To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.W. Somerset Maugham
Every year, most people set goals for themselves. ‘Lose weight’, ‘stop procrastinating’, ‘start a project’… And read a certain number of books is one of the top goals.
But, as most of the New Year resolutions, reading books becomes like every other unaccomplished word.
We all know we should read more. Yet so few of us develop a reading habit that allows us to do it.
Warren Buffet, one of the greatest investor of the 20th century, spends 80% of his working day reading and thinking.
When asked how to get smarter, he held a stack of papers and said: “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
Why You Should Develop a Reading Habit?
Before explaining my tips for cultivation reading habit system.
It’s important to understand the “why”. Knowing why you are doing this habit motivates you to keep going.
Even if you never complete one book, you can start your reading journey today.
Below are the top 5 reasons why you must develop a reading habit.
- Make your mind think deeper
Books upgrade the “software” in your brain. A new idea, outlook on life, mental model, is all it takes for something to click inside your brain.
- Teach you more about your field
Great books are someone’s life work. In a few hours, you can learn the top 1% of a given topic by reading the right book.
- Sharpen your skills
Reading will improve your communication skills, vocabulary and writing.
The more you read, the better you communicate. And better communication means better relationships.
It’s important to have a deep willingness to read and grow in the process. Approach reading as a fun, enjoyable and transformational activity that impacts your life.
With this kind of mindset, you’ll become intentional about the books you read. By picking out those areas in your life that need improvement and plan towards growing to the next level. While reading the right books that target those problem areas.
How to Develop a Reading Habit?
Now that you know why you should read more, it’s time to move into the great stuff: how to read more.
This is the part the most people fail to do. We all know the benefits, but few know how to get started and keep going.
Below are 15 easy tips you can put in place right now that will help you read more.
1. Determine Your Reading Goal
For some, it could be a goal of reading 24 books in a year. Another person might have a goal of 12, depending on various factors. Once you’re done placing a target figure to your reading goal, then divide them into smaller goals.
An example could be, reading at least one book per month to achieve a bigger goal of 12 books in a year.
Be determined to make it an enjoyable process; don’t see it as a tasking chore.
2. Make a List of Books for Each Month
Keep a list of all the great books you want to read. You can keep this in your journal, or in a pocket notebook, wherever.
Be sure to add to it whenever you hear about a good book, online or in person.
A reading list will also help you stay organized. Take it a step further by creating a log attached to that list.
Including the start and finish dates, keynotes or lessons. Note that, reading these books doesn’t mean discarding them afterward.
A list and log with notes about your thoughts will encourage you to look through them months later. In case you need some inspiration at some point.
3. Read at Least 10-20 Pages a Day
The important step to develop a reading habit to read every single day.
Sounds simple, yet few do it. To read more books, reading books must become a priority.
If you’re looking to create a consistent reading pattern. Then set out a particular number of pages per day would work like a charm. Consider setting aside at least 10-20 pages per day to read, especially if you have a busy schedule.
This process will help you stay focused as you look forward to accomplishing your goal of a specific number of pages.
It’s simple enough to get started and easy to track. The goal of this hack it to make reading a held habit.
With time, reading won’t feel like something you do but rather something you are.
4. Read at the Same Time Every Day
To make it easier for a new habit to stick, you should do it at the same time every day.
Reading is no different.
Read every day at the same time; the best timings are after waking up, early in the morning, and before going to sleep.
5. Invest in Tools that Encourage Reading
For most people today, mobile apps, tablets, and ebook readers actually work wonders.
Because the world is digital, they prefer having handy mobile appliances that would help them stay on top of their goals.
6. Choose the Right Medium for You
For me, books were meant to be read on paper. I tried to read on mobile and disliked it.
If you have a hard time reading, you’re not using the right medium for you. Try switching around and see what works best for you.
If you like listening to podcasts, audiobooks might be the best medium for you. Use Audible 1-month trial to see if you like it.
7. Take part in a Book Club
With a book club, you’ll create a concrete strategy that keeps you motivated and inspired to grow.
Such gatherings give you an opportunity to discuss lessons you learned from books.
8. Go to book festivals.
Want to learn about new authors and meet authors you already know?
Book festivals are a great opportunity for both. They also provide other benefits, including:
- Books for sale.
- Get a book signed
9. Always carry a book
Waiting in line at the post office? Read.
Need to wait for the bus? Read.
Waiting for a doctor’s appointment? Read. Every chance you get.
Wherever you go, take a book with you.
When I leave the house, I always make sure to have my phone, my keys and my book, at least.
The book stays with me on the road, and I take it to appointments and pretty much everywhere I go. If there is a time when you have to wait (like at a doctor’s office), whip out your book and read.
Great way to pass the time!
10. Reduce television/Internet
This may be difficult for many people. Still, every minute you reduce Internet/TV, you could use for reading. This could create hours of book reading time.
11. Use the Habit Sandwich
Use the “sandwich technique” to make reading a habit easier to develop. Pick two already familiar habits and add reading between.
Every morning after meditating I had a cup of coffee. All I did was snuck reading between. That made it easier since I had the other two routines established.
12. Make it pleasurable
Make your reading time your favorite time of day. Have some good tea or coffee while you read, or another kind of treat. Get into a comfortable chair with a good blanket. Read during sunrise or sunset.
I read during sunrise each day and that view makes it more pleasurable habit for me.
13. Read to Your Kid
Studies found that reading to your kid 20 minutes a night is a proven investment in your child’s future.
Take a look for this great list of Children’s book
14. Keep a reading blog
A reading blog is a good way to remember the books you enjoyed. Write criticism of books you didn’t, and keep track of what you’ve already read.
Additionally, a reading blog can:
Help you meet people. Make your entries public and let people enjoy and even comment on your thoughts.
And that’s why I created this blog 🙂
15. Consider your hobbies and personal interests
Reading can be more interesting and satisfying when we read about topics that we care about.
Seek out blogs, and magazines that pertain to your hobbies and interests to incentivize reading.
To be honest, with some many books available nowadays, it’s even harder to figure out what to read.
How to choose what to read?
- Read Better Books
If a book has been around for a long time and people still talk about it, it’s good. Go pick it!
- Get recommendations from friends.
From everything they read, what’s the one book they would recommend?
Compile a list from different people and start there.
- Be Quicker to Stop and Skip
Reading should be fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re reading the wrong books. It’s time to quit.
Here’s a pro tip: read the first chapter without the obligation to continue.
If you’re not having fun, it’s time move on.
- Read It When You Need It
Reading for the sake of saying you read a lot is a vanity metric. The power of learning from books comes from applying what you read.
That’s why you should choose your books based on what you need to learn now, so you can use the information you consume.
You want to learn more on how to cultivate a reading habit?
Here are amazing articles to check:
To achieve your reading goals and build a consistent reading habit, you’ll need to set up simple systems:
- Determine Your Reading Goal
- Make a List of Books for Each Month
- Read at Least 10-20 Pages a Day
- Read at the Same Time Every Day
- Invest in Tools that Encourage Reading
- Choose the Right Medium for You
- Take part in a Book Club
- Go to book festivals
- Always carry a book
- Reduce television/Internet
- Use the Habit Sandwich
- Make it pleasurable
- Read to Your Kid
- Keep a reading blog
Use the right reading tools, find partners, and be hungry to grow beyond your comfort zone.
You can do it!
Any other tips you are using to cultivate your reading habit?