"My father always says, 'Never trust anyone who has a TV bigger than their bookshelf.' So I make sure I read."
-Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
If you haven't held a book for years, maybe it's time you consider opening one! Parents and teachers have taught us the importance of good reading habits. There’s no doubt that reading books has many benefits, but many people simply don't have time anymore due to their busy schedules. But if you're interested in improving your memory, learning new vocabulary, improving your concentration, and in accumulating wisdom, it's time to develop a reading habit.
In this article, I'll be sharing six easy tips to get you in the habit of reading.
#1 Set a goal
Like with any task, you should first start with a goal in mind, and that goal is to start reading. This will give you direction, help motivate you, and allow you to focus on completing your goal.
#2 Pick a book you actually like
You are investing your precious time when reading a book so make sure it's worth it. Have a genre in mind and go online for the top books under that genre (you can also ask your bookworm friends for recommendations!). Once you have selected a title that piques your interest, read the book's reviews and the synopsis. This will help you decide if the book is worth reading.
#3 Place it somewhere visible
You may have a dozen books with you, but if you place them somewhere you won't see all the time, chances are, you won't read them at all!
Consider placing it on your bedside table or your bed. That way, when you wake up or before you hit the sack, you'll constantly be reminded to read the book (plus, the bedroom is usually a quiet area making it an ideal place to read!)
#4 Read Daily
One key ingredient to making something a habit is to be CONSISTENT.
Try taking it one day at a time. It doesn't matter if it's just one chapter or one page, just as long as you do it EVERY SINGLE DAY for one week. After a week, try adding another week, and so on.
The more you get used to doing something like reading, the easier it will be for that new habit to become a part of your lifestyle. Reading will come naturally - just like breathing!
#5 Remove distractors from your reading space
Have you ever found yourself checking your phone but ended up mindlessly scrolling through Instagram for 3 hours? Yep, wasted time there.
In today's phone-addicted society, people are so glued to their smartphones (number 1 distractor) that they feel the need to check their phones every second. If you are a "Phono Sapien" wanting to form a reading habit, it is best to eliminate distractions by putting your phone away. You can put it in another room, or if you must have it beside you as an alarm, I suggest putting it on silent mode.
Your DMs can wait for an hour or two!
#6 Be Patient
So what if you missed a day of reading? It shouldn't be a reason to be mad at yourself or quit reading.
Be kind to yourself. If you skip a day, pick yourself up and start where you left off. Yes, consistency is important, but if you are driven to make reading a habit, you shouldn't let one day or two bring you down. And if you think you're running too slow, don't fret! You are meant to read and digest the book's content – not finish it in a week! Since you are just getting into the habit of reading, you might move through the pages slowly compared to others, and that's okay! As long as you understand what's on the page and move at your own pace, you should be fine!
With these six simple tips, you should be well on your way to developing a reading habit. So start now! The sooner you start, the sooner you'll see results.
"A year from now, you may wish you had started today."