Why is building a reading habit so hard and how to go about it

“I’m too busy.”

“It’s boring.”

“I’d rather do something else.”

“I’m too tired.”

“I don’t have anything to read.”

It’s not important.”

These are some of thoughts that people have when they try to tell themselves “why” they can’t spend some time reading.

But you don’t need to read for hours, few minutes is good enough.

It’s important to identify the underlying reasons why someone may not want to spend time reading, as this can help them address the issue and find ways to overcome it.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

– Dr. Seuss

Why is reading regularly hard

There are many reasons why reading every day may be hard for some people. Here are a few possibilities:

  1. Lack of time: People may lead busy lives with work, school, and other commitments that make it challenging to find time to read every day. They may prioritize other activities over reading, making it difficult to make it a consistent habit.
  2. Difficulty with concentration: Some people may have difficulty focusing or concentrating for extended periods, making it hard to sit down and read a book for an extended period.
  3. Lack of interest: If someone isn’t interested in what they’re reading, they may struggle to find the motivation to keep reading.
  4. Screen time: With the rise of technology, people are spending more time on screens than ever before, making it harder to find the motivation to pick up a physical book.
  5. Stress or anxiety: People experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety may struggle to focus on reading or find themselves too distracted to read for any significant length of time.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

– George R.R. Martin

Why is reading regularly important

Reading is important for several reasons:

  1. Knowledge acquisition: Reading is a vital way to acquire knowledge and information about different subjects. Whether you’re reading books, articles, or other materials, you can learn about a variety of topics, expand your understanding of the world, and gain new perspectives.
  2. Mental stimulation: Reading can be an excellent way to keep your mind active and engaged. It can improve cognitive function, enhance memory, and sharpen critical thinking skills.
  3. Vocabulary expansion: Reading is an excellent way to expand your vocabulary and improve your language skills. By reading regularly, you expose yourself to new words, phrases, and concepts, and can use them in your daily life.
  4. Relaxation and stress relief: Reading can be an effective way to unwind and de-stress after a busy day. It can provide a peaceful escape from daily life, help you relax, and reduce stress levels.
  5. Empathy and emotional intelligence: Reading can improve empathy and emotional intelligence by allowing you to explore different perspectives, situations, and experiences. This can help you better understand and connect with other people.
  6. Improved writing skills: Reading can also help improve your writing skills. By reading different styles of writing and analysing how authors convey their ideas and emotions, you can learn techniques and strategies to improve your own writing.

Overall, reading is an essential skill and habit that can provide many benefits in various aspects of your life, from personal development to professional success.

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

– Jorge Luis Borges

How to build a reading habit

Building a reading habit takes time and effort, but the following tips can help you get started:

  1. Start small: Begin with small reading sessions of just 10-15 minutes each day, and gradually increase the time as you get more comfortable with the habit.
  2. Set a reading goal: Set a specific reading goal for yourself, such as reading one book per month, or reading for a certain number of minutes each day.
  3. Choose books you enjoy: Start with books that you find interesting or enjoyable. Don’t force yourself to read something that you’re not interested in, as it will be difficult to sustain the habit.
  4. Make reading a part of your daily routine: Set aside a specific time each day for reading, such as before bed, during your commute, or during your lunch break.
  5. Eliminate distractions: Create a quiet, distraction-free environment for reading. Turn off your phone, TV, or any other distractions that may prevent you from focusing on your reading.
  6. Join a book club: Joining a book club can provide accountability, motivation, and a sense of community. It can also expose you to new books and authors that you may not have discovered on your own.
  7. Keep a reading log: Keep track of the books you read, the pages you read, and the time you spend reading. This can help you monitor your progress, stay motivated, and celebrate your achievements.

Remember, building a reading habit takes time and patience. Be kind to yourself and celebrate your progress along the way.

“That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive – all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.”

– Mary Ann Shaffer in “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” (2018)

How to track your reading

To make a reading tracker, follow these steps:

  1. Decide on the format: You can use a physical notebook or a digital application to create your reading tracker. Depending on your preference, choose the format that works best for you.
  2. Choose the information to track: Decide on the information you want to track about your reading, such as the book title, author, date started, date finished, number of pages, genre, and rating.
  3. Create a template: Create a template with the information you want to track. For example, if you are using a physical notebook, create columns for each piece of information. If you are using a digital application, create fields for each piece of information.
  4. Start recording: Start recording the information about the books you read in your tracker. Be consistent and make sure to record the information for every book you read.
  5. Analyse your reading: Use the information you’ve recorded to analyse your reading habits. For example, you can use the data to see how many books you’ve read in a certain genre, how long it takes you to finish a book, and which books you enjoyed the most.
  6. Adjust your reading goals: Use the insights you gain from analysing your reading habits to adjust your reading goals. For example, if you notice that you are not reading as many books in a certain genre as you would like, you can set a goal to read more books in that genre.

The most important thing is to make a reading tracker that works for you and to use it consistently.

Happy reading!

Here are books I read in Q1 of 2023:

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