Reading should constantly be a part of our lives. Having healthy reading habits can change the way you live and how you see the world, it can make you healthier, less stressed, wiser, and more empathetic. But how much should you read a day?
If you ever wondered how much of your time you should dedicate to reading every day in order to take advantage of the many benefits it can provide you, your answer is finally here.
Should we really read every day?
Despite the fact that our lives are now more hectic than ever before, making the effort to read every day is important and it certainly pays off in the long run. Here at Basmo, we strongly believe that reading should be an everyday activity. While some might think that if you do a lot of reading one day, enough to cover all the reading you were supposed to do that week, for example, the effects are not going to be the ones you are hoping for.
A quick look over some of the many benefits of reading will shed some light on why reading every day is better than reading a lot in one day and not at all for the rest of the week:
- Reading reduces stress
- Reading helps us sleep better
- It improves our general knowledge
- Reading increases brain strength
- Reading improves concentration abilities
While the benefits of reading go way beyond the list above, the important thing to note is that, as you can see, some benefits should be enjoyed on a daily basis. Since reading reduces stress, helps us sleep better, and makes us happier, why would we choose not to do it every day?
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How much should you read every day?
“Ok, but how long should I read a day?”. Well, here is where things get interesting. While an officially recommended reading time per day for adults hasn’t been provided yet with any kind of accuracy, all scientists seem to agree that reading on a daily basis at least for a couple of minutes has the potential to massively improve your life.
Of course, our aim should always be to read as much as possible every day, but the harsh reality of our day-to-day lives is that spending hours reading our favorite novels is not exactly something that can be done.
Between our demanding jobs, the time-consuming commutes, families, house chores, and our phones constantly demanding our attention, the average person only has a little over 4 hours and 26 minutes of free time per week. We did the math here at Basmo, so you don’t have to: that comes down to an average of 38 minutes of free time per day.
So, even though when it comes to reading, the more the better is one of the truest things you can say, most of us will have to settle for a lot less. Luckily for us, a Yale research reviewing 12 years worth of data from the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study has revealed that as little as 30 minutes of reading every day has the potential of extending our life by a little over two years.
A lot of research was made in regards to the minimum amount of reading that is required from each person to enjoy the full benefits of reading, and even though the numbers were never the same, an average of the results from several studies comes up at 34 minutes. Of course, that is a minimum. For young children and students, the magic number seems to be anywhere over 15 minutes of reading per day.
The fact that successful people read a lot is old news. If we take into account Mark Cuban’s claim to read 3 hours per day, Warren Buffet’s impressive ability to go over at least 500 pages of financial documents every day, or Bill Gate’s habit of reading 50 books every year, it becomes clearer than ever that there is a relationship between reading and success.
An interesting phenomenon that has been coined as the five-hour rule, represents a habit of reading or learning for at least one hour during every workday. If that’s how Bill Gates, Jack Ma, and Elon Musk managed to become who they are, it should be a good rule of thumb for all of us.
How much reading is too much?
Is any amount of reading too much? Well, while an official number of minutes or hours of reading that can be considered too much for a single day hasn’t been provided by scientists yet, they do claim that there is such a thing as too much reading.
So, how many hours should you read a day without going overboard? Our team at Basmo found that up to 3 or 4 hours of uninterrupted reading in a single day should not prove to be problematic, but going over the 4 hours threshold may turn out to be a bit too much. You can start feeling that you’re putting some strain on your eyes (and body, depending on the reading position you’re choosing), and it may become a bit overwhelming.
The rule of thumb for reading is to never continue reading once you’re becoming uncomfortable. If you feel your eyes watering, your body becoming sore, or you suddenly start losing your focus, it’s time to stop for the day or at least take a break.
Also, any amount of reading is acceptable, as long as other areas of your life don’t start to be ignored. If you notice that your reading starts to affect your human interactions, if you have no time left for your daily chores, for doing your job, or spending time with your loved ones, it means you are overdoing it and you should reassess your reading habits.
How to make time to read every day?
Reading too much is pretty unlikely to become a problem for us though since most of us struggle to find ways to read more or even to read at all. Even though we extensively explored the topic of finding time to read here, please allow me to present a couple of essential tips and tricks for overcoming this.
- Create a reading schedule
- Understand the importance of reading, get motivated
- Make it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible
- Read what you like rather than forcing yourself to read things you will leave unfinished
- Keep a journal to track your reading and improve your habits
- Make it a fun experience
- Be an organized reader
- Be mindful about your reading
One amazing thing you can do to improve your reading habits and to read more every day is to use Basmo, the reading tracking app that understands your needs.
Here’s how it can help:
Set daily reading goals
Basmo allows you to set yourself achievable goals.
If you want to start reading for 30 minutes every day, you can simply create your daily goal within the app in just a couple of taps, and you will constantly have a reminder of what you want to achieve.
Not only that, but the app will also track your progress and it will provide you with insightful statistics.
Create a reading schedule
One sure way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, in general, is to be organized. Reading is no different.
In order to have healthy reading habits and make sure you read every day, you should use Basmo to create a highly customizable reading schedule, which can be personalized and adjusted according to your daily routine.
The app will even remind you of any upcoming reading sessions that you have scheduled, so you don’t forget about them.
Create a reading list
Even though how much you should read a day is a relatively common question among readers everywhere, a much less common one is how much time gets wasted between books.
Here at Basmo, we know the answer: a lot! That’s why our app offers a reading list feature, which is also completely personalizable, where you can add all the books you want to read. This way, once your current book is finished, you can simply move on to the next one on the list.
Keep a reading journal and use the statistics
Basmo also offers a journaling feature, which allows you to write down your thoughts and feelings after each reading session, and a whole bunch of insightful statistics about your reading habits, like your reading speed, how many pages you go through every day and other interesting data.
Use all these features to analyze your reading performance and find ways to improve.
Ready to take your reading game to the next level?
Try Basmo book tracker today!
It’s 100% free to download, so what have you got to lose?
So, how much should you read a day? Well, as much as you can, as long as it doesn’t start affecting other aspects of your life, or at least 20 to 34 minutes so you can enjoy the full benefits of this magic activity.