Tips to develop a lasting reading habit
You have heard it numerous times “Reading is the best habit”!
You also know that the most successful leaders are book nerds!
And celebrity book club is a thing and more and more celebrities recommend their favourite books almost every month!
But the question is do any of these make you sit and read a whole book?
Are you able to enjoy reading a good novel just like you love watching a YouTube Video?
To become an avid reader you need to be committed to adopting a habit of reading. However, just like any other habit, incorporating a regular reading routine in your life takes time and effort.
This is why in this post you’re going to learn how to cultivate a reading habit! Good reading habits that can help you fall in love with books. Simple hacks that helped me in my book reading habits. And you’ll also learn to avoid some bad reading habit.
In addition, you also get some amazing books list that can help you kick- to start your reading habit.
Now let’s get started!
Create a lasting reading routine
According to him, it’s a three-step formula of cue – routine- reward.
Basically, the cue is a visual trigger that helps our brain to remind us of that particular habit. Routine is your immediate response, the action you take. And the reward is obviously the joy or the good vibes after accomplishing those habits.
So let’s say you want to incorporate reading as a part of your daily habit. Then your first focus should be on creating a cue.
For instance, place a book next to your bedside table. So every time you get ready to sleep the book reminds you to start reading a few chapters. So you “read” before getting to sleep. This can also reduce the anxiety and stress of the day. Essentially your reward is good sleep.
You might also want to try carrying a book with you wherever you go. So when you are waiting somewhere it’s your cue to start reading. Or whenever you are on the couch put the book next to you so that it becomes your cue to start reading.
Define the purpose of your reading
Start by defining the purpose of your reading habit. Why do you want to be a reader? Is it because all your friends are reading? Or because you really want to enjoy a good story. Nothing is more motivating than defining your goals.
Let me tell you how “understanding the purpose” changed my reading habit.
Despite being a literature student I couldn’t enjoy books. I always wanted to read but I wasn’t able to focus on words or stories. But once I wrote down my purpose, why I want to read more books, I got so motivated to read more. I understood that reading books help me understand the world better, not just the names of cities but the people and culture. Also I realised reading actually can improve vocabulary.
So grab a notebook and write down the top 3 reasons to start reading more books!
Create a cosy reading environment
Having a perfect cosy reading nook can be an instant reminder for reading a book.
Creating a reading environment is not having a luxury couch or handwoven blanket. It can be as simple as having a folding chair plush throw pillow alongside your bedroom lamp. Essentially the setup should be such that it can allure you to the world of books and literature.
Ultimately, the idea is to create a homey reading area at your home. So go for the simple warm and cosy set-up, where you look forward to spending hours and hours every day. If you are looking for some inspiration check out some reading nook inspirations from amazon
Set a reading goal
Setting a reading goal encourages you to invest more time in reading. You might want to set an hourly or daily reading schedule. Find out what works for you.
In my case, setting a goal motivates me to read more. Earlier when I had struggled to read, my yearly reading goal boosted my reading. I was on a reading marathon. Rushing to the library every month to grab my next set of books.
If you love doing that, Goodreads is the best place to start. You can set a yearly reading goal, create a folder for books you want to read. However, you should never be overwhelmed to meet your reading goals. Remember your focus is to read more books that make you happy and delightful.
Choose the right book
Finding the right book to read may seem easy at first but I was dispirited when I couldn’t enjoy the popular titles.
Books from diverse genres seem to be over-complicated for me. So one of the best ways that worked for me was choosing one genre. Children’s books have been my favorite. For months I have been reading popular books from that genre. Sometimes I even picked up short classics or abridged versions of classics.
So how would you decide on a genre? Ask yourself what interests you the most? If you love travelling start with reading travel books such as “Eat pray and love” or “Into the wild”. Romance books and Non-fiction are also great choices. You don’t have to read a book just because it’s a bestseller.
Go to a Library or visit Bookshops
Visiting the library every week was a part of my routine. It’s a great way to squeeze more reading into your hectic life. This doesn’t have to start with purchasing numerous books. Libraries are clever ways to start because it’s much cheaper and you get to spend some time reading in a cosy environment.
Although I don’t really spend much time reading in the library I love visiting once a week just to get the reading vibes. I love browsing through the catalogues and scanning for genres and books.
As for bookshops, they are a great place to spend some time reading. Wandering around the bookshops inhaling the woody and musky smells of books and gazing at the gorgeous book covers or seeking out the recommendation of the staff is definitely something you should do to immerse yourself into books. Both bookshops and libraries are great places of joy and delight.
Invest in some reading gadgets
You don’t need to spend a large sum on your reading hobby. But doing some smart investment in things can actually help you become an avid reader.
For instance, if you are someone who loves reading e-book then you might want to consider buying a kindle paperwhite. Although smartphones and tablets can serve the purpose they are not essentially designed for reading long chapters. Investing in bookworm gadgets like e-readers can help you get focused. Also, they are more convenient and portable. Having thousands of books in one place can also motivate you to read more.
Over the last few years, I have been listening to audiobooks. Having someone narrate the story while you cook or do the house chore is far more entertaining. So I didn’t mind having an essential tool like bluetooth headphones that can give me a great narrating experience.
Track your books
Track your books to feel a sense of accomplishment. List down the books you’ve read a take time to rate. This is one of the best things that motivated me to read more books.
So how to track? Well, you can either do it online on Goodreads. Or you can create an excel sheet with all the books you’ve read. What I think is the best is using “a reading log”. I love the feeling of writing down my favourite books and giving ratings. So if you want a reading log for your own I have an awesome reading tracker in my Etsy shop.
Read multiple books of the same author
Reading the same author actually gives the advantage of knowing that author’s voice- tone and choice of words and the distinctive writing style that you begin to observe once you start to read more books.
I am a great fan of British Romance author, Santa Montefiore. I absolutely love the fact that she is a romance author. Her stories are set in beautiful and countrysides and often involve charming historical references. The aesthetic elements of her novels is the primary reason that I actually ended up reading more and more books. Currently, I am reading the most recent novel- Here and Now.
So I’d definitely suggest you read more works of the same authors you like until you think you are capable of exploring diverse genres and writing styles.
Enjoy your reading time
Reading is definitely not a task. It should be something that you must enjoy just like watching tv or scrolling through Instagram. When you take the joy out of your reading time it becomes dull and boring. But you know we are human so sometimes we may not concentrate like other days. So take a break from books. Maybe listen to a book podcast or a youtube video related to reading. Or even better, just take a quick walk in nature to feel refreshed.
Give it time
The most important part is to give it time. You can’t develop a habit of reading in two days. So make a plan that makes you comfortable. I would suggest a time frame of a month or two to start your reading habit.
Now that you know how to start your reading habit let’s just have a look at some meaningful habits of great readers. These are 7 good habits that you should be able to develop and become avid readers.
7 habits of effective readers.
- Read whenever you get free time.
If you want your habit of reading, stick with it, try reading whenever you are on a break. When I wanted to become a bookworm I incorporated reading often.
- Visit a library or bookstore once a week.
Surrounding yourself with books is another awesome trait of a book lover. Libraries are an awesome place to start if you are on a budget.
- Help others to find a good book
You know that feeling when your friends ask for your help in finding a good book. Accept it immediately and give them all your favourite books to read.
- Be curious to read more genres
It’s common to read one genre. I used to do that for a long time. But trying a new genre gives you a new perspective of storytelling.
- Explore more book related Podcasts or Youtube Channels.
One of the things that help me explore more books is definitely podcasts. Listening to authors and critics talk about books made me a better reader. I was able to understand the story and characters much better. One of my favorite podcasts is Books and authors.
- Enjoy local book sale
Books sales are indispensable to a bookworm’s life. So make sure you don’t miss any of them in your city.
- Get excited for book releases
I always want to read all of them at once. I often check on Goodreads to find out about hot releases and add them to my reading list.
While above mentioned are habits that you would want to cultivate. There are some other bad habits you might not want to have. If you already do any of these try to moderate them or stop it completely.
Poor reading habits to avoid
- Choosing only long books to read.
It took me years to understand that you don’t need to read long books to enjoy reading. As a matter of fact, when I wanted to develop my love for reading I only read short books.
- Reading only once a month
If you want to love reading you have to find the time to do it. You have to read daily.
- Reading books that you don’t enjoy
Should you read all the books till the last page? No! If you think you keep losing interest in reading, stop at once and pick a new book. You don’t have to feel guilty for doing that. Remember there are so many great books that are going to be your favourites.
- Skipping more pages often
You can definitely skip pages. But if you find yourself doing that repeatedly it’s just a bad habit you might want to get rid of.
Now that I have given you many tips on making reading a daily habit, let’s have a look at some good books to get you started.
Best books to start your reading habit
- Clap When You Land– YA- 432 pages
- Of Mice and Men– Classic – 107 pages
- Fan Girl– YA- 445 pages
- Matilda– Children’s classic – 240 pages
- Eleanor Oliphant is completely Fine– Contemporary- 383 pages
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo– Romance– 391 pages
- Untamed– Non fiction – 352 pages
- Ask Again, Yes-Contemporary- 390 pages
- American Dirt-Contemporary- 400 pages
- Goat Days– Indian Literature -255 pages
Ready to develop a lasting reading habit?
Books have helped me understand the world a lot better. I hope it does the same to you.
I have a little exercise for you to start right away.
- Choose a book from books to read list I’d recommend- Of mice and Men
- Add the book/books in your Goodreads
- Start reading immediately
- Finish reading the book and leave a review on Goodreads
- Write it on your book tracker
- Post in the comment of this post so that I can see your review.
Do you struggle to read more books? How many books have you read so far in this year? Let me know in the comments!
Always curious to hear from you,