Are you someone who has always wanted to build a reading habit, but either failed or didn’t know where to start? Well, you’re in luck because in this blog I hope to help you get back into reading!
Why We Read
I will admit that the education system has a way of ruining the reading experience for many people. But if you keep reinforcing the idea that you want to read for yourself and nobody else, I believe it can begin to help change your mindset.
Often people read for pure entertainment or as a form of escapism. Although there is a lot to learn from reading, you never have to pressure yourself with only non-fiction, self-help education books. There is also a lot to learn from fiction novels while still having fun.
//Exploring fantastical worlds of faroff kingdoms and connecting on a deeper level with many of your favorite characters.
Also, never worry too much about how many books or pages you’ve read, because at the end of the day none of it matters. First and foremost, remember that you are reading for yourself and nobody else.
So, focus on the great benefits that comes with reading such as:
- improves concentration and helps build better focus on tasks
- Expands your vocabulary and makes you a better spoken person
- Reduces stress and helps you relax
- Have more interesting conversations
Discover Your Reading Taste
Let’s first begin with figuring out what it is you like to read first. Whether that means discovering a genre you love reading about or an author you can’t get enough of.
If you have read some books recently or within the past year, try thinking back to them and keep track of which ones you enjoyed and which ones you hated.
Ask yourself what do you enjoy reading:
- what genres do you lean more towards
- Character or Plot driven
- what kind of troupes do you most enjoy reading regardless of how repetitive they may be (e.g. heists, enemies-to-lovers)
Ask yourself why a certain book didn’t work for you:
- bad/poor writing
- predictable plot
- flat characters
- lack of worldbuilding
But if you’ve never read a book since school and it has been a couple of years since you even thought about reading, then I recommend you try to read some classics! Now, I know what many of you may be thinking, reading classics is either incredibly pretentious or you need some highly intellectual brain to understand them. Well, I can’t blame you for thinking that way, however maybe it is time to change that way of thinking.
Classics can be a great place to start with reading if you don’t know what your taste is, because you will at least know that the book you are reading has some literary merit to it. Besides, if a classic was so beloved for many centuries, there must be a reason why it is so loved.
In fact, the term “classic” refers to something “judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.” In other words, TIMELESS!
It’s also important to note that classics come in many different genres, not just the common political dystopias (1984, Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451)
If none of these novels sound interesting to you, maybe try some translated classic literature. You’d be surprised by how books from different countries can teach you so much about their cultures while still being incredibly entertaining.
I recommend checking out these links below for more information on World Literature:
Where to Read?
Hopefully by now you know what book(s) you want to read, so now we must figure out how and where to read. First, decide whether you prefer reading physical books, e-books, or listening to audiobooks. All of which are perfectly valid mediums to read!
1. Buy Them
For physical books, the most common option is to go buy the book yourself. Whether you order it online or buy it in a bookstore, that way you can show support to some of your favorite authors.
However, if buying books doesn’t seem promising to you or you just simply don’t have the convenience of spending any more money on books, then here are some cheaper alternatives!
2. Borrow books from your local library
This option is the most ethical and helps support your local libraries to continue getting more books for everyone. However, there are some major pros and cons to using this method.
PRO: books are FREE and plentiful
CON: the due date can be a mild inconvenience to your reading experience, not all of your books will be available when you want
3. Get a kindle/nook
PRO: these devices are small and convenient to carry around, has unlimited books ready to read when you want
CON: very expensive, you will lose the feeling of holding a physical book (if that’s something you prefer)
4. Online/Virtual Libraries
*SideNote for any students reading this: Go check out your school’s website for any free resources they may have! You’d be surprised by how many programs they offer if you had taken the time to research.
- Libby/Overdrive https://www.overdrive.com/apps/libby
- CloudLibrary https://www.yourcloudlibrary.com/
- Scribd https://www.scribd.com/
PRO: books are FREE, and available in both e-book or audiobook format
CON: some libraries won’t have the book you want (but you can add a request on the website), has a three-week due date
Maintaining the Habit
Okay, so you’ve found a book you want to read and have a copy ready to go. Well consider yourself mission accomplished because you finally gotten yourself back into reading!
However, the hard part comes with keeping the habit. But, there are many easy ways to do this.
One you can keep track of you reading with habit tracking apps such as “Habit” https://apps.apple.com/us/app/habit-tracker/id1438388363 (Apple Store)
Habit tracking apps are such an easily accessible way to keep track of how much you are reading because everyone has their phone with them all of the time.
Or you can keep track of your reading stats with public domains such as:
– GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com
– The StoryGraph https://app.thestorygraph.com
Or if you prefer to personalize your habit tracking sheets, then you can start a reading journal where you can log all of books yourself:
> Bullet Journal for physical
> Notion for digital https://www.notion.so
Personally, I use a mixture of all three strategies and they have been extremely helpful to me with maintaining my reading habit. One because it serves as a constant reminder of all the books I have read and motivates me to read more. But feel free to adjust any of these tips to your liking or even use a combination of two or three.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoy the reading journey you’re about to embark on! Comment any tips you have for keeping your reading habits