How to build a Reading habit!

All of us consume a plethora of online content everyday. Some of us watch videos, few others like podcasts but once in a while, we all love to read a wonderful article.

Reading can sometimes take you to places where a visual medium cannot. That is why we can sit back and admire a simple article for an hour and also end up binge watching a TV series in a day.

But in a world throbbing with online content, it can be a backbreaker to find content that is not dogmatic, without prejudice and with some research done. Hence when you read something online you are more often than not reading an opinion or something written for additional clicks (including this one).

In this scenario reading books become more relevant than ever before simply because we don’t want to go around carrying someone else’s opinion in our head. And only a book can help you make an opinion without having to wage wars in a comments section below.

Yet we all know that reading isn’t a one-day phenomenon where you can shut out the world and get lost in your book. Nor do books come with headphones. It is a habit built over a period of time and here are my ideas to get you started. Because unlike many other things, reading is one such habit which you can never stop being proud of.

  • Alone, not lonely.

Are you comfortable being alone? This might sound like a no-brainer but with the exception that this time you need to lock yourself away from any kind of digital medium. The only thing that could accompany you is that book you are going to read. You will be surprised at how difficult even 10 minutes can seem.

Give yourself a quarter hour of alone time every day without dozing off. Hang around with your book and time it if required. If you can follow this then don’t even bother reading ahead.

  • Go hands-on.

This might sound old school but in a world of distractions, it is easier to read out of something which doesn’t pop up notifications, especially in the early days. Until you build your concentration go get a physical book.

  • Don’t try to understand every word.

We all love the feeling of starting out on a new book. And with our quest for perfection, we break up each and every word of the first page in an attempt to absorb everything. A couple of pages later a lot of these books go back on the shelf because just reading words becomes cumbersome.

Breeze through. The first 20 pages are generally the hardest and your effort should be to get past them quickly rather than get stuck trying to figure out everything.

  • Own a book.

Like Duh! You must be thinking it is impossible to read a book without having one. But the point I am trying to make here is unless you pay for something you will never push yourself to use it. Every borrowed book on your bookshelf is never going to be read simply because you didn’t pay for it. Just like we make our new year resolution of working out at home. You can stay fit either way but your gym membership is what will get your ass out of bed everyday.

  • In touch with reality.

With the abundance of information at your fingertips, reading a real life scenario is the best thing you can possibly do. Not only will you accomplish your reading goals you get additional history lessons. Once u keep the book aside check out an interview on what you read. Make the best of both the worlds.

  • What’s your reason?

Did you know that Bill Gates read 50 books a year ( nearly 1 book a week)? Did you know an average self-made millionaire read 2 or more books a month?

The value of reading is only realized once you have started reading a lot. Hence, in the beginning, it would sometimes be difficult to find the “joy” of reading and value in it.

Give yourself reasons to read. It could be as simple as writing reviews about a book or sharing your experience on the web or a reading group.  Just start a Facebook page and write your reviews on books. Not only are you helping out fellow readers but you might slowly build up a fanbase that will hold you accountable to your reading goals.

  • Reading lists.

It is impossible to find somebody who doesn’t have idols. We all, for different reasons, do follow some or the other person and look up to them for inspiration. Look out for Reading lists from people you admire. When you read the books they love you not only connect to them at a level more than a follower but you will realize how people from different professions love different genres of books or might even love the same book.

So find your book and don’t give up on it. Leaving you with my recommendation (and Rahul Dravid’s as well). Happy Reading.

A Reader’s prescription: Just hold the book in your hand and sit alone for 10 minutes without distractions. Once every day after dinner before your nap. Do this for a fortnight and then there is no looking back.

Read More: Why should you read a Biography?