One of the simple pleasures in life is reading a good book. Having fun is reason enough to want to read more often, but that doesn't mean it's the only perk. Other than enjoyment, there are many benefits of reading:
- Cognitive acuity
- Stress relief
- Connection with others
- Learning new things
Many people enjoy reading but never seem to find the time to do so. If you want to develop a more consistent reading habit but don't know where to start, these tips can help.
Join a Book Club
If you want to keep up with your fitness goals, you enlist a gym buddy to help. Likewise, one of the best ways to stick to a consistent habit of reading is to join a group that reads together. Most book clubs choose a book to read and discuss each time they meet. Not only do you have the motivation of a deadline but also the excitement of getting to talk about the book with others.
For this to work, you need to find the book club that's right for you. Your local library or bookstore probably has several that you can visit. Your church may also have a group. If all else fails, you can always start your own with two or three friends and watch it grow from there.
Set a Specific Goal
Some people respond well to measurable goals they can work toward. If this describes you, simply choosing the number of books you want to read in a given period of time may be all the motivation you need. Keeping track of them with a book journal is probably the simplest way to gauge your progress. If you prefer to use an app, the Goodreads yearly reading challenge allows you to set a goal and marks time so that you know when you're falling behind or ahead of schedule.
Read for Pleasure
One of the reasons many avid readers fall out of the habit is that they get bogged down with books that aren't that interesting to them. It's common, for example, for people who spend a few years only reading college assignments to lose their love of reading. To recapture the joy you once found in a good book, choose things you know you'll love.
Explore New Options
On the other hand, if you only read one genre, all of the stories may start to blend together in your mind. Soon, it feels like you're reading the same book over and over. When this happens, a new genre can add the thrill of novelty to your reading habit. In fact, another benefit of joining a book club is that it introduces you to things you may otherwise never have chosen on your own.
Put Reading on the Schedule
As with any new habit, if you want to read more, you are probably going to need to set aside a specific time to do it. It doesn't have to be a long period of time, especially when you're first starting. If you're a morning person, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier. It may be easier for night owls to incorporate a chapter or two into their nightly routine. No matter when you do it, it takes intentional effort to make reading an official part of your day.
Carry a Book With You
If there doesn't seem to be any extra time in your schedule, you can still read more by making it more convenient. Carry a book with you or download a reading app on your phone. That way, you can easily pull it out when you have an extra five minutes at lunch or when you're standing in line at the store.
There are many benefits of reading. If you want to read more, just a few small adjustments make it easier to stick to the habit.