4 Ways You Can Make Reading Every Day A Habit
Reading is undoubtably important. Yet most of us struggle to get through more than one book a month. However by using some simple techniques and changing a couple of mindsets, you can be reading every day in no time.
Find a book buddy
Going to the gym is 100 times easier if there is another person who accompanies you to the workout. Sure, you may never even talk to them, since your headphones will be on. But we’re a culture that seeks accountability and having someone who you don’t want to disappoint every week is an easy way to at least get started with your daily reading habit. You won’t want to tell them at the end of the day, “Sorry, I didn’t read the chapter because I was busy.” You’ll find time.
Book clubs can work in a similar way, but I find that many book clubs turn into friendly hangouts where you never actually needed to read the book. I promise you, the loudest person at the book club has almost certainly skimmed the novel you read, and is now compensating by being extremely vocal about their half-formed opinions.
Get yourself a book buddy who you can text with daily. Create a reward system where the person who doesn’t read the book must buy the other’s coffee. A little bit of friendly competition may be just what you need to kick your new reading habit into gear.
I’m Not Discounting Books That Others Don’t Take Seriously
Reading is reading. While some may look down on genres, those people are jerks. I’m definitely going to keep reading non-fiction, but I won’t put down my YA fantasy, sci-fi, “women’s” fiction, or other tales that inspire ire from so many serious readers.
Reading itself is an act of taking back your time. It enriches your mind, and gives it a chance to learn words, and use its power to imagine a world, rather than being fed an entire universe via an image on TV. This isn’t to knock TV, but your brain is more passive during those times.
By reading what you enjoy, not just what others tell you to read, you’ll be less likely to quit.
Don’t be afraid to quit a book and start another
You know what? There are some books you just won’t like. Sometimes an author’s voice doesn’t appeal to you, no matter how much you try to accept it. There are many books out there, many with the same message. Don’t worry if you don’t finish one. It’s a waste to agonizingly read something you hate, and it will make you less likely to associate reading with pleasure. When you put reading into the “this is so painful” category of your life, you’ll be much less likely to do it.
Get rid of the stigma that comes with not reading something you don’t like. Unless you are a book reviewer or researching a topic, you don’t need to read it.
Ignore reviews and form your own opinions
This might be controversial but I’ve found lately that many reviews, particularly on Youtube, focus on the negative aspects of books. So I’m just going to ignore them and decide for myself if I like the book or not.
Every time I read or listen to a review I already have an opinion when I open the book. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy. My favorite YouTuber said it is bad and therefore it must be bad or my YouTuber is proven fallible and that a can’t be!
I’m not saying that every review is worthless. But if there is a premise or author you are excited to read, skip the reviews and check out the book before scrolling through other’s opinions. Maybe it will be bad. But maybe not. By not taking other people’s opinions into consideration you are free to choose what you want to read without judgment and this allow you to read more. There is no cool kids table. We have our own tables, fill it with whatever books you want.
Create a reading bubble
No, I don’t actually have a big plastic bubble but I did create a small, technology-free zone in a corner of my home. While there is no natural light, there is privacy, and a decent lamp. The point isn’t to be picturesque, it’s to have a designated space where you can read. Leave your phone outside of reaching distance. Put it on silent. Tell yourself you are going to read one 2 chapters a day, uninterrupted.
By making a physical space to read, you are in fact telling yourself that you have space in your life for the habit. Trying to squeeze it in tells your brain it’s not a priority so it will get dropped off the to-do list if it’s crammed into the time right before falling asleep or during a work break at your desk. If you find it impossible to focus on reading, then creating such a nook might be the best way to get your brain on board with an hour of reading a day.