When you ask people to make a list of the top 10 habits they want to develop, “Cultivating a Reading Habit” will grace their list and for good reason. Reading has numerous benefits but how do you make this a habit? Here are some tips on how to become an avid reader:
- Set a Time: No matter how busy you are, you should set a time when you can read uninterrupted for at least 5 minutes. You can choose when you wake up; just before you leave the bed, or when you go to bed; just before you sleep. Also, it can be during your commutes. Just pick a time that works for you. It doesn’t have to be a 2-hour-stretch at first. Start small and you will improve the more you read.
- Make a book your accessory: Just like your keys, phones and wallets, a book should go with you everywhere. That way, whenever you have some time between tasks, you can bring it out and read a little. With technology, you can have your book on your phone, but this is dangerous especially for those who are trying to make it a habit as the phone itself can be a distraction.
- Reading Lists Help: Make a reading list, but try not to achieve too much at a time as it can overwhelm you and discourage you. Rather, start with a chapter list daily, and then a book list monthly. If you do not finish your list daily or monthly, do not beat yourself up. The more you read, the more likely you are to complete your list.
- Spend Less Time on TV and the Internet: Watching too much TV or staying on the internet especially social media can consume way more time than you imagine. This is why a good old fashioned hardcover book is recommended, as having your book on your phone can lead to distractions from social media. The way to solve this problem is having a TV and Internet time just like you have your reading time.
- Read what you like: Sometimes we tend to read things we are not interested in, simply because we feel we should know about that thing. To build a reading habit, begin by reading what you like. One of the ways to read wider is to read about things and people that fascinate us. So if you are a fan of politics, read books by politicians you like or books written about them.
- Blog and Talk about it: One way to keep yourself reading is to always talk about the books you have read. You can either write a blog post about it or open a conversation about it on social media. This helps you know your knowledge gap and gets you reading more.