Develop a Reading Habit at Home

Maybe you haven’t cracked open a book in a while. Maybe you just can’t seem to finish the one you started. Maybe you feel so bogged down by how heavy the world is that it feels like too much work to pick one up. If you want to make a habit out of reading, you are not too late to get started.

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” – Frederick Douglass

So, how do you really make the time to become a reader?

Let’s get started.

Here are 5 tips for how to develop a reading habit at home: 

#1. Read a variety of different types of books at the same time

This one may sound a little loopy if you’re not already a reader,” but trust me, you’re not always going to want to dive into a big meaty chapter if you don’t have the time for it.

Sometimes, you’re going to want to dip your toe in regardless of if you’re able to finish the chapter or not.

It’s often easy to dive into nonfiction books without the commitment of a full chapter. It’s also easier to stop in the middle of a paragraph and resume it without having to reread too much the next time you pick it up.

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader” – Margaret Fuller

#2. Try out different formats (like eBooks & audiobooks)

Book snobs suck. They’ll tell you it’s not reading if you can’t feel the pages, that ebooks & audiobooks don’t count. It is my firm belief that this opinion is a bad one and that these people need a swift kick in their pants. If you don’t feel comfortable kicking them, don’t call me, because I also won’t kick them, but hey, maybe somebody will.

Listen up: You can read however you want. And if you experiment with different formats, you may just find a way where you can finish more books and be smarter because of it.

“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.” – Carl Sagan

#3. Stop reading books that aren’t inspiring you

This is a controversial take and everyone’s opinion is different, so if you see what I’m saying and think, “Joe, kindly kick yourself in the pants,” that’s fine, but hear me out:

A thing about books is that they take the same amount of time to read whether you don’t like it at all or if it changes your life forever.

So give that book you bought a shot. No doubt. Maybe even keep reading on if you still have hope for it moving forward. But when you feel uninterested to return to it, don’t return to it. You could be reading something that actually alters your worldview for the better, and you can always return to that book you gave up on later if you really want to.

“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

#4. Be patient with yourself

I get paid to read, and I’m still slow at it. Some brains just work that way. And you better believe that when you jump into reading after not having done it in a while, you’re going to move through the pages slowly and you might have to reread some things.

Do you know what you should do in that case?

Go slow.

Recognize that all you can do is read one word after the other.

As long as you aim to understand what’s on the page and not just move through it to get it done, you’re going to exit this reading experience one book stronger than when you came in.

”Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz

#5. Separate yourself from your phone

I don’t know your lifestyle, but I do know that most of you have access to instant gratification that you can choose over reading.

Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. YouTube. Reddit. Netflix. It’s difficult to stay away when we feel like we might miss something.

I’m NOT telling you to stop that.

It’s pretty damn hard, and I’ll be the first to admit I don’t do as well as I’d like to. But for reading time, I have learned to do a much better job of leaving the internet behind.

When cracking open a book, I implore you to separate yourself from the internet. Leave it on the other side of the room. Go outside and don’t bring the phone with you. Go to a different room.

“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.” – Rene Descartes

In the end…

You can make reading as romantic as you want (favorite couch, favorite coffee, favorite candle, whatever) or you can pull out your book or Kindle without the romance—to just give yourself the permission to read.

Any way you do it (or don’t do it), books are going to be there when you’re ready for them. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s not part of your routine now or tomorrow or in January. Your time is yours. I want only for you to do whatever you want with it.


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