Reading Habit 101: 7 Proven Hacks + 5 Benefits That Will Help You

Spread the love




Developing a reading habit is a significant part of building a positive mindset. Reading as a habit holds the power to transform and uplift your wellness quotient. It is an important part of almost every successful person’s lifestyle. It is truly a hobby that makes a lot of difference in people’s mindsets.

Stephen King says, in his book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all: Read a lot and write a lot.” He emphasizes how reading and writing go hand in hand. 

I wanted to be a professional writer for a long time but I was never a reader. While I have been consistently feeding my passion by building a daily writing habit for three years now, I built a reading habit slowly. It didn’t come as naturally as writing. 

Being a literature student, reading is expected to be a part of your routine. But, it was a little different for me. While I explored myself as a writer and absolutely loved writing, I was never an avid reader. But, ever since I began my writing career, I have tried my best to include reading in my schedule.

A reading habit doesn’t just set you apart from the crowd but it also improves your mental well-being. Each book you read isn’t just an addition to your personal library but also adds to your all-over improvement.

Reading is an essential skill that opens up a world of knowledge, imagination, and personal development. Irrespective of the genre you prefer, reading has numerous benefits that can significantly impact your life. 

It helps you to communicate effectively. It improves your vocabulary, enhances your critical thinking skills, and expands your perspective on life. Reading also allows you to explore different viewpoints, gain empathy, and develop a deeper understanding of the world around you. 

Reading also stimulates your brain. It improves your memory retention and enhances your ability to stay focused. It is a great stress reliever as it transports you to different times and places, giving you an escape from everyday life.

In a world dominated by technology and short attention spans, developing a reading habit is a transformative experience that can enrich your life in countless ways.

However, some people find it quite difficult to build a reading habit. They find it hard to stay consistent and follow a reading schedule. Thus, in this blog, you will 7 proven hacks to develop reading habits and 5 major benefits that you can enjoy with it.

 

 Reading Habit 101: 7 Proven Hacks + 5 Benefits That Will Help You

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 25% of American adults have not read a book in the past year. This shows the declining reading habits in the present times. The rise of digital distractions, such as social media, streaming services, and gaming, are the major reasons behind this. 

However, reading habits can vary across demographics. The same survey also revealed that educated people and those with higher incomes read more frequently. Women are more likely to be regular book readers compared to men. 

Understanding these statistics emphasizes the need to develop a reading habit for personal growth and intellectual stimulation.

 

Understanding the Psychology Behind Reading Habit

The psychology behind reading habits is complex and varies from person to person. While some people are naturally drawn to reading, others struggle to develop the habit. Understanding the underlying factors that influence avid readers can help you overcome any barriers and cultivate your love for reading.

  1. One key factor is motivation. Identifying your personal motivations for reading is a powerful catalyst for developing a reading habit. I was never fond of reading but I was able to build a reading habit because I was motivated to build my writing career. My desire to write as a professional always fueled me to read even when it wasn’t the most comfortable thing for me.

Thus, find your motivation behind building a reading habit. Whether it’s the desire for knowledge, escapism, or personal growth, find your intrinsic motivation. This will keep you engaged and committed to reading regularly.

  1. Another psychological aspect that contributes to your reading habit is the role of conscious habit formation. I used to read every night before bed when I was trying to build my reading habit. Now, I do it whenever I find the time to do it, even during the day, because I enjoy it. 

When you consciously set aside your reading hour and make it a part of your routine, you train your brain to associate reading with relaxation and enjoyment. With time, these conscious efforts become a habit, making it easier to read every day.   

 

7 Proven Hacks to Develop a Killer Reading Habit

If you are someone who finds it extremely difficult to build a reading habit, here are 7 proven hacks from my reading journey that will help you.

 

1. Create a reading-friendly environment 

Dedicate a cozy nook in your home to read, that is free from any distractions. Surround yourself with books, comfortable seating, and good lighting to create a peaceful ambiance that encourages you to read. I like to read in bed at night with this table lamp that persuades me to read with its beautiful lighting. 

 

2. Start with shorter books or genres you enjoy

It is important to start with books on topics that you enjoy. For example, my first book was “On Writing” by Stephen King because I wanted to understand the nuances of professional writing. So, if you’re new to reading or you’re struggling to develop the habit, begin with shorter books or genres that interest you. You can gradually increase the complexity and length of your books as your reading habit strengthens. This is what I did too.

 

3. Set a reading schedule

Establish a consistent reading schedule that works for you. For me, it’s before my bedtime. For you, it can be in the morning, during lunch breaks, or your daily commute. The key is to make it a priority and stick to your schedule as much as possible.

 

4. Join a book club or reading group

Engage with others who share your love for reading. This is not only motivating but it also provides a sense of accountability. You can join a local book club or participate in any online reading community to discuss your latest read, recommend it, and gain new perspectives about it.

 

5. Try audiobooks or e-books

I read “On Writing” on my laptop in 2020 because I didn’t start buying physical books in the beginning. It was a few months later when I started enjoying reading that I started them. This is my personal collection as of now. 

reading habit

You can do this too to build your reading flow. If you struggle to find time to sit down with a physical book, listen to audiobooks or read from e-books. They allow you to enjoy books while multitasking or during commutes.

 

6. Limit screen time

Excessive screen time has become a real issue today. Reading is an effective way to reduce and replace. You can set aside specific periods each day where you disconnect from electronic devices and devote that time solely to reading.

 

7. Celebrate reading milestones

I recently completed reading “Bhagavad Gita” and it felt like my biggest reading achievement. The complexity of the book made me re-read a chapter multiple times to absorb the teachings. Then I celebrated completing it with a little jewelry gift for myself. 

You can also reward yourself when you reach reading milestones, such as finishing a book or achieving a specific reading goal. You can treat yourself to a new book, a cozy reading session, or any other reward that motivates you to continue reading.




As you implement these 7 proven hacks, you will develop a killer reading habit that will transform your life and open up a new world of knowledge and imagination for you. And trust me when I say this, you won’t be able to return to your old self after you have built a reading habit. Things will change inside you. 

 

How to Set Reading Goals and Track Progress?

Setting reading goals is essential in developing a reading habit. Completing these goals keeps you motivated and doesn’t allow you to fall out of the habit. 

You can start by determining how much time you will dedicate to reading each day or week. 

Set realistic goals that are achievable after considering your schedule and commitments. For example, aim to read for 20 minutes every day or finish a book per month.

Next, tracking your progress is equally important as it provides a sense of accomplishment. You can either use a reading journal or a digital app. You can record the books you’ve read, the number of pages you’ve completed, and your thoughts or reflections on each book. 

 

5 Benefits of Developing a Reading Habit

Developing a reading habit has numerous benefits that extend beyond the joy of getting lost in a good book. Here are 5 reasons that will push you to build a reading habit for yourself. 

 

1. Reading paves a path to meeting yourself

Reading opens the gateways of a new world for you. Once you begin to enjoy a book and crave to know more, it creates a sense of belongingness for you.

As you progress with the plot of the book, you are so intrigued by the incidents, characters, detailed descriptions of locations, and all the other things that you find yourself as a part of the plot.

In this way, reading helps you to discover who you are and what your aspirations are in life. It helps you to create new dimensions for your thoughts and ideas. It allows you to extend and expand these thoughts as much as you can.

Hence, every new page of every book you read is a new chance to discover more about your passion and purpose in life. 

 

2. Reading reduces stress

You, your book, a coffee mug, and absolute silence in the surroundings. Oh yes, and a balcony with a view – may be as simple as your house garden. How calming does that feel?

Even the thoughts of it create a serene moment. It makes everything feel so soothing. Reading without any distractions is a blessing in disguise. It helps to reduce your stress. Also as per researchers, reading propagates an easy, better, and healthy sleep. This is why it is often advised to read before going to bed.

Even though there are a lot of ways to cope with stress, reading has got its own charm. It helps to declutter your mind. The next time you feel uneasy, just take a deep breath. Open your current read or maybe a blog or any other column that you enjoy reading and begin reading it with a calm mind.

Before you know it, the unwanted feeling would have vanished already.




3. Reading improves your concentration level

Social media, OTTs, and mobile phones (as a whole) have destroyed your concentration level. Your reading habit can rescue you from it and restore it too.

Reading is similar to watching your favorite series. The difference is in the medium or the mode of communication. Once you develop an interest in a series, it is hard to skip or leave it incomplete.

Reading as a habit is something similar. Once the interest is developed, it is hard to give up on the book.

Hence, developing a reading habit increases your level of concentration and makes you more focused in life.

 

4. Reading builds your emotional health

Do you ever cry, smile, or laugh out loud while watching any movie or series?

Well, reading does the same but in a little more effective way. Books are packed with emotions. Whether is it fictional or non-fictional, it has a lot of emotions attached to every page of its story. 

Sometimes you’ll have real tears while reading about the heartbreak of the character and sometimes you’ll smile and laugh when the character wins in life in the book.

Reading teaches you emotional intelligence, it maintains your emotional well-being. It transports you to the story and makes you fall in love with the protagonist or it makes you hate the antagonist. Every book is an amalgamation of various emotions and they help to grow you with the same. 

 

5. Reading improves your critical thinking

Including reading in your daily schedule can improve your critical thinking ability. It increases and influences your decision-making skills by sharpening your problem-solving skills.

It makes you intelligent. Not your academic intelligence, necessarily, but also your creativity. Reading helps you to connect with the people in the stories and allows you to analyze real-life situations. 

As you read, your brain processes a lot of information at a time. It broadens your perspective on both the content and context of the book. It is not just important to improve your vocabulary but it plays a very crucial role in your overall development too.

 

Overcoming Common Challenges in Developing a Reading Habit

Even though I have shared the best hacks and benefits that come with building a reading habit, you cannot ignore the challenge. Developing a reading habit can be difficult for non-readers. I can say so because I was one too. 

Thus, here are some common obstacles you may encounter while building a reading habit and the strategies to overcome them:

1. Lack of time

Make reading a priority by scheduling it into your day or finding pockets of time where you can squeeze in a few pages. Prioritize reading over less meaningful activities, such as excessive scrolling on social media. This is what I do to date. Whenever I feel I am spending too much time on my phone, I like to replace it with my books.

 

2. Distractions

Minimize distractions by creating a quiet and dedicated reading space. Turn off notifications on your phone or place it in another room to avoid temptation. I used to lock my phone in my cupboard because I was constantly tempted by the urge to check it “one more time”. The key is to not have it in your sight to keep it out of your mind. You can also practice mindfulness techniques to stay focused on the book at hand.

 

3. Lack of interest

Don’t force yourself to read something you don’t enjoy. This is so important. I have given up on some of the most popular books. I bought them out of excitement but they didn’t meet the hype that has been created for them. Hence, you must experiment with different genres and authors until you find what captivates your interest. Remember, reading should be a pleasure, not a chore.




4. Fatigue

If you find yourself too tired to read at the end of the day, read before you start your day in the morning or during breaks throughout the day when you’re more alert. When I started my reading journey, there were days when I couldn’t stick to my preferred nighttime for reading. On those rare days, I used to read during my work breaks.

 

5. Procrastination

Start small and set achievable goals to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Break down larger books into manageable chunks and commit to reading a certain number of pages each day. Take small steps and give up on your procrastination. I began with a goal of 10 pages per day and consequently increased it as it became more easy for me. 

 

Recommendations to kickstart your reading journey

If you’re looking for recommendations to kickstart your reading journey, here are two additional reads you can refer to. This is my list of some timeless classics and contemporary favorites that help you set the foundation of your reader journey. 

  1. 6 Easy Self Improvement Books for Beginners to Help You Become a Reader

  2. 3 Easy Self Improvement Books for Students to Develop a Reading Habit

With captivating storytelling, thought-provoking ideas, and memorable plots, they will ignite your passion for reading.

 

6 Online Resources for Finding Great Reads

If you don’t want to buy physical books in the beginning, you can also refer to online resources. Many free digital libraries offer a pool of knowledge and life lessons. These will help you to discover new books that align with your interests. Here are my top recommendations for that.

1. Goodreads

A social media platform for book lovers. You can explore book recommendations, join reading challenges, and connect with fellow readers.

2. Z Library

A digital library where you can download your favorite books and read them in e-book format. This is where I used to access my preferred choices in the beginning.

3. BookBub

Sign up for BookBub’s newsletter to receive personalized book recommendations and daily deals on e-books.

4. Libraries and bookstores

Visit your local library or bookstore and ask for recommendations from staff or browse through curated book displays.

5. Online book communities

Join online book communities on platforms like Reddit or Facebook, where members share their favorite reads and engage in discussions.

6. Book review websites and blogs

Explore book review websites like Book Riot or literary blogs to discover new titles and read in-depth reviews.

These resources will help you navigate the vast world of literature and find books that resonate with your interests and preferences.




Conclusion

You have all the positive reasons to build a reading habit and make it a part of your routine. Reading is different for everyone.

After all, we are human beings with different interests and choices. Therefore, reading as a hobby shall never restrict you. It should, instead, empower and embrace your personality.

So, what are you waiting for? Find what field of knowledge excites you and simply choose the books you wish to begin your reader journey with.  

Developing a reading habit is a journey that requires dedication, but the rewards are immeasurable. It enriches your life in countless ways. 

Reading is a powerful tool for personal growth and self-improvement. It exposes you to different perspectives, challenges your beliefs, and helps you develop critical thinking skills. 

By delving into various genres, you can learn about different cultures, and historical events, and gain insights into human behavior.

So, go ahead and develop a reading habit at your own pace. A whole world is waiting for you!

Leave a Reply