How to get into reading books can be a fairly complex question since there’s so many factors that can determine us to read, but also so many obstacles that keep us from investing our time in this activity.
In today’s fast-paced society, people are quite predisposed to falling away from their positive habits or routines. In a world so full of deadlines, schedules, appointments, not to mention distractions, one can understandably wonder how to start reading books again in 2023.
We all know that the number of amazing benefits we get from reading is huge, but what I will try to present now are the best ways of returning to this healthy habit of reading. More precisely, we’ll be talking about how to get back into reading books.
How to get (back) into reading books in 2023?
For some people this may seem like a strange question, either because they never abandoned their reading habit or because, on the contrary, they never had one to begin with. For the first category of people, this article may not be of great relevance, but you may still find some useful ideas. For the latter category, it may be a starting point for establishing a new and beneficial habit in your life.
Below are 10 steps/questions which will suggest how to get into reading books once again.
1. Why did you stop / Why didn’t you ever start?
This is a very important question, because it helps you identify the factors, situations, and events which determined you to stop reading in the first place, and enables you to avoid them and protect yourself from them in the future.
These elements can be any number of things such as getting a job and having no more free time, having to dedicate your time to studying, spending too much time on your phone, or simply becoming bored with the book you were reading.
For non-readers, this list can be somewhat different. Maybe you were never told how fun, exciting and useful reading can be. Perhaps you were forced to read books you had no interest in, or which you greatly disliked, and since then have had a repulsion towards reading in general.
Some people, readers or non-readers alike, prefer the immediate gratification obtained through video games and social media platforms. Whatever the case, you always have the chance to change your ways, including your attitude towards reading.
Once you’ve identified the motives which caused you to abandon reading, you can start to tackle them one by one. Go back through your memories and notice where the chain broke, or when the habit stopped being a habit, and see what can be done to solve the issue.
Getting into reading, just like starting any new challenge, isn’t always easy, but with determination it can be achieved.
2. Know why you want to read books
Getting into reading books again is a challenge. So often in life we have no motivation to do a certain thing simply because we haven’t thought about why we are doing it. The lack of a good reason can certainly make one wonder whether the said activity is in fact to be desired.
Therefore, it is advisable that we ask ourselves honestly and directly: “Why am I doing this?” Maybe you don’t have an answer. If this is the case, you’re probably struggling to continue reading. You need to know what drives you to do certain things, in this case to read.
Your motives may simply be a strong yearning to see how the story ends, or a powerful appreciation for one of the characters’ personality. Your motivation could even be the relaxing or therapeutic effects of reading.
For those of you who have trouble justifying your reading, it’s important to keep in mind that reading has a lot of benefits that go beyond the obvious gain of knowledge.
You may end up being motivated by the health benefits or the increased lifespan of readers or the stress relieving effects to improve your reading habits. Look at it this way: you’re reading this article because you’re interested to get back into reading books. You’ve already made the first step in the right direction. Now keep reading to learn how to achieve your goals.
3. Make time for reading books
Looking back to the first point, where I asked you why you quit reading in the first place, I suspect that for some of you the reason was that you no longer had the time. However, if reading is a priority for you, and maybe it should be, then you can try to squeeze it into your schedule.
You should set a time and place for your reading. The amount of time you spend is up to you. You can aim for an hour a day, or more. If this is too much in the beginning, start with 20 minutes. But make it consistent, and keep at it. Just like with anything else in life, when you seriously put time and effort into something, you will start caring about it and in this case, enjoy the benefits.
Keeping a commitment is not easy. However, as you continue to keep showing up to your reading corner at the allotted hour, you will be building a habit and a discipline that can serve you a lifetime.
Among other things, a great way of ensuring that you do keep your commitment to your reading habits is the use of a reading app.
A great tool for this purpose is Basmo, a friendly app designed to improve readers’ experience. It will help you stay on track by providing daily reminders when it’s time for your reading session. It can also help you keep track of how much time you spent reading, and also offers many other great features.
For example, with Basmo, you can track your reading time:
- Simply tap on any book in any collection.
- Then tap the Start session button if it’s a new book or the Continue from page X if it’s a book you’ve already started. This will start the counter.
- As soon as you tap End session the statistics will appear on your dashboard.
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Basmo can easily help you set and reach your reading early goals. It’s super easy to use and 100% free to download, so what have you got to lose?
At the end of the day, you’ll in fact be building two healthy habits: reading, as well as being reliable. Unless you take this step seriously and really make an effort to ensure you achieve your daily reading goal, your chances of staying with it considerably decrease.
4. Be interested in what you read
So often it happens that someone is impressed by the cool-looking cover of a book and buys it, only to take it home and become bogged down in the poorly planned narration or endless descriptions. Sometimes we receive a book as a gift or receive a recommendation from a friend, and after starting to read it with great enthusiasm, we realize the book simply does not inspire us.
To combat this problem, I recommend learning a little about a book before starting to read it. Make a list of topics you’re interested in, and do some research to see what good books you can find in that domain. Local bookstore owners can sometimes provide useful suggestions as well.
If you’ve read at least a few books in your life, you’ve hopefully experienced that excitement of reading a captivating novel, or the fascination of learning how memorable events came to pass by reading a history book. Regardless of your interests, there is such a variety of books that you can surely find a book that inspires you.
If you have no interest in what you are reading, chances are you will become frustrated and bored with the book, and will end up wondering why you’re wasting your time reading. Therefore, it is quite important that you are interested and inspired by the book you’re reading.
5. Make it sociable
We sometimes hear that reading is an activity for socially awkward people. Reading is a positive activity recommended to everyone. However, we can take this negative comment and turn it into a productive idea.
Maybe sometimes you feel lonely after having spent time reading, or you worry that you’re not seeing enough of your friends. A logical solution to this problem would be to join up with your friends and sometimes read together.
In this way, you’ll be benefiting from each others’ company and at the same time you will be able to maintain your reading habit. Furthermore, what may start out as you and your best friend reading together twice per week may turn into the neighbourhood’s book club. Speaking of which, book clubs are also a great idea if you are looking to boost your social life.
6. Ask someone to keep you accountable
As with any resolution, you will be much more effective if you have someone to hold you accountable. Inform someone, be it a family member, a friend, a colleague, or a teacher, of your decision to start reading regularly and ask them to check up on you frequently to make sure that you’re sticking to your decision. Imagine where athletes would be if they didn’t have a coach to keep pushing them on.
While it may seem like an odd thing to request, a rational person should be able to understand that it’s logical and practical. Moreover, if that person is your friend, they might actually be enthusiastic about the idea and may even ask you to be their own reading accountability partner.
You can even set up a reward/consequence system, where if you are faithful to your schedule, you can offer yourself a reward, such as your favourite drink at the end of the day. Alternatively, if you don’t respect your allotted reading time, you have to buy your accountability partner lunch. In this way you will suffer the consequences of not being serious about your resolution, which is one way to improve your reliability towards building your reading habit.
7. Keep distractions away
We all know the corruptive abilities of our own computers and smartphones, how they can drag us into wasting hours on end daily, either scrolling through a social media app or continually searching for new things to buy, or simply streaming useless videos on youtube. The list goes on and on.
The point is this: even though we hate to admit it, these devices encourage us to waste very much time. Our life flies past without us even noticing, because we’re too busy finding the photo frame that’s just right for our latest instagram photo, or completing that next level of our video game, or reading the latest headlines.
Once we’ve established a time for our daily reading session, we need to make a few preparations. One of the most distracting things we all own are our phones. Luckily though, you can still use your smartphone or tablet to get all the benefits of the Basmo app without getting constant notifications. All you need to do is turn your phone’s Do Not Disturb feature on and keep using it to track your reading sessions with Basmo.
Furthermore, it would be good if you can schedule things so that you have nothing else to do during the time you’ve allocated for your reading. Otherwise, you risk being interrupted or preoccupied, and you’ll end up thinking and worrying about other things than what you are reading about. This in turn will lead towards an unproductive reading session which in turn can lessen your resolve to get back into reading books.
8. Keep track of what you read
You know how collectors like to find new objects to add to their prized collection? You can use this same incentive to boost your reading ambitions. Write down every book title you’ve finished, as well as your impressions and opinions about the book. Sometimes it is quite satisfying to look back at your list after a while and remind yourself about the books you’ve read and the lessons you learned from them.
Basmo can help you once again in this aspect. It allows you to keep track of the books you’ve read, note your impressions and ideas, and even save favourite paragraphs. What’s more, you can find new book ideas based on the reviews offered by the other users.
For example, with Basmo, you can easily organize your books — for instance, books read in 2022 and books finished in 2022.
You can add books to the Finished list in two ways:
- Tap on any book in any collection. Tap the 3 dot icon from the right top corner. Tap Mark as Finished and the book will be automatically added to your Finished list.
- From the home screen in your Basmo app, go to Book Collections and tap Finished. Then, use the + sign at the top right-hand corner of your screen to add any book to this list.
Plus, you can also set start and finish dates for each book you read and the app will generate stats of your reading progress.
Journaling your reading experience can also help you benefit more from your reading. Writing down ideas and lasting impressions generated by what you just read may help you remember these things better and longer. Also, you may be able to apply these lessons into your own life.
In any case, the satisfaction of finishing a book and looking back at the lessons learned from it can be a good way of maintaining and building your motivation to get into reading books.
9. Allow for some flexibility
Sometimes, harsh rules and rigidity can cause people to lose enthusiasm. Therefore, I would recommend giving yourself a little slack every now and then.
You can always take your books along on the way to work and read in the subway, or while waiting in line at the hairdresser’s. You just want to avoid becoming bogged down into your routine and not really getting anything out of it anymore.
You could set a few days per week where you read in an alternate location or at a different time. You can treat yourself to a lecture in the park during sunset. Playing classical music can also be a means of improving your reading experience. These are things that can make you look forward to your reading session, thus helping you to keep at it. The most important aspect, however, is that you read quality books which you like and actually want to read.
10. Enjoy it
If you like the taste of ice cream, then you will want to eat ice cream. If you like playing soccer, then you will attempt to get on the field as often as possible. If you enjoy being with your friends, then you will strive to meet them. And yes, if you like reading, then you will set time aside for this purpose.
So find books you like, and then learn from them and enjoy them. If they are useful and instructive, not only will you be enjoying yourself, but you will also be investing in yourself. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Now that you have these ten ideas that offer some advice for how to start reading again, try to combine them in order to obtain the best solution for you, which will enable you to get back into reading books.
It won’t be easy to remain faithful to your resolution in the beginning, but if you keep at it and hold on to your decisions, you will see the fruits of your efforts and will be able to reap the benefits.
You can do it. Good luck!
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