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How to Pick Up the Habit of Reading Books — 5 Honest Tips

I’m probably not the only one that wants to make reading a daily habit.

By Ionutz KazakuPublished 10 months ago 8 min read
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

I’m probably not the only one that wants to make reading a daily habit. It has been 5 months since I introduced reading to my schedule. I don’t regret it. Moreover, this is probably one of the best things that I have done this year.

I set a goal to read 24 books this year. For some, this sounds like a lot or maybe a very small amount. However, this is the perfect amount of books to keep me fired up and also help me stick to this goal.

But it wasn’t always like this. I had a period of 2 years when I was picking up and giving up on reading every 2–3 months. I was reading because it was a “productive” thing to do and I was racing between lines to finish the chapter faster so I can go on with my life. Such scenarios do not last for a long time because nothing sticks if you don’t enjoy doing the activity, habit etc.

Whereas now, I genuinely enjoy reading. I understood that not only it is entertaining but I learn a lot of new things. That’s one of the biggest reasons that I keep reading, I become smarter every day. I was always the type of person who said that “I would rather watch a movie, learn through a video format like youtube”. Don’t get me wrong, the video format is one of the best ways to learn something because of how alert it keeps us.

Reading is a different type of learning. There are books on certain topics that require 8 hours of reading. Let’s take for instance the topic “sleep”. You can watch a 10-minute video about it, however, it will be more of entertainment than actual learning. As soon as that information enters our brain we immediately forget about it. Reading books explains thoroughly the topic, from every point of view. Lots of arguments and examples are brought up. You are thinking about this topic for weeks because you tend to read the book during this period. You start implementing the lessons in your daily life and end up writing an article about it.

We should introduce every type of learning to our daily lives, including video format, podcasts and reading. It is a habit that makes huge changes in your life and I’m not the first one saying this. Here is my story of how I picked up this habit.

Start by reading something that you actually enjoy.

I’m being serious, it can be anything. If you are into cosmic cats who are bounty hunters, start reading a book about this. In February of this year, I was coming out of my depression phase. I wanted to pick up reading but there was no way that I would start reading something related to productivity, health, or science. I needed something fun, something that would get me excited to read every day for hours.

That’s when I decided to start reading the Harry Potter books. I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter Universe. I watched around 7 times the 8 movies. I can’t wait for the Hogwarts Legacy game to come out at the end of this year. As soon as I started reading the first book, I got immersed. I fell in love with the books. I realised how much I was missing out all these years.

I finished the first book, then I read the second one, and, the third book was my favourite, but, I stopped there. I got tired, and that’s when I decided to move on to something new, a new genre of books, maybe something that I can learn from. It was architecture, I also wrote an article “why architecture matters” about the book.

I fell in love with the reading habit because I started reading fantasy. A genre that was entertaining about a subject that I loved. That was my formula.

Please, start slow.

This is one of the hardest lessons I have learned. Patience. I used to start something and quickly give up on the habit or idea because I was burning out. I was burning out due to the overestimation of my powers. “I will start going to the gym tomorrow, 5 times a week, 90 minutes a session”. That is a bad idea.

Let’s take our example, “ I will start reading 1 hour every day, 3 books at a time, starting tomorrow”. You will give up in less than a week and come back to the idea in some months. The goal is just too high, for now.

Start by reading 10 pages a day. That’s 20 minutes a day. If it sounds a lot, lower the pages to 5. Deploy as little effort as you can, but stick to it. After some time you will start getting a better taste of reading and increase the page count.

I am reading 60–90 minutes a day. But I started reading for 10 minutes daily. Everyone starts at their own pace. Everything is individual. It takes time, but, if you stick to it, you will make some great progress.

Put reading in your timetable.

I will repeat the ending of the last paragraph. It takes time and you should stick to it. Like any other habit, the main objective is to do it on a regular. If you have set the goal to read every day then you must read every day. If you skip one day that is acceptable, but if you skip the second day then it’s over. The chance that you will get back to it is very low and you will have to start from 0 again.

It should be a rule at the start, but, with time, it turns into a habit, automation that doesn’t require strictness and awareness, you just do it.

I recommend adding reading before sleep. You will kill 2 birds with 1 stone. You will get your daily dose of reading. Plus, reading makes you sleepy which will help you fall asleep faster if not during the session. It is a better way of ending your day than spending it on the phone.

Read more books at a time.

I will be honest. I love reading, but, if I was to read 1 book at a time I would probably go insane. It gets boring if you read only 1 book. Read 2 or 3 books at a time. This is the best way to make reading exciting. You are immersed in 2–3 worlds at a time.

Please, don’t even think that you will forget the plot of your book. It is not true. As soon as you get back to the book, everything comes back. Of course, if you do not have a schedule and read once a week then yes, you will forget what the book is about. Some people even say that you get confused and tangle up plots between books. It is not true.

I for example read 2 books at a time. That’s because one of my monthly goals is to read 2 books. I tend to read scientific, psychological, health-based, political etc. books in the mornings. At night, before sleep, I read sci-fi or fantasy, something lighter.

But, again, introduce this part only after some time has passed. As soon as you got a grip on reading and feel the confidence, you can add more books to your reading sessions.

Buy a Kindle or any other E-book.

One of the best investments I have ever made is buying a Kindle. Let’s start with the fact that you have an entire library on one device. I have got every book that I read this year in my library. It takes me less than 30 seconds to reread a passage or a highlight of a book that I read.

If I want to write an article about a subject or book I open the app on the laptop and start writing. If I am on public transport I get my phone and start reading. I can always read.

The Kindle device is amazing. It is so light. I can hold it in my hand for 1 hour and I won’t get tired. In the morning I turn on the light mode to start reading my book and at night I turn on the dark mode and read my other book without getting any light exposure. The latest Kindle now has a warm light feature which is a better alternative to dark mode. It doesn’t suppress your melatonin that much, which helps fall asleep faster. A book requires 2 hands and a source of light.

I was the type of person who considered himself an “old school chap” that read books in a paper format. After I bought a Kindle I never got back to the old ways.

With the help of Kindle, I started reading more. I started buying more books because with 1 click it is in my library. Books on Kindle are always cheaper. If you are enjoying reading and want to keep this habit, buy a Kindle.

These 5 tips have helped me pick up reading and stick to them. I believe by applying them to your experiment of “making reading a habit” you will succeed in achieving it. I did. I am a very lazy person and always give up on things but here I am on my 12th book of this year. Give it a go and tell me how it went.

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About the Creator

Ionutz Kazaku

Writing articles, reading books, listening to podcasts — constantly learning.

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