Cultivating Reading Habits that Will Last a Lifetime

Reading Habits

Spending time reading daily sounds scary, especially when we’re used to staying glued to our screen for several hours in one go. But at the same time, you don’t have to read for 2-3 hours straight just to say you managed to develop reading habits.

Most of the time, integrating 30 minutes into your morning or night routine is more than enough to figure out how to develop a reading habit. 

Besides, cultivating a reading habit feels like hitting 2 birds with 1 stone. On the one hand, you’ll do a relaxing and funny activity in your spare time. On the other hand, you’ll become more knowledgeable and creative. 

But there are more other advantages if you decide to make reading a habit: 

  • You’ll learn how to put yourself in other people’s shoes and be more empathetic because you’ll read about other countries, timelines, traditions, cultures, and beliefs. 
  • You’ll sleep better because you won’t be looking at a blue screen at night. 
  • You’ll learn how to look objectively at a problem because you’ll be more knowledgeable about different topics. 
  • You’ll improve your memory. Reading about different characters, relationships, or new things will help your brain form new synapses.  

Developing reading habits is usually a good thing. In fact, it’s a personal trait many people appreciate and admire. However, there are some bad practices that might get in your way when you’re working on cultivating this habit. Briefly, here are a few of them:

  • Reading in dim light. This practice overworks your eyes and tires them faster. 
  • Reading only books you’re comfortable with. After all, growth doesn’t happen in your comfort zone. You’ll never know what other books you like until you try a few other genres.  
  • Not looking up the words you don’t know. Although it seems time consuming at first, it’s worth it – you’ll expand your vocabulary and better understand what’s going on in the book.

So, What Are Good Reading Habits Basically?

Good reading habits should be healthy and realistic. And the truth is that only you know how much you should be reading, or how the reading routine that serves you best looks like. 

When you plan on developing a habit of reading, try to consider other things like:

  • How much should you read daily? 
  • When can you find time to do it? 
  • What books can help you keep up the momentum? 

But first, let’s start at the very beginning!  

How Can You Make Good Reading Habits? 

Whether you decide it’s time for a change of pace or you want to build habits from 0, there are some tips you should keep in mind: 

Take Notes While Reading 

Taking notes is a great way to remember the information you read in a book, and have only the most interesting quotes or paragraphs at your fingertips. There are a lot of enjoyable ways to take notes while reading

  • Typing everything you need in Google Docs/Sheets.
  • Having a special notebook where you can write your thoughts down. 
  • Using mind mapping tools to draw connections between characters and subplots easier. 
  • Use reading tracking apps to keep a list of every book you’ve read and quotes you liked (for example, your favorite quotes about reading books).

The difference between mind mapping tools and reading tracking apps is in their name. While mind mapping tools can be used for other things unrelated to books like team project management or tracking tasks, reading tracking apps just focus on improving and tracking your reading habits.

From this perspective, choosing a reading tracking app is an easier and more efficient solution to help you focus on only one thing – reading. And while we’re on this topic, let’s mention Basmo since it’s one of those reading apps. 

With Basmo, you can write down notes, scan, screenshot, and take pics of your favorite pages from a book.   

And the steps are really simple too:

  1. You log into your Basmo account. 
  2. Tap on the + button to add the book you’re currently reading. 
  3. Tap on the Start Session button. 
  4. When you find something interesting, tap on the Scan Page button. 
  5. Here, you have the option to either save the page as a picture, or only the text.
  6. Choose what you want and enjoy your reading!

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?

Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

Time-block Your Reading Session 

The best tip to read efficiently is to set a target of how many hours you’d like to read per day. 

Don’t set the bar too high, but don’t keep it too low either – balance is everything. Time-block your reading sessions so you’ll feel comfortable with your target and reach it every day. For instance, 7 hours might be too long and sticking to the plan till the end might be harder than expected. 

With Basmo, you can always adjust the time you want to spend reading:

  1. Just log into the app. 
  2. Tap on the Goals section you see at the bottom of the screen. 
  3. Tap right on the Adjust Goal text from the My Daily Goal section and insert whatever number of minutes makes you comfortable and excited for your reading habits.

Set a Daily “X-minutes Rule”

If you aim for a certain number of minutes to read per day, you’ll make constant progress and you won’t be tempted to break your habit. Of course, if you’re pressed for time, going for a longer time per session might be a better idea. 

To help you with this, Basmo lets you know how many minutes per day you should read if you want to finish your yearly book goals. 

Limit Your Distractions 

Another thing to help you with making a habit of reading books is to stay away from your phone when you read. And being distracted by your phone because you have to let your tracking reading app open while you’re reading sounds like the ultimate recipe for failure. 

Basmo knows that limiting your screen time is the key to better productivity. Once you start your reading session, you can close your phone. But don’t worry – the app will still run in the background so you’ll still log in accurate reading times whenever you want. 

Make a List with the Books You Want to Read 

Planning your weekly or monthly reading list is more important than you think. Seeing a list of interesting and exciting books you actually enjoy reading can hype you up about your reading habit. But this only works if you choose books you’re really excited about. 

Don’t force yourself into classic philosophy books just because you think they make you look cool. If simple, short poems are all you’re interested in – go for that! 

With Basmo, you can make this planning process easy and fun:

  1. You open the app. 
  2. Once you’re on the Home Page, you scroll down until you reach the Book collections section. 
  3. Tap on the Want to read section. 
  4. Tap on the + button. 
  5. Go wild and add all the thrilling books you want to read. 

Ready to start creating your reading list?
Try Basmo book tracker today!

It’s 100% free to download, so what have you got to lose?

Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

Consistency is Key 

Reading a book for 2 hours on your first day and then ignoring it for another 5 days isn’t an ideal reading habit. Instead of going for long, hard-to-attain reading sessions, plan smaller ones. 

For example, 30 minutes per day doesn’t seem like much, but being consistent about those 30 minutes counts more in the long run than 2 hours once in a while. 

You can use Basmo to set daily reading reminders to remember about your reading goals. 

Figure Out When You Like to Read

The truth is that there is no such thing as “the best time to read”. According to one’s schedule, spare time, routines, daily activities – the best reading time differs from one person to another. 

Researchers say that reading in the morning is the best time because it wakes you up and stimulates your mind. Waking up and doing your tasks might seem a bit too sudden, so having time for yourself will make you more productive. Reading in the morning will give you that energy boost to keep you going for the entire day.

Reflect on What You Read 

Make time to reflect on what you’ve just read. Did a paragraph make you feel a certain way? Do you disagree with something that a character did or said? Did a book change your way of thinking? 

Don’t let these questions and feelings disappear! Note them down and save these ideas for later conversations with your friends. 

With Basmo you can track your emotions and rephrase those intriguing ideas with your own words: how a character talked, the narrative perspective, what made the author say certain things, and so on. 

That looks like fun! Is it hard to cultivate a reading habit? 

Like any other habit, you need consistency until these practices stay with you even when you’re not doing them deliberately. After a while, you won’t need an “it’s time to read!’ reminder anymore, but you’ll get used to having a book in your hands at least once per day. 

However, learning how to make reading a habit can be difficult for some people. So here’s a list with the most common reasons why people fail to develop reading habits. 

They Usually Set Unrealistic Goals 

Setting goals like finishing 60 big, tough books in 1 year when you haven’t read a book since you were kid is pretty much impossible. 

You can’t run a marathon in one day as much as you can’t finish just any book in one day. Reading speed takes practice too. So take it easy and plan small, doable goals that you can achieve even when you’re busy or tired.

People Have a Shorter Attention Span than Before 

There is no doubt that reading a book requires more imagination and effort than watching a movie. After all, you have to visualise all the characters, buildings, or locations instead of just passively watching them on a TV screen. 

But there is one more reason why a movie screen is easier to watch than reading a book: visual and audio effects that keep you entertained even when there’s not much going on. 

If you find yourself believing so, just remember that, in most cases, the book always has more breathtaking plots, characters, or details than a movie can accommodate. Most of the time, you’ll understand the relationship between certain characters better if you read the book. 

However, there is some truth when people say they can’t follow the plot – some books are not that immersive to begin with. 

In this situation, just remember that the best solution is to power through a few more pages until you get to the interesting part! 

Some Books Are Hard and Boring (Not Sugarcoating This One)

You can’t enjoy every book you stumble upon and it’s perfectly normal. 

Let’s take classic literature, for example. Those kinds of books were written in other times, when people had a different education, values, and traditions. Even people who lived in the past had different expectations from books than they have now. 

All these differences make classic literature inherently harder to read than modern literature. You don’t have the knowledge, vocabulary, or the life perspectives of a 18th century aristocrat. You don’t want to spend half of your day reading the description of a window that spans multiple pages, old writing techniques that spoil all the plot, and cliche characters.

Some People Feel Forced to Do It or They Simply Don’t Enjoy It 

Simply put, reading is a hobby, and not everyone has the same hobbies. Some people like to be seen reading because it’s considered an “intellectual” activity, but they don’t actually enjoy it. 

On the other hand, others have bad memories with books they had to read in school, or maybe they had unpleasant teachers that made reading seem like a chore. 

The truth is that you should read only what you feel comfortable with. The moment you start reading just because you “have to” instead of “want to”, maintaining a habit gets harder.

There’s no point in reading long books if all you need to relax are some nice, simple poems. Listening to your needs will show you how to develop a reading habit in a simple, yet enjoyable way. 

Here Are 5 Best Books to Start a Reading Habit!

If you tried several books so far and didn’t like any – don’t despair. Most likely, you didn’t find your favorite genre, author, or writing style yet. 

For starters, you can start with bestsellers. After all, they’re popular for a reason. Besides, if you don’t have much patience or reading speed, it would be a good idea not to start with thick books. There is a reason why there are so many jokes with people not reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

These are 5 books that will keep you completely hooked from the beginning until the end: 

  • The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  • Honor – Elif Shafak
  • Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens 
  • I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death – Maggie O’Farrell 
  • The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini 


Cultivating a reading habit is a daily practice, and with a little help from some tools and apps, you’ll be motivated to read more. Keeping a list with all the books you’ve read and all the books you’d like to read gives you that certain sense of accomplishment. 

Besides, you can even share the books you’re reading on social media so you can connect with people with the same hobby as you and discuss the books later! After all, talking about what you read plays a big role in cultivating a daily reading habit. Once you’ve found the right people to talk with about the books you’re reading, you’ll be more motivated to read. 

Sharing interesting ideas, quotes, or reading notes with other people passionate about books will help you absorb a lot of information and inspire you to keep your reading habit. 

And like any other habit, don’t forget to go easy on yourself – skipping one day doesn’t mean you’re back to square one!

Give Your Reading Experience
An Extra Boost With Basmo

Track the books you read, monitor the time you spend reading and keep notes on your reading habits and how it makes you feel. You can set yourself targets for the time you spend reading and you can get notified whenever you’re behind on your reading time. 

Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

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