Reading is great, but it can be really hard to find the time and fit it in to your everyday life. Here are 7 tips to help you make reading a habit.
One of the questions I get asked most is how I find so much time to read.
First of all, I’m a firm believer that we have more control over our time than we think we do, and if we really want to do something, we can make the time for it. When I’m reading a lot, I’m usually not watching tv, tackling goals, or getting out of the house for fun activities. It’s all about choices and priorities, and sometimes I choose reading, while other times I choose other things.
But I’ve also picked up some tips and tricks throughout my life that help me make reading a bigger part of my life.
Back in 2018, I wrote a post with 7 ways to read more books. All the tips on that post are still relevant today and things I still implement in my life. You can see those 7 tips HERE.
Today I want to share 7 MORE tips for how to read even more because I’m always adding new ideas!
Stop Reading A Book You’re Not Getting Into
I used to think that once I started a book, I needed to finish it. Then, when I was reading a book I didn’t like, I’d find every excuse in the world NOT to read.
Now I give a book maybe 50 pages (sometimes less), and if I’m just not into getting into it, I drop it. There are too many good books out there to waste time on books that are just “meh.”
Plus, if I actually want to find time to read, the best thing I can do is find a book I can’t put down. When I’m REALLY into a book, I’ll make time for it, no matter what it takes.
Set a Reading Goal
When I set a reading goal, it motivates me to read more. I always set a yearly goal, but sometimes I also set a monthly goal, a weekly goal, or a daily goal to mix things up.
I’ve also set a goal for a specific book. Here’s one way to do this: grab a book, pick a date you want to finish it by, then divide the amount of pages by the amount of days until you want to be done and try to read that amount each day until you finish. I do this for book club books that need to be read by a certain day to make sure I don’t fall behind and miss out on the discussion!
When I do this, I like to have two bookmarks–one to keep my current place in the book and one for where I need to read to in order to stay on track for my goal. This helps push me to read every day because I don’t want to fall behind. I’m also competitive, so I like to get ahead of my goal and see how fast I can finish it. This works really well when I find myself in a reading slump!
Pick One Time & Stick to It
Pick one time (either daily or weekly) that you want to read and make it a priority. Honor it. Protect it. No matter what happens, read during that time.
Maybe it’s an hour on Sunday afternoons. Maybe you wake up 15 minutes earlier than normal and read then. During nap time. 5 minutes before you crash at the end of the night. On Thursday evenings.
It doesn’t matter when it is, but pick a time and make reading a habit.
Visually Track Your Reading
Visually tracking the books I read is a great motivator and makes me want to do more of it! Goodreads is a great way to track which books you read (it also has a yearly goal feature that’s handy).
But I’ve found that a VISUAL tracker gives me that extra boost. Everyday Reading has an adorable free printable reading log you can print and put on your wall to track your books as you read. I’m obsessed with mine! I love finishing a book and running to my chart to add the newest title to the cute book chart! It’s ridiculously rewarding!
Swap Something Out with Reading Time
Is there something you do that you don’t really want to do? Or that leaves you feeling sort of blah? Or that you know you you’d probably feel better if you didn’t do, but it just keeps calling your name? Maybe it’s binging shows on Netflix. Or mindlessly scrolling Instagram. Often times it’s that thing you do when you’re avoiding doing something else.
Try swapping that activity out for reading! Make a commitment and stick to it!
Keep Books Near You
Store books all around your house. Seeing them will remind you to read.
Similarly, keep whatever book you’re reading near you or in the place you tend to go when you’re done for the day and just need a minute to veg. Next to your bed. By your spot on the couch. On the floor in your closet where you hide when the kids won’t stop fighting.
Wherever you tend to sit for a minute or two, leave your book there and use that time to read instead of playing on your phone or catching up on The Bachelor.
Read Shorter or Easier Books
Obviously reading shorter books will help you read more books because there are less pages. But it will also help you want to read more books.
If you’re not in the habit of reading and are having a hard time getting into it, long books can seem really overwhelming. But reading a short book can give you a quick high and remind you how much you love books!
The same tip works for easier books. Jumping headfirst into a classic novel with a language structure you’re not used to or a dense informational nonfiction text can suck the fun right out of reading. But if you read something lighthearted first to get you in the swing of things, then reading literature from the 19th century will be much easier.
This is a trick I use on my son when he hits a reading slump. This often happens when he tackles really long fantasy books for awhile. Suddenly he never wants to read! I’ll grab him a shorter, funny chapter book and he’ll read a few in the series back-to-back and remember how much he loves books. It works like a charm, and it works for adults too!
7 Tips to Make Reading a Habit
Those are my seven tips for how to get into the habit of reading! If you want more tips, check out my post 7 Ways to Read More Books.