In December of 2016, I knew that I wanted to make reading a priority in the coming new year. However, I didn’t yet have a good reading habit. I knew if I set my goal too high I might fail quickly and give up on the entire endeavor. Instead, I made my goal simple: read at least one page of any book each day. This was my only criteria. Many days I actually did only read one page, but most times I read more. This simple habit got me used to opening a book each night before I went to bed. I kept this habit up for the entire year.
Then in December of 2017, I knew that I wanted to continue with my practice of reading. I set a new goal to read one book per month. To help encourage this process, I started a mini book club with one of my best friends so we could hold each other accountable and discuss the books we read.
When December of 2018 came around, I was quite happy with the reading habit I had developed. I set the new goal to finish one book per week in 2019. At this point, the most important thing I learned was to ensure I always had a great list of books to read next. You’ll find that books often mention other great books. If you find yourself loving the book you are reading, keep note of any books that author references or recommends. I now have a database of over 200 books to read. I’m sure that I’ll enjoy most of them because I trust the authors who recommended them.
Another important learning was to make it easy to read throughout the day. I use Audible to stream audio books while walking, exercising or commuting. I have a Kindle that I can take with me when I travel, and I always have a physical book next to my bed to read each night. Surrounding yourself with opportunities to read books makes it much easier to develop this habit.
The last helpful tip is to read multiple books at once. I personally am usually reading 5-10 books at any given time. Why? I only read things that I really enjoy. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a certain type of book, and sometimes I’m in the mood for something completely different. By reading multiple books at a time I can switch between books based on my current mood or interest. This stops me from getting stuck on a single book and then not reading at all as a consequence. It’s also important to mention that I rarely read one book from start-to-finish in one week. Rather, I finish one book per week.
Learning to finish one book per week has been a wonderful habit that I plan to continue in the years ahead. I’ve found that reading books has made other forms of media like streaming and social media feel less interesting by comparison, so over time it has become easier to dedicate time to reading.
It took me three years to learn this habit, but it was well worth it. Happy reading!