How To Develop Reading Habit That Will Stick: 7 Practical Tips

how to understand what you read

In today’s article you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to develop a reading habit.

Reading is among the greatest pleasures of my life; over the years, it has been a source of much entertainment and much new knowledge.

But not everybody feels this way. For some, reading is a boring punishment that only serves to remind them of the worst times at school.

If you want to make it a habit to read every day, there are many things you can do to make your life easier:

How to Develop a Reading Habit

1. Read things that interest you.

It’s also important to avoid trying to read things that do not interest you. Except for work or school, or a family member’s debut novel a few man-eating squid who falls in love with an oak tree, do not read it. In all other circumstances, you control the agenda.

Find sci-fi boring? Don’t read sci-fi.

Find chick-lit boring? Don’t read the chicklit.

Find thrillers boring? Don’t read thrillers.

I believe you understand.

Don’t force it; if you do not like a genre on the first try, you will not like it on the tenth either. There’s no reason to feel bad about your own preferences; simply because your friends all read those fantasy novels does not imply you should too.

Compare that to reading things you enjoy. I haven’t got to force myself to read articles or books on productivity or finance; these topics interest me so much that I virtually all the time want to read them (it is one of my favourite ways to procrastinate, together with watching television and doing other, lower precedence work).

2. Reading should be a soothing activity.

Don’t add it to your to-do list, or even the most interesting book in the world will turn into a chore. Reading should be what you do after you have completed the tasks on your to-do list; do not change it to work.

3. Read how you want to read.

When you read this guide on screen, it may seem to be self-sabotage when I suggest that, if you have trouble reading on screen for a long time, you should not force yourself to do it. Switch to good paper; your eyes will thank you. I like to keep my books short, but, if reading as few as a thousand words from a screen is too much for you, that’s understandable.

Of course, ebooks have many benefits for their readers; You can read whatever you like on the train, safe from the possible negative judgments of others. Moving house with a large collection of books? Let’s hope, for the sake of your sanity, it is all contained in a device small enough to slot in your car’s glove box.

But good luck selling the ebooks you have already read. Good luck trying to read ebooks on the beach; likelihood is you will spend more time worrying about sand and water damage, and possible device theft if you dare to swim, or take a fast nap.

Ebooks aren’t for everybody; mature enough to accept that they might not be for you. It’s okay to let the ‘e-book revolution’ pass you by. While I can manage short articles online, I have purchased long non-fiction books in e-book form in the past and struggled to read them. For really long reads, I prefer the feel of the paper and the idea that I can disconnect from the digital world that’s so all-encompassing in modern life.

4. Start small.

If you are not used to reading every day, do not try to read for hours on end. Instead, start by trying to read for 15 minutes each day and build up over time.

5. Find time to read.

I’m not going to suggest that you get rid of your television. However, you may benefit from limiting your viewing to shows you really enjoy. If you ever find yourself scrolling through listings attempting to find something to watch, it might be time to put down the remote and grab a book.

Other activities that could be considered for replacement include using social media and playing games on your phone.

6. You haven’t got to finish the book.

Don’t make the error of thinking that, simply because you have ‘invested’ an hour of your time in a book, this means you should undergo to the end, even if you do not enjoy it. Save yourself hours of pain and tedium; move on to something else.

7. You haven’t got to read books ‘in order’.

Going through a book at your leisure can be plenty of fun. This does not all the time work; with fiction, obviously, you may must undergo the pages and chapters in chronological order to understand what is going on. But this is essentially not a requirement for non-fiction, where case studies and anecdotes can often be read as stand-alone entities. If you are tired of an idea the author has decided to explain with three different examples, when it looks like just one will suffice, do not feel bad about moving on to the next section.

Putting it all together

Keep these points in mind the next time you sit right down to read; with a little practice and dedication, reading every day will soon become second nature.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article on how to develop a reading habit. I actually hope that its content has been of good help to you.