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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Hide your phone.
    I still have to do this – or I end up getting sucked into the Facebook vortex instead reading.
  4. 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.