When you’re a book-loving kid reading comes naturally. I was borrowing the maximum books from the local library each week. In school, I had a gold library card every year as a reward for reading 100 books in six months. But, by the time you enter university and or the workforce, reading becomes a chore. Because you’re reading every day; articles, textbooks, email chains, procedural guides, contracts, and more. Not to mention the struggle to find free time outside of ‘required reading’. Reading takes focus, and after a long day on the job, it can be hard to find that focus so, for me; I didn’t want to bother. I went from a kid finishing a book in six days to an adult taking six months just to get through one book. In the past few years, I have worked consciously to develop reading habits that helped me take back my time with books and enjoy the process of reading again. Here’s my how-to guide on creating your reading habits.
1. Pick something you really want to read.
Now hear me out, I know this is self-explanatory but some people will dislike a book and force themselves to keep reading anyway. Never feel discouraged if a book you start is not to your liking and you have to stop reading it, this is better for you in the long run. Reading something you’re not interested in won’t help ignite your desire to read again. Pick a book that is your favourite genre, subject, or a new release that you’re interested in. Read reviews from other readers and get excited about your new adventure!
2. One at a time!
Some eager readers make the mistake of having multiple books on the go at once because there’s so much to read! This is a recipe for disaster. Multiple books will leave you unable to focus on a single plot thread and can quickly become overwhelming. Stick to one book from start to finish and the journey will stick with you.
3. Create the space, create the intention.
Free time is hard to come by. Sometimes you might be able to steal 20 minutes on your morning commute or your lunch break, but this is not feasible when starting out reading more again. Those time limits can be rushed, and you won’t enjoy the reading that you get done. The best groundwork for good reading is to set up your favourite relaxing space. Run a bath and light a candle, sit outside with a cup of tea, go to your local café and sit in your favourite spot with a good drink. Regardless of your space, always remove distraction, turn your phone on silent and put it out of sight. Set yourself a time limit or a page limit; ‘I’ll read for an hour’ or ‘I’ll read fifty pages’. Once you’ve set yourself the goal there’s nothing to do but enjoy your relaxing space and the book in hand.
4. It’s dangerous to go alone, take a friend.
Sometimes the best methods for good habits are to hold ourselves accountable. Find a friend who also wants to get back into reading, maybe you stick to yourselves, or you join a
book club. You’ll have someone to discuss the latest and greatest chapter to, and the commitment to a group activity will help you stay on track in the long run.
It’s hard to find time in our schedules for ourselves and some of these habits may work better than others. The most important thing to focus on when getting back into reading is finding what makes you happiest. Whether you’re a slow reader or a fast reader, fiction or non-fiction. The most important tip I can give you is to enjoy a good book