The benefits of reading are tremendous, with numerous studies listing out all it does for your brain and with readers from all across time documenting that great and singular feeling of getting lost in a novel.
Unlike a TV show or a movie, books demand more of you. You can’t trick a book and skim through it as you go through your emails. Well, you can, but it won’t be much fun. Reading demands that you put the world on hold for a few minutes and for you to access that focused state that gets progressively harder to achieve as the world evolves and as our attention span grows shorter.
A valid resolution or goal for the new year is to read more, and it’s completely possible if you’re patient and are willing to put in the time. Check out seven tips that’ll help you get more reading done:
Make it a routine
The best way to develop a new habit is to schedule a time for it and to stick to it as much as you can. Set a time for reading either on mornings, during commutes, or at night, where you’re sure that you’ll be able to concentrate and read a couple of pages.
It’s also important for you to choose books that interest you, be that horror, romance or genre novels. Avoid jumping into a super intense yet critically acclaimed story that will discourage you from reading. Start off slow and make reading a pleasure instead of a chore. Once you have a handle on the habit, jump into the more serious stuff.
Set a daily page goal
Start off slow by reading five or ten pages a day, increasing your amount of pages the more you develop your reading habit.
Have a book on you at all times
It’s easy to remember to read if you carry a book with you when you have time off. Instead of scrolling through your phone, keep a book on hand and read whenever you get the chance, be that on a lunch break, during your commute, or while waiting for your doctor appointment.
Find good reading lists and recommendations
In order to love reading you need to find books that draw you in and that make you feel personally invested. It’s impossible to keep track of all the books that come out on a yearly basis, so go to bookstores and look through the staff picks or do your research online and create your own reading list.
Read physical books
If you find yourself ignoring your kindle and your e-books maybe what you need is to read physical books. These give you a visual representation of your progress and provide a break from all the screens in your life, which may encourage you to read more than you think.
Buy a bookshelf
Bookshelves can serve as visual reminders for reading, keeping all of your books in a visible place and encouraging you to interact and reorganize them. Put your bookshelf in a transited place in your house, forcing you to see them everywhere you go. Make it a habit to shuffle around its contents, adding in and getting rid of books every couple of months.
Keep track of what you read
A good motivator for readers is keeping tabs on what you’re reading, showing your progress and increasing your knowledge of books. Have fun with your lists, write them down by hand or on Excel, and you’ll see that in a few months your reading output will have increased significantly.