Like many of you I’m sure, I have struggled to build a good reading habit since I came to university, due to both the lack of time and the amount of academic reading I have to do. But I’ve recently been working on this and have some tips that might help you out if you are in the same predicament as I was!
Firstly, in order to get into the right mindset to read more often, I recommend watching BookTube! BookTube is a section of YouTube where YouTubers dedicate their channels to books and reading. This is a great way to get recommendations for books to read, and also be involved in a community where people are talking about books and being enthusiastic about reading. One of my favourite BookTubers to watch is Jean Menzies (Jean Bookishthoughts on YouTube). She’s from Edinburgh and reads a lot of fantasy which is one of my favourite genres!
The next recommendation is another step you might want to take before you even pick up a book. I recommend getting a Goodreads account if you don’t already have one! Goodreads is like social media for reading. You have 3 shelves automatically called Read, Want to Read, and Currently Reading. If you search for books, you can very easily add them to your shelves and review books you’ve already read. You can also create your own shelves, for example, I have lots of different shelves for different genres of books I’ve read. The best thing about Goodreads is that you can add friends and follow people, such as the Booktubers I’ve already mentioned, so you can see what other people are reading and perhaps get inspired!
Another thing to perhaps think about is whether you have access to books you really enjoy reading and want to read. Sometimes we can get stuck in a rut of reading the same sort of book even if it doesn’t really appeal to you. By using the first two tips, you might find a new genre or author, for example, that really excites you and that you want to read more of. Once you’ve found this inspiration, you should try to get access to these books – but that doesn’t mean you have to go and buy fresh new copies. Ask your friends and family if they have a copy. Look online or in stores for second hand books. If you have a kindle, books are usually way cheaper on there! Or even take some books out of your local library. There are loads of ways to get access to books that don’t require a lot of time and money.
Hopefully you’ve got your hands on some books you really want to read, so now it’s time to actually start reading! I’d recommend, if you can, to start off by dedicating a small amount of time each day to read perhaps a chapter of a book. This could be when you first wake up, before you go to bed, during your commute, on your lunch break, any time at all! If you get into a routine of reading even just one chapter a day, you’ll get through books a lot faster. Once you’ve done this for a while, and if you realise you have more time you could dedicate to reading instead of, for example, scrolling through your phone, you will get inspired to read even more chapters a day, and therefore finish more books in less time!
I’ve seen a few people recommend keeping a book on you at all times so whenever you have a spare minute you can get through a couple of pages. This would definitely work for some people, but perhaps not others. I’d say you should try any tips like these to see if they work for you and eventually you’ll find the perfect technique!
So, as you can see, building a good reading habit is actually more to do with the preparation than the reading itself. If you have amazing books accessible to you, you’ll be far more likely to read more often! I hope this helps some of you get through the books that have been sat on your shelves forever!