Most of us recognise the importance of reading. We even make firm resolutions every New Year’s Day to read more. But what happens as months pass by? The enthusiasm starts to fizzle out and we blame it on “too much to do, too little time”. While some of us quit after a book or two, a few of us manage to soldier on and build a daily habit of reading. Attribute it to its countless rewards, reading has remained popular even in a heavily digital and busy world.
Enhancing expression and language, strengthening the vocabulary, improving communication skills, preventing cognitive decline, and fighting depression are a few of the many benefits of a reading habit. Research found that 69 percent of employers look to hire people with good communication skills.
At times, reading may not seem just as effortless as we’d like it to be. It may even feel like a chore, especially if we lead an extremely busy life. So, how do we reap the benefits of this classic pastime?
Here are seven easy steps to help cultivate a daily habit of reading.
Find the right book
To start with, read what you find interesting because if you don’t, you might soon get bored and quit. If you don’t know what to pick, ask your friends, colleagues or family members for recommendations. The idea is to select a book that captures your interest. Once you have finished reading, continue with the process. After some time, you will know which genres excite you the most.
Carry books at all times
Many find it difficult to develop the habit of reading due to lack of time. It’s a common problem, but with a simple solution. All you need to do is carry a book with you at all times. This way, you can find enough time to read. You can read while commuting to work or while waiting for a friend at a café. Read whenever you have the time to spare. When books are easily accessible, you tend to stick to the habit more often than not.
Create a list of favourite books
Sometimes, people don’t know what exactly to read, even though they love reading. Even after finding the right books, you may struggle with where to begin. In such cases, it is useful to make a list of all that you want to read. Take your time and write down the genres you would like to explore and the authors you would like to read. A comprehensive list of books will keep you motivated to read more often.
Try the rule of 50
The rule of 50 is a principle that tells you when you should stop reading a book. Choose a genre that you may find interesting and commit to reading the first 50 pages. If the book fails to capture your interest after 50 pages, then it’s not for you. On the other hand, if you find yourself going beyond the 50 pages, keep on reading. This way, you can explore books without feeling the need to complete them if they don’t pique your interest.
Set a time aside to read
Reading improves your ability to focus, makes you empathetic, and shapes your imagination. However, as mentioned earlier, it can be challenging to set aside time to read when you have a busy schedule. As such, it is important to plan your day in advance and keep some time aside for reading. It doesn’t matter whether you devote 10 or 15 minutes to reading, as long as you consistently adhere to it. By doing so, you make a conscious decision to read, which can go a long way in adopting a daily habit of reading.
Try to start small
You really want to read the book that you picked up from the library, but are struggling to finish it. You read a few pages and then get distracted. You end up dragging this book for months, but never seem to get around to reading it. If you are tired of such a routine, you need to change your approach. Reading is a habit you can develop by taking small steps. Reading a few pages every day or one chapter at a time is the way to go. Keep in mind that you don’t have to finish the entire novel right away. When you divide your goal into smaller steps, it becomes easier to achieve them.
Join a book club
Joining a book club is an excellent way to cultivate the habit of reading. If you are someone who picks up a book but never reaches the last page, book clubs can be your impetus to read more. Also, when you are around other readers, you learn more about genres and reading habits, which could rekindle your love for reading.