• Sai Sandhya

How to cultivate a reading habit?

This is a change from all the articles that I have written previously. I always get asked how I find time to read? How do you manage to read so many books? I have to be honest here and say that my reading has become a lot less than what it used to be a couple of years ago but I still try to keep up with the habit. Reading books have a lot of advantages especially non-fiction books. I am sure you already know that so here I am not going to bore you with all that and get to the “stuff” directly. Here are some tips that may help you to cultivate the reading habit or at least help you restart your reading journey.


Having a specific goal as small as reading 15 pages a day helps a lot. If you decide to read 15 pages a day, that’s about 105 pages a week and about 450 pages a month. Most books are around 450-600 pages. So reading a book a month becomes easy if you break it down into smaller bits. I prefer having page goals rather than time goal. I mean if I set a specific time of a day to read, there might be other things that come up or like if I decide to read for a half-hour, I might close the book in a lesser period of time. You can do whatever works for you but the page target worked out perfectly for me.


People who want to start doing something, get overambitious at the start of it. They pick up the biggest book they can find and try to finish it in a week. That’s not how it works. Most of my non-reader friends decide they don’t want to read a book looking at the number of pages it has. People have learnt not to judge a book by its cover but then people have not learnt not to judge a book by the number of pages it has. The number of pages in a book doesn’t matter but when you are just starting to read, I would suggest starting reading a book with about 250-300 pages. I'll tell you why- when you complete a book, you get this sense of satisfaction and you want to read more. Suppose you start with a big, huge book and let us say the chances of you getting bored are faster than when you read a smaller book.


The choice of your first book matters more than you think it does. There are A LOT of books out there. Every book has its own set of audience. You might not particularly like it. I know so many people who love mythology as a genre for reading. When I started with trying out that genre, I started off with the wrong book and now knowingly unknowingly, I avoid reading mythology even though there are so many good books out there. Take suggestions from people you know who read. People who know you before starting a book. If you do end up choosing the wrong book, don’t give up on reading altogether.


There are a lot of mainstream books. Books that you have seen people read. The books that are most talked about. Books that are most advertised. There are some mainstream authors. I'm am not suggesting you completely ignore the mainstream kinda books, you can read them according to you. What I mean when I say don’t stick to the mainstream is try exploring various authors, various categories of books to kinda know what is out there.


We all have people who always say that they want to read but they don’t find the time. Take them on this journey with you. Make them your reading buddy. You guys can either read the same book and share your views and opinions on it or what you can do is read different books and share the story and your personal opinions. Having a reading buddy is amazing. I have this friend who introduced me to Murakami books and after finishing any Murakami book, I reach for my phone and either text or call him just to discuss it with him. Getting a reading buddy is great.


As weird as it sounds, it works for me. I try to read fiction and non-fiction book together. In my opinion, you cannot read a non-fiction book like a fiction one, in one go. I feel the need to read a non-fiction book slowly and try to implement them in my life while the fiction books are just for fun. By doing this, you will never get bored as you will have an alternative to read all the time.


By mode, I mean e-book or actual book. There is a lot of debate about this online and I don’t want to be a part of it. Different modes work for different people. I've come to a conclusion that e-books are not for me at all. So I avoid reading Ebooks until absolutely necessary. I know buying a book is more expensive than an e-book but it is a personal preference. So you need to find out what works best for now. Nowadays, amazon kindle app can be downloaded on your phone, laptops and tablets so you do not have to invest in a kindle just to read. It’s a cheaper way if you don’t want to initially invest too much money into reading.

Hope these little tips help you find your love for reading. If you’ve tried all of it and still hate reading, you don’t have to force yourself. In this digital world, there are a lot of other alternatives for reading but that an article for another day. I am trying to start a free book club. I am still trying to figure out how it is going to go about. For more updates and information follow @letswritetogether on Instagram!https://www.instagram.com/letswritetogether/

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