reading habit has long term benefits – from improved mental agility to deeper cultural understanding. By setting goals, creating a reading space and incorporating books into your daily routine you can make reading a pleasure and a permanent part of your life. Remember the key to a successful reading habit is to find joy in the pages you turn – so pick up a book and start reading.

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