Cultivate a reading habit

I used to read a lot of books when I was in high school. There were few distractions then, I had no phone and not much access to the Internet.

My habit of reading broke at some point after I went to college. One of the major reasons was the fact that now I had a phone and unlimited access to the Internet. Instead of reading books, a lot of my time was spent scrolling though Reddit, Twitter, Instagram and so on. I still used to read a few books every year, but it was much rarer now that a few years earlier.

I'm trying to get back into the groove of regular reading now for the past few months. I've found a few things that have been helpful.

  1. Reading what I like: This seems simple, but it's quite easy to forget. I've wasted a lot of time trying to make it through books that I did not like. Usually, this happens with books I think I should like, but somehow don't. Reading books that don't capture my attention makes reading a chore and hard to do consistently. I've started taking breaks from books that I don't seem to be enjoying, with the hope that I'll come back to it eventually (but if that doesn't happen, it's okay too!).

  2. Avoiding distractions: It's very easy to get distracted and spend time on Twitter or Instagram instead of reading actual good books. This is especially an issue for me before bedtime at night when I actually should be reading a book before I fall asleep. To avoid these distractions, I've started keep my phone in the living room. This means I only have books to keep me entertained before bedtime.

Both of these are small tricks, but they are effective. In the last two months, I've read 6 books, which I'm happy with. It feels like I'm cultivating the habit, and hopefully I can continue doing so.

Read what you like.

Avoid distractions.