How To Make Reading a Daily Habit

How To Make Reading a Daily Habit


Bookshelf by Amelia-Jane
via Flickr

It is common to hear people say they wish they read more. “Read # books” tends to show up on many people’s Monthly Goals lists. Reading seems to be a happy thing that a lot of people want to have in their life but don’t always take the time for.

Instead of making time for reading, incorporate books into the things you are already doing.

Always Have A Book With You

Carry books with you everywhere! Whether it’s a paper-book or your e-reader, never leave home without it. We find ourselves with down-time a lot throughout the day. What do we do? Take out our phone. Check messages, play a game. You can just as easily fill these little moments with a book.

Sure, you’ll read only a page or two while waiting in line for lunch, but hey, that’s better than not at all. Reading doesn’t have to be like watching a movie. You don’t need to set aside time to sit down and read the full story; or even a large chunk of it. Just bring that story along with you everywhere you go and read little pieces at a time. The more you become involved in the story, the more you find yourself breaking out your book to get another page in.

Read Everywhere

  • When waiting on line
  • In the elevator
  • On the train/bus
  • Waiting for the train/bus
  • While eating
  • Waiting for someone
  • Drinking coffee/tea
  • Waiting for dinner to cook

Especially with e-readers, there is little excuse for not being able to read at a moment’s notice.

Do Not Read Before Bed

Reading stories is fun. It should invigorate you not put you to sleep. Reading in bed will cause you to associate reading with being tired. No wonder people say reading puts them to sleep.

A little mental trick is to think of it in terms of a story. As adults, we have read so many textbooks that sometimes the word “book” itself causes mental images of falling asleep to boring college textbooks. If you’re reading fiction, then you’re really reading a story, in book format.

Use The Library

Not only is the library FREE, but it also gives you a deadline. Take advantage of the added pressure to keep reading momentum going.

Read What You Like

Instead of choosing a book because you “heard it was good” or trying to get through an arbitrary list of 100 “Must-Reads”, pick stories you know you will like. Whether it’s a fictional story about a murder or a non-fiction story about survival, pick a story that will enthrall you!

Don’t Read What You Don’t Like

Some folks are fine not finishing a book and some refuse to not finish a book. I’m on the fence. I try my hardest to finish every book but I won’t torture myself to do so.

I give every story 100 pages to capture my interest. If, after 100 pages, I can’t get into the story, hate the characters, or hate the writing, then I will give-up. There is little sense in forcing yourself to read something.

Reading is something to look forward to, not dread.

It May Not Be For You

Books are just one of the many mediums for storytelling. Music, television/movies, and theater are all other mediums for storytelling. You don’t have to like all of them (or any of them). No one says you have to read stories in books. No one says you have to watch stories performed live. Do what you like.

Everyone’s different. I love music, books, theater and some movies but television programming is not my preferred medium for stories. It’s all a matter of what you like.

You can view my past reading recaps to find book suggestions. Book readers, what are your tips for reading more? Non-book readers, what usually hinders you from reading?


13 Replies to “How To Make Reading a Daily Habit”

  1. I never read before bed! But, that’s only because I can’t stop and end up reading till 4 in the morning. I end up being super-tired at work. Great tips though! I will try to read while waiting in line/while cooking.

    1. This definitely happens to me when reading on the train. So many times I have almost missed my stop!

  2. It may be hard to believe, especially on the mobile landsacpe, but some games have excellent stories too ;). Also, I like graphic novels as well, so I use an app to read those on my phone too.

  3. I think the final question should be reversed. I read a lot – so my advice would be to love reading, and then do it a lot. We ought to ask people who dont typically like reading what makes them pick up a book.

    1. That’s a really interesting question. With the way people have “book lists” it seems like something everyone thinks they “should” do but I haven’t heard a good reason why that is. Although I must admit, I can’t process in my brain how someone can not enjoy reading.

  4. Great tip about always having a book on you. I find the next read by putting a book I love on Amazon and at the bottom of the page there are recommendations, “you may also like” “people who bought that book also bought” so it is likely you will enjoy them too.

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