I started reading 7 years ago* as a way to relieve stress. What I didn’t realize in my pursuit to unplug is how much it would feed my soul. It’s one of the best habits I created for myself.
If you have fallen out of the habit of reading, it’s HARD to pick up again. We are conditioned to read snippets at a time these days. (I know that was the hardest thing for me when I began pushing myself to read long passages.)
If you want to get into a better habit of reading, this is what worked for me:
- LOVE the SUBJECT material.
Don’t force yourself to read anything that you are NOT loving – it’s OK to put a book down if it’s not capturing you at ~30 pages in. This was a huge lesson for someone like me that had childhood memories of being forced to read classic lit and feeling like a failure for not finishing. You don’t have to like everything. Find what you like. And quit what is not inspiring to you.
- Make time.
Start reading earlier in the night. I would fall asleep after 3 minutes… so I began to get in bed an hour earlier to have at least 30 minutes to read each night.
- Hide your phone.
I still have to do this – or I end up getting sucked into the Facebook vortex instead reading.
- Reading time is sacred time.
Tell your kids to leave you alone, if you have kids. I read on the weekends during the day and that has been great for my book habit. (I can’t always get enough in on weeknights, so I need this book ‘catch up time’.) My kids know that between ~1-3pm everyone in the house does their own thing… usually a nap or a book or playing.
In the tablet versus book-book debate, you’ll have to choose what suits you best. For me, personally, I don’t feel decompressed after reading on a tablet. (Maybe the electricity electrifies me too.) I also don’t retain as much after reading on a tablet. I am team book-book. (Research shows that people concentrate better with hard copies.)
And – don’t limit yourself to business books! In fact – this is a rare ‘non-business’ post. The subject that I started with 7 years ago was in fact business. It is a passion of mine. (Surprise, surprise.) And – I found it easy to stay hooked. But, a couple years ago I found myself not sleeping well because of how stimulating they are to me. (I know – so dorky.) I almost only read fiction these days and save the occasional business-read for daytime.
If nothing else… books make you more interesting! 😉
*Seriously: only 7 years ago did I earnestly begin reading books. I’ve always been a VERY slow reader. I literally couldn’t keep up with reading assignments… so I always found a way around reading to perform well in HS and college.
PS – I still do TV (netflix is my bae)… but I find reading to be so much more cathartic.