Beginners Guide: How to make the habit of reading books

Was there a time when you have not heard about the importance of reading books? The answer is definitely a ‘No’. I don’t have to give you reasons to read books. Everyone knows that books are one of the key habits of highly successful people. But how did they make that habit? What did they read? Did reading made them successful or something more needs to be done?

Common excuses for not reading:

A) Books are expensive:

A lot of people do not want to spend money on a book which they are going to read for one time and keep it aside. You can always borrow books from the library or read them online.

B) Books are difficult to maintain:

“I buy a lot of books. But they get dusty easily. I don’t know how to maintain.” You can always hire someone who helps you maintain them or read about their maintenance.

C) Why books when I can watch:

When you watch, you are only watching what the director wants you to watch. When you read, it is your own screenplay and not what another person has played it for you. The hero of the book looks like the way you want. You need not adjust for something what others want you to see.

D) Books are tough to read:

“I come across so many difficult words while reading and can’t comprehend what is written.” Instead of looking at it with pessimism, take it as an opportunity to improve your vocabulary.

E) Language is complex:

“I have trouble understanding the language.” The language might be tough when it is very different from your native language. It is one of the great ways to learn a new language.

F) Books strain my eyes:

“My eyes start hurting after I read a few pages.” Does watching television not hurt your eyes?

G) Books are time consuming:

“My day is totally packed. How do you expect me to find time to read?” Do you find time for social networking sites like Facebook? Then you have definitely got time to read.

H) Books can’t be read beyond a page:

“Whenever I start a book, all I can drag till is one chapter”. This is totally fine. You must have chosen the wrong book or you have not followed the right steps to make it a habit.

I) Book reading speed:

“I am a slow reader”. Are you taking part in the fastest reading contest? You can read at your own pace.

J) Book content is difficult to remember:

“I don’t remember what I read”. No one is testing you on the content. Are you not eating food every day even though it just lasts for a while? Reading is also the same. It is a food for the brain. There is no compulsion to remember. But if you are really interested in remembering, keep making notes and revise them regularly.

K) Books have not changed my life:

“My life had not changed even a little.” Your life does not change by reading a book. It changes by implementing what you have read. Don’t finish a self-help book overnight and wait for miracles to happen the next morning. Change is a gradual process. Read a chapter a day. Implement them. Become a person which was described in the chapter and them move to the next one.

L) Books are just a way to kill time and there are many ways to do it:

There are many ways to kill time. They might be productive or destructive. A wise person always chooses a productive way to a destructive way.

How to make it a habit?

Step 1: Start with your favourite genre

If you don’t have any favourite genre, read a few book summaries to see what you like better. Start reading a book in that genre.

Step 2: Start small

Don’t try to read the entire chapter on the first day. Read only one page each day in the first one week. Then increase it to two pages a day in the second week. Keep increasing the number of pages a day based on your comfort level.

Step 3: Trigger the action

Set a time each day when you are going to read it. If you can’t pull out time in your daily schedule, have a location trigger. You can open book and start reading when you are in a queue or waiting for a friend.

Step 4: Reward

Set a reward yourself after reading each page. Reward need not be materialistic. An appreciation for yourself that you have finished a page can also be a reward. You can have a chart where you put a tick mark for doing it today.

How to read in order to retain?

  • Write notes while you read. If it is disturbing the flow of reading, read first and then reread it to make notes.
  • Write action points for you based on pieces of advice mentioned in the book.
  • Discussing the book with your friends and ask their opinion on it. You can also ask what they would do in hypothetical situations.
  • Connect whatever you are reading presently with what you read in the past. Connections make neural paths stronger.
  • Last but not least, implement them to retain the content forever


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Happy Reading !

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