You know that reading is good for you. You know that you enjoy it. You love it when you find the time for it, but it’s such a rare thing to find the time to pick up a book nowadays. Well, today I want to share with you a few tips around how to get into the habit of reading again, so let’s get you back to that magical world of books!
I cannot tell you how many times I have people tell me that they would love to read, but don’t have the time. Or that they wish they could read as much as I do. I’m not sure whether they think that I have secret 25 hour days or that I do nothing but read throughout them?! I can assure that neither are true! But what I would say is that reading is important to me, so I make time for it. Reading is my escape, my time to switch off, I wrote Why Do I Read last year explaining more. And I think the key to it for me, is that it’s a habit. Reading is just something that I do, often every day, certainly every week.
This being the case, I had a think about some of the things I do, and things I have done in the past to get me out of a reading slump, so here are 10 tips for you to form that book habit again…
Reading Habit 1: Carry a book with you
There may well be pockets of time in your day where you could be reading a book. The commute to work (not suitable if you are the driver!), sitting outside school ready to pick up your children, waiting for appointments, lunch breaks, you get the idea. If you have a book with you at all times, you can squeeze a little reading in in any moments of downtime.
Reading Habit 2: Use a bookmark
Simple as. You don’t then need to waste time flicking through and remembering where you last read up to. And anything works as a bookmark, grab a postcard, some paper, a receipt, anything!
Reading Habit 3: Always have a TBR book pile
Don’t run out of books! If you’ve just read your first book in ages, you’re getting into the habit of reading again so you don’t want to lose that momentum by not having a next read ready. I’d say that you want to have at least 5 books on that to be read pile. You’ll want a few choices there so that you will have a next book ready for you that will suit your mood at that given moment. You don’t want to have just finished a great book and then go to grab your next read and be completely uninspired to pick any of them up. I’d say the bigger the TBR pile the better, though my husband might not agree with that!
Reading Habit 4: Visit the library
An endless array of free books awaits you! If you like to read but have been going through a reading drought, this is sure to reignite your passion for books. Ideally, try to visit alone so you have plenty of time to browse, but if that’s not an option, grab a good selection and maybe you’ll discover a new author or genre that you love. That TBR pile will be huge in no time at all.
Reading Habit 5: Make sure it’s a good book
Nothing will put you off reading regularly more than if it’s feeling like a chore. The book that you are reading needs to grab you. Don’t keep on reading a book that is just not doing that, so try something else or ask friends for suggestions of what to read. I would also recommend re-reading a favourite book or two to get you back into the rhythm of reading again. You’ll be flying through those reads in no time then!
Reading Habit 6: Join a book club
This is a great way to get recommendations if you are struggling to find that good book, and it ensures that you are reading at least one book a month. Look out for one locally to you, join an online club or pop over to Bring Back Paper and sign up for the newsletter there. We run a book club with a new book each month, and there’s always a thread in the Facebook group for discussion around it.
Reading Habit 7: Switch off the TV
Or simply ignore it. I get most of my reading done of an evening with the TV on in the background, as the Husband watches it. I read a lot and I can easily disappear into my book and not get distracted by things going on around me, so this works well for me. You might need to have no noise, so turn it off, or take yourself off elsewhere. People tell me they have no time to read but can then tell me all about what’s going on in the soaps! Each to their own of course, but there is time there, it’s just up to you how you choose to use it.
Reading Habit 8: Put down your phone
OK, not right this second, do at least read to the end of this post. But this one is key. Be honest with yourself, how much time do you spend each evening looking at your phone? Reading articles, checking social media, Googling this and that. We all do it, but if you want to make time to read, then I would guess that this is the biggest change that you can make in order to fit in some reading time.
Reading Habit 9: Go to bed early
Go to bed a little earlier each night and read before you go to sleep. This has got to be the easiest way to fit more reading time into your day and it’s a good one for forming a habit. It’s also a great way to switch off at the end of each day, as your mind focuses in on your book and not the day you’ve had or the screens you have just been watching.
Reading Habit 10: Make it a priority.
This is the biggest one. Reading needs to be a habit, but in order to make it so, you need to make it a priority. If you want to get back into reading, tell yourself that it’s important to you to do so, remind yourself of how much you enjoy it. If you do some or all of the above, it will quickly start to become a habit once more. You will always have a book on the go. With a constant TBR pile you will always be able to reach for and start another book as soon as you finish one. It’s a wonderful world!
And if you need further incentive to read, then check out 12 Reasons to Pick Up a Book Right Now.
What else would you add to these? And has this helped you if you’re wanting to get back into the habit of reading again?
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