“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life”- Joseph Addison
Imagine the time you used to sneak in your comic books between the textbooks, and found joy in the fictional characters. Seems like too long ago, doesn’t it? Well, times have changed today, amidst all the trappings of technology that are vying for your attention; you can barely concentrate on reading a book.
You will find yourself checking your phone or laptop intermittently, after every two pages of reading. This leads to dragging a book for months, as it finds a place in your coffee table or bag, but you never seem to spare enough time to give it a good reading.
But wait, there’s hope for you yet.
So if you wish to bring about a major shift in this routine, and awaken the bibliophile in you, then you’re at a right place. As you already must know, reading a good book can be extremely pleasurable, and allows you to learn things beyond the common knowledge, and you can get acquainted with the characters like you’ve been a part of their lives.
You can follow these tips to inculcate good reading habits.
- Fix a proper schedule.
You should set aside fixed timings during the day when you’ll indulge in reading, even if it’s for 5-10 minutes. These are the times when you feel the urge to read. For instance, you can take up reading during the time of breakfast or lunch. And if you also read every time you commute via transport, or right before you go to sleep.
So that makes it four times a day when you spare 10 minutes each or 40 minutes a day as a whole. Now that you’re off to a great start you need to maintain it every day. Now let’s move on to what more you can do.
- Always keep a book with you.
Take a book along, wherever you go. You can carry it along to your office and appointments and virtually everywhere, unless of course, you are certain that you won’t be reading at all, like while going for a movie.
If you’re at a place where you need to wait, take out your book and read. What could be a better and productive way of passing the time, right?
- Prepare a list.
List out all the great books you look forward to reading. You create the list in a pocket notebook, on your journal, or on your computer. Always take note when you hear about a good book, online or from a friend.
Also make sure to strike out the ones you are done reading. A little pro tip: you can create an email account to list out the books, and email to that address every time you come across a good book. That way you can turn your inbox into your reading list.
You can also consider replying to those email messages with a few notes related to the book, and those will be in the same conversation thread, so your email account can be turned into your reading log too.
- Limit the usage of television or internet.
In case of reading, if you want to accomplish something, you must cut back on TV or Internet consumption. This may seem difficult. Still, every minute you cut back on the Internet or TV, you end up spending more time on a book. This allows you to have hours of reading time.
- Find a comfortable and quiet place.
Find a space in your house where you can sit comfortably and curl up with a good book without any distractions coming in the way.
There should be no smart-phone, television or laptop near the chair to contain the interruptions, and no loud music or noisy roommates or family members.
- Read to someone.
A great way to imbibe the habit of reading more is by reading to someone else. You can read out to anyone be it an elderly person, a friend’s child or any child in your family.
Reading to others allows you to spread the bookworm craze as well. Additionally, it makes the listener feel inspired and flattered, and it also becomes convenient to stick to your reading habit.
- Maintain a journal.
Much like the reading list, this log should not only contain the title and writer of the books you will be reading but also include the start and finish date if possible.
You can also write down a small note next to each book with, which will briefly describe the impression you had on the story. Later when you go back to the log after a few months' gaps, it’ll be extremely delightful for you to see all the books you’ve read.
- Pay a visit to used bookshops.
You can go to a discount bookstore where you can return your old books and get a good discount on used books that are available in the store.
Typically, you can get a dozen or more books in a couple of pounds, so that way, buying books will never turn out to be a major expense.
Also, it's fun to check out the new books people have donated. So visit a used bookstore as frequently as you can.
- Go to a local library.
This one is of course, even more, cost-effective than a used bookshop. So, ensure that you frequent pay a visit to the library from time to time.
- Read engaging stories.
Look for stories that intrigue you and make you want to read further and further. Even if they aren’t masterpieces, they encourage you to go further into the story, and that's the primary objective of reading. When you are accustomed to the habit of reading, you can move on to more complex stories or subject, but initially stick to only the engaging ones.
John Grisham, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Robert Ludlum, Nora Roberts, Dan Brown, all these famous authors are famous for a reason; they are all amazing storytellers.
- Make it a delightful activity.
Make reading your favourite pastime of the day. Prepare a steaming cup before you dive into reading the book, or you can rustle up some other kind of treat.
Sit on a comfortable chair with a blanket. Read during sunrise or sunset, or at the beach.
- Write a blog about it.
One of the most effective ways to develop a habit is to write a blog about the book. In case, if you aren’t into blogging, create a blog for yourself. It’s free.
Urge your friends or acquaintances to read your posts, and provide book recommendations and comment on the ones you’re reading.
- Set higher goals.
Constantly remind yourself that you want to read at least thirty books this year. Then strive to accomplish it. Also, make sure you’re enjoying the whole process, don’t let it turn into a chore.
- Organize a reading day or hour.
If you switch off the TV or internet in the evening, you could have an hour or so when you and maybe all your family members can indulge in reading.
Or you could organise a reading day when you and your friends or family members can read for practically the entire day. It will be a fun activity.
So, with these practices, you will find yourself taking up the lost habit of reading in no time.
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