How to Start a Reading Habit
If you are like me, you love to read, but sometimes struggle with getting back into a reading habit if it’s been a little while since you’ve picked up a book. I lost my reading momentum earlier this year and had a hard time trying to get it back. Thankfully, I managed to get back in the groove of reading regularly, and am so glad that I did! Here are a few things I found were helpful when getting back into a regular reading practice.
Read Something You Are Excited About
If I am struggling to get a reading habit to stick, it’s likely because I am not invested in the book I am reading. When you are first working on your habit, start with a book that you are excited to read. You can find something in your favorite genre, a book with a storyline that you enjoy, or even an educational book on something you’ve wanted to learn more about. All of these are great ways to ensure you are starting off with a book that makes you want to pick up the book and continue reading.
Tack Reading on to an Existing Habit
I mentioned this in my “Starting a Journaling Habit” post, but linking a new habit to an existing one is incredibly effective. If you already have a morning or evening routine, try adding a few minutes of reading to one of your existing habits in your routine. For example, if you take out your contacts and brush your teeth every night before bed, add 20 minutes of reading to your routine right after you brush your teeth. Adding this new habit after an existing one will make it easier to remember and more likely to become a habit. You can always extend your reading time once your 20-minute ritual becomes a regular habit.
Bring a Book with You
I know many of us aren’t really going anywhere right now, but if you are, bring a book with you! If you are still going to work in-person, bring your book to work so you can pull it out at lunchtime. On your way to an appointment? Stick your book in your bag so you can read it while you wait. Even if you only have a few minutes to read, it counts! Which brings me to my next point . . .
Even Just 10 Minutes Counts
Instead of scrolling on social media when you have 10 minutes free, read! Even if you can only squeeze in 5 or 10 minutes of reading, that still counts! It only takes a few minutes to get to a critical plot point, and once you are there, you will be that much more likely to reach for your book the next time you have a free moment. This is also a helpful tip if you are struggling to get into a book when you first start it. After a few 10 minute sessions, you might get into it! And if you don’t . . .
Don’t Be Afraid to Move on
Just because you started a book, does not mean you have to finish it. If you get a third of the way through reading something and realize that it isn’t for you, don’t be afraid to move on to something else. I am a completionist, so this is definitely something I have struggled with and has contributed immensely to my inability to get back into a reading habit in the past. I have learned that not every book is going to hit home and if one book is causing me to dislike a habit that I would normally enjoy, it’s ok to say goodbye and move on.
I hope these tips are helpful if you were hoping to get back into a reading habit! Now that winter is coming and the colder months are coming in strong, what a great time to curl up under a warm blanket with a new book!