5 Ways To Develop A Good Reading Habit
You know reading is good for you, but you can’t seem to concentrate on reading the book you’ve picked up from the library. You get a few pages in and then get distracted, and turn to the computer or your television. You end up dragging the book around for months, moving it from the coffee table to your bedside table to your briefcase, but you never seem to get around to actually reading it.
If you’re tired of this routine, there’s hope: reading is a habit you can develop and there are many ways you can turn into a bibliophile.
Make time for it
Unless you schedule reading time in your busy day, you may not be able to squeeze it anywhere between all of the other commitments and projects and tasks already crowding the calendar.
Even if you can only devote 15 minutes for reading— the time it takes you to commute to work— do put it in your schedule. By doing so you assign a sense of importance to it, and this will ensure that you treat reading with respect rather than ignoring it.
Always carry a book.
Wherever you go, take a book with you. When I leave the house, I always make sure to have my drivers license, my keys and my book, at a minimum. The book stays with me in the car, and I take it into the office and to appointments and pretty much everywhere I go, unless I know I definitely won’t be reading (like at a movie). If there is a time when you have to wait (like at a doctor’s office or at the DMV), whip out your book and read. Great way to pass the time.
Make a list.
Keep a list of all the great books you want to read. You can keep this in your journal, in a pocket notebook, on your personal home page, on your personal wiki, wherever. Be sure to add to it whenever you hear about a good book, online or in person. Keep a running list, and cross out the ones you read. Tech trick: create a Gmail account for your book list, and email the address every time you hear about a good book. Now your inbox will be your reading list. When you’ve read a book, file it under “Done”. If you want, you can even reply to the message (to the same address) with notes about the book, and those will be in the same conversation thread, so now your Gmail account is your reading log too.
If you really want to read more, try cutting back on TV or Internet consumption. This may be difficult for many people. Still, every minute you reduce of Internet/TV, you could use for reading. This could create hours of book reading time.
Set a high goal.
Tell yourself that you want to read 50 books this year (or some other number like that). Then set about trying to accomplish it. Just be sure you’re still enjoying the reading though — don’t make it a rushed chore.
Have a reading hour or reading day.
If you turn off the TV or Internet in the evening, you could have a set hour (perhaps just after dinner) when you and maybe all the members of your family read each night. Or you could do a reading day, when you (and again, your other family members if you can get them to join you) read for practically the whole day. It’s super fun.
Banjo Tola Francis
Public Speaker, Writer And Chief Facilitator At Leaders Digest International