Develop a reading habit: Read Books Every day
If you have made up your mind to develop a reading habit, congratulations. You have taken the first step to uplift your life towards a better future. Reading books have tons of benefits, and you can learn a lot from them.
In this article, we will break down the science of learning a new habit, in our case, developing the reading habit.
The science of learning new habits can be perfectly understood by reading The Atomic Habits by James Clear.
It is an excellent book breaking down habits into simple yet enjoyable ways to learn or unlearn any habit. I strongly suggest you read it.
We will use the same principles to explain developing a reading habit.
So let’s get going.
1) The Cue:
The first thing to address to develop a reading habit is having some catalyst that notifies you to read a book. It could be an alarm if you plan to read it at a specific time, or you could do it after performing a particular activity, such as after meditation.
Even your book could be a stimulus to pick it up and read. To develop a reading habit, place your book someplace noticeable that you see it. You will not read books if you keep it someplace hard to find.
The goal here is to have those triggers as often as possible in your life so that you are hardwired to read a book after that. You see a book, you read it. You set a timer for a book, and you read it. Done your morning meditation/workout, pick up a book, and read it.
Actions You Can Take:
1) After getting up, make your bed and place the book on the pillow: Add this to your morning routine: get up, make the bed, and set the book on the pillow. It is a simple technique to prepare your surroundings for future reading. When you climb into bed at night, there will be a book in a prominent place urging you to read a few chapters.
2) Set an alarm: If you like to plan things, you can set an alarm when you want to start reading a book. This method is preferable if you wish to do it in the early morning. You have fewer events to get distracted and prevent you from setting off the alarm.
Adding it to your morning routine, you will find a better grip on your day. Scheduling when to read could lead you to plan your whole day better, and you can spend time thinking in advance.
No habit will stick to last unless you desire it. Your oldest habits are the ones that you crave every day. It could be drawing, coding, or exercising.
To crave reading a book, you can perform multiple actions:
1) Talk with your friends: It may appear easy, but if you have friends who enjoy reading, it becomes more appealing to read more yourself. Belonging to a tribe is one of the most primal human aspirations. Building a reading habit is particularly appealing if reading books helps you blend in with your peers.
2) Join A Book Club: Here’s an excerpt from Atomic Habits: “Join a group where your desired behavior is the normal behavior.” The behaviors of others around you will appear normal to you. Fortunately, you can affect who you’re surrounded by through the organizations you make or join.
People who have the luxury of having book clubs around them can use this method. When you find yourself among people matching the same vibe, you tend to perform the actions more frequently.
In this step, you perform the action you have been aspiring to do. Things don’t make sense if you spend too much time planning instead of doing the tasks yourself. It becomes counterproductive.
To perform the actions, make sure you have as much friction as possible.
1) Start with a few pages: Do not overwhelm yourself by reading thick books on the initial days. Go for books with fewer pages, preferably 50-70 pages. You can plan to read one page per day for a few weeks. When you begin to develop the habit of sitting down every day and picking up the book regularly, you will automatically read 4-5 pages someday.
Picking up short books also reinforces your intentions. Completing the books gives you the motivation to continue the practice and read more and more books.
2) Try different platforms: If books are not for you, you can test between platforms such as Audible, Kindle, and other services. Listening to audiobooks can free up your hands to do your daily chores, thus utilizing your time better.
Make reading books satisfying for you. Ensure you get something out of it to make it a fulfilling event.
1) Read your interest: Pick up the books that you find interesting. Your curiosity would very much allow you to finish the book. If you’re enjoying a book—no matter the topic—you’ll find the experience satisfying and have a reason to read again in the future.
2) Read things beneficial to you: If you are trying to learn anything new or want to know about some new software in the market, read about it. You are much more likely to read when you feel you will receive something in return. If a book can help you solve those problems or enable you to achieve your goals, you’ll naturally be more satisfied with it.
Reading is a timeless and effective means to broaden our perspectives in a world where knowledge is easily available at our fingertips. Developing a regular reading habit provides opportunities for knowledge, creativity, and personal growth. It’s a passport to exploring different cultures, immersing ourselves in intriguing stories, and learning from history’s best minds.
Reading provides an opportunity to unplug from technology and interact with information in a deeper, more meaningful way. So why not begin on this adventure? Begin small, make attainable objectives, and observe how your reading habit improves your understanding of the world and yourself.