Habits! they can make you or they can break you.

The Secret of Making Book Reading A habit

How to become a book reader

Book reading
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

It was not until I met this wonderful guy Madhav Kaushik, that I knew how life-changing the habit of reading can be. Before meeting him, I was always on the other side of the debate, would always prefer consuming digital media over books. But once I started reading, I couldn’t thank him enough and indeed thank books for existing.

Let’s start with your book reading journey today.

Why Reading?

The first thing you might be thinking right now, (I did too!) “Why the hell should we read books when there is so much helpful content available on youtube and digital media?”.

Well to start with, successful people from all walks of life always emphasize the importance of habits. Above all, they recommend making Reading one of your habits.

As the saying goes,

There is no friend as loyal as a book

Books are the best companion for people who want to grow and become better every day. Reading books can have benefits which includes

  • Personal development, books can give you knowledge of centuries
  • Building up a vast vocabulary, it is always better to have words ready at your disposal in every situation
  • Mental wellness, I personally feel books help to stabilize our thoughts and improve focus.
  • Digital detox, in this age of screens we are constantly bombarded with digital content and it’s essential to get out of this ecosystem once in a while

Benefits are not limited to those mentioned above. But I think those are good enough reasons for one to try out reading as a hobby.

Start small

To move forward, you must first take a step

As with all other things, you should always start small and pick up the pace gradually. This helps in keeping your spirit up all through the process. Believe me, it is good progress as long as you’re reading something daily. No matter how much or how little, keeping going is the best way to do it.

I personally feel of myself as a slow reader, maybe I am. I started with 2–3 pages every day and gradually I started liking it which made me want to read more every day. Soon I was able to sit down for a 10-page reading session. I am not a native English speaker so reading in English was kind of a task for me in itself. I used to look for words right away and it is fun when you get to learn in more than one way. Going forward I started getting more books and was really motivated to complete each one of them.

Bottom Line: Start small, take one step at a time, and don’t be hard on yourself if it seems like not working. Just think of yourself like a pro reader and you’ll get better at it in no time.

Keep going

Persistence is the key if you are doing it daily, most likely you’ll develop the habit in 3 weeks. A good way to maintain consistency is to follow a certain routine. Reading when you get out of bed in the morning or before going to sleep is the most commonly advised routine for book reading. I prefer making it my first task in the morning. I used to get out of bed and take my book to the balcony. Just sit there, relax in the soothing breeze while reading the book. It helped me reduce the work stress I was having due to so much screen time and notifications. It also helped me focus better on the work the whole day afterward and I could apply the newly learned lessons into my day-to-day work. Pick the one that suits you the most and stick to it. Add a reminder for reading, I used this trick for myself and it worked like a charm. This way you’ll have less chance of missing out or procrastinating.

Bottom Line: Pick a slot and stick to it. The more you stick to the routine, the stronger your mind will form a habit, and the harder it gets for your lazy side to break it.

My experience

I went from completing 1 book till February of 2020 to completing 15 books at the end of September 2020. And I feel so proud as well as happy to have done that. It’s not just about learning more, it’s also about being mindful and feeling peace within.

I mostly read self-help books, personal development blogs, and financial stuff. Here are my top picks

  • Think and grow rich
  • The greatest salesman in the world
  • The Richest Man in Babylon
  • The Autobiography of a Yogi
  • Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life
  • How to win friends & influence people

I am planning to start reading fiction books as well, I am really thinking of moving away from digital content. Book reading has helped me a lot with relieving stress, it gives me a sense of fulfillment and a hobby to pursue. I never thought I would say this but yeah “I love reading books”.

I believe if you follow these principles, you’ll be able to develop a habit of book reading. I wish you make the most out of it. Comment below if you need any help with planning your personal finances, I will be more than happy to help you. If you haven’t already please follow me, to get notified about such posts.

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Anshuman Bhardwaj

Anshuman Bhardwaj

Developer Advocate at @commercetools | My monthly newsletter 👉 https://newsletter.theanshuman.dev