Are you a new reader who wants to read consistently? Or are you unable to develop a reading habit no matter how hard you try? Fret not, we all have been there at one point or another. Reading books is one of the most exciting and adventurous activities you can do from the comfort of your home! You can escape into a wonderland and fight off dragons, fall in love, live in an alternate reality, and so much more. The possibilities are really endless.
So how exactly do you develop a reading habit? Even proficient book bloggers and readers had to cross this bridge at least once to build their reading skill. I have compiled a list of 6 beneficial tips to get beginning readers like you into a reading habit. Let’s see what can help make you a consistent and avid reader!
1. Set A Reading Goal
Setting a goal is one of the first things you should do to start your journey. Not only does setting a goal give you the motivation to complete it, but it also helps to keep you on track to finish. The best thing about our mind is that it loves to be challenged and have a deadline by which to complete a task, in this case trying to build a good reading habit. Along with passion and determination, not only will you fulfill your goal, but you will also become more consistent as you successfully achieve the reading goals you set.
You can set up a goal in many ways. Some examples are:
* To read X number of book(s) within a month
* To finish X number of book(s) in a year
* Read X number of pages in a day
2. Decide What Books You Like
Figuring out which genres we like is usually straightforward. We just know…right? We all have our preferences for reading material and in the beginning, it is essential to keep your reading to what you like. Why? Because if you experiment too much with different genres, you might come across a book that can totally put you off. And that is something fatal for your reading journey. Trust me.
You can decide the genres you like by thinking along these lines:
* Your type of movie choice can be quite similar to your book choice
* Reading a book review and/or blurb for different books
* Looking for similar books related to the one you like
3. Follow A Book Club
Gone are the times when you had to travel to a library to take part in a book club. Although it is one amazing experience as a reader to meet and connect with people in real life, based on the books they like and don’t like, not everyone can take the time to do that. The next best thing? Virtual book clubs! There are so many bloggers and Instagrammers running public and private book clubs on the internet. Whether it’s through social media, their websites, or blog, it is really worth a shot.
There are numerous benefits to joining a book club. Some of them are:
* A like-minded group of people with whom you can network and connect with
* Having preset goals and objectives so you don’t have to
* Curated groups for specific genres/authors
* Discussions on books you read and getting to hear different perspectives
* An accountable reading habit
Some examples of virtual clubs are Online Book Club and Zibby’s Virtual Book Club. You can also filter clubs based on your region or locality.
4. Start A Bingo For Reading
Want to have a preset list without joining a book club or obeying rigid reading lists? Online reading challenges are perfect for you! Just like the game of Bingo, multiple prompts are added in a boxed form to create a listing of possible books to read.
Most of these challenges don’t specify reading a particular book. Instead, they indicate the genre, theme, and/or style of the book you should read. For example, these prompts could have you read a book set in the 19th century or one where there’s an element of time travel or any variety of topics based on your interests. They may also suggest reading a book by an author from a particular nation or ethnic group.
Through these open-ended challenges, you can be flexible in reading a book that suits your tastes and preferences, giving you the ultimate freedom to decide. Many open-ended Bingo-styled challenges are done by book clubs as well, which can be a good area for exploration, as mentioned above. The best part is that by enrolling in some challenges, you can also win because they will only improve your reading habit and hopefully you find a good book along the way!
Online templates can be found on Pinterest and Google, along with a yearly Summer Book Bingo from The Seattle Public Library.
5. Don’t Overburden Yourself With Reading
Trust me, this is another fatal mistake that many beginning readers make. Doing too much, too soon. You don’t have a reading habit yet. You don’t know exactly what you like or don’t like. Creating a reading list and buying books in bulk in the spur of the moment or reading two books at once will exhaust you and derail your reading habit. Even pro-readers are afraid of their to-be-read stacks!
Start with one book, finish it and give yourself some leisure time. You can make notes about that book (more of that in the next point), mull it over, or use that time to recharge your reading stamina. Do a different activity during that time. This will not only make you appreciate your reading habit but also keep you in it for the long run.
6. Write Out Your Thoughts To Reinforce Your Habit
You heard that right. There are many people who get the urge to jot down points, quotes, or favorite scenes from the books they read. Some also write their thoughts down about a particular part of the book. Reading is a thought-provoking activity and if you have something on your mind, write it down.
You do not have to be a blogger or have a fancy vocabulary to do that. Just write what’s on your mind while you’re reading or after you finish a new book. This will help you connect deeper with the books you read and even help if you want to refer back to a book (you might not need to do that, but you never know.)
Keep a small notebook, open up a personal blog, use templates, use the notes app on your smartphone or use sticky notes to annotate within the book. The ways are endless.
A passion for reading stems from within. While some people do not usually have trouble keeping up with their reading habit from the beginning, some need a helping hand. Books bring us all close through our thoughts, appreciation, and love for stories. I hope I could help you a little in igniting that flame for reading and providing some tips to develop a reading habit.