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14 Ways to Cultivate a Lifetime Reading Habit

Set times

Have a few set times during every day when you’ll read for at least 5-10 minutes. These are times that you will read no matter what — triggers that happen each day. 

For example, make it a habit to read during breakfast and lunch (and even dinner if you eat alone) and when you go to bed.

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14 Ways to Cultivate a Lifetime Reading Habit

14 Ways to Cultivate a Lifetime Reading Habit

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/14-ways-to-cultivate-a-lifetime-reading-habit.html

lifehack.org

12

Key Ideas

Reading is highly enjoyable

... if you have a good book. 

If you have a lousy book (or an extremely difficult one) and you are forcing yourself through it, it will seem like a chore. If this happens for several days in a row, consider abandoning the book and finding one that you’ll really love.

Set times

Have a few set times during every day when you’ll read for at least 5-10 minutes. These are times that you will read no matter what — triggers that happen each day. 

For example, make it a habit to read during breakfast and lunch (and even dinner if you eat alone) and when you go to bed.

Always carry a book

Wherever you go, take a book with you, unless you know you definitely won’t be reading (like at a movie). 

If there is a time when you have to wait (like at a doctor’s office or at the DMV), whip out your book and read. Great way to pass the time.

Make a list

Keep a running list of all the great books you want to read and add to it whenever you hear about a good book. You can keep this in your journal, in a pocket notebook, on your personal home page. 

Find a quiet place

Find or create a place in your home where you can comfortably sit with a good book without interruptions. 

There should be no television or computer near the chair to minimize distractions, and no music or noisy family members/roommates.

Read to your kid

If you have children, you must read to them. 

Creating the reading habit in your kids is the best way to ensure they’ll be readers when they grow up … and it will help them to be successful in life as well. At the same time, you'll be developing the reading habit in yourself.

Used book shops and the library

Go is a discount book store and drop off all your old books and get some discount on used books you find in the store.

It is very fun to browse through the new books people have donated. Make your trip to a used book store a regular thing. 

Even cheaper than a used book shop is a library, of course.

Read fun and compelling books

Find books that really grip you and keep you going. Even if they aren’t literary masterpieces, they make you want to read — and that’s the goal here. 

After you have cultivated the reading habit, you can move on to more difficult stuff, but for now, go for the fun, gripping stuff. 

Make it pleasurable

Make your reading time your favorite time of day. 

Have some good tea or coffee while you read, or another kind of treat. Get into a comfortable chair with a good blanket. Read during sunrise or sunset, or at the beach.

Blog it

One of the best ways to form a habit is to put it on your blog. 

If you don’t have one, create one. It’s free. Have your family go there and give you book suggestions and comment on the ones you’re reading. It keeps you accountable for your goals.

Set a high goal

Tell yourself that you want to read 50 books this year (or some other number like that). Then set about trying to accomplish it. 

Just be sure you’re still enjoying the reading though — don’t make it a rushed chore.

Have a reading hour or reading day

If you turn off the TV or the Internet in the evening, you could have a set hour (perhaps just after dinner) when you and maybe all the members of your family read each night. 

Or you could do a reading day when you (and again, your other family members if you can get them to join you) read for practically the whole day. It’s super fun.

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Determine Your Reading Goal

Start off by setting a goal. This goal should be articulate and backed up with a purpose.

For some, it could be a goal of reading 24 books in a year. Once you’re done placing a target figure to your reading goal, then divide them into smaller goals.

Make a List of Books for Each Month

Write out a list of the amazing books you want to read. Ask for recommendations from friends and mentors. 

By being intentional about your reading list, you’ll stay focused on your ultimate goals and avoid lurking at any book that passes you by. 

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Give it rest

Your rest is the most important thing you can do for your mind. 

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Exercise it

The endorphins that you get as a result of exercising work wonders for your mind. Researchers have shown that exercising improves overall brain function, long-term memory, and information processing skills.

Push it to the limit … sometimes

Ask your mind to remember things that you would not ordinarily try to. 

  • Recitation alone helps to build memory muscles in a way that helps our mind remain healthy. 
  • Use it to create new habits by way of 30-days or 21-day experiments.
  •  Erase some words from your vocabulary for the week or month. 

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  • Early morning hours are so peaceful and quiet
  • Rise early and you actually have time for breakfast.
  • Easier to exercise. Exercising right after w...
How to become an early riser
  • Start slowly, by waking just 15-30 minutes earlier than usual.
  • Allow yourself to sleep earlier.
  • Put your alarm clock far from you bed. This way, you have to get up out of bed to shut it off.
  • Go out of the bedroom as soon as you shut off the alarm. 
  • Set something to do early in the morning that’s important. 
  • Make waking up early a reward: make a hot cup of coffee for example, or a tasty breakfast.
  • Take advantage of all that extra time .
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Your behavior defaults to what is most convenient.

For example, if there is junk food in your fridge, you’re probably going to eat it. However, if there is junk food sitting right o...

10-minute night routine
  • Decide the time you’re going to wake up and set the alarm for that time (put your alarm clock in a different room so you physically have to get out of bed to turn it off).
  • Have a few key objectives for your morning.
  • Set up literally everything that needs to be set up so that you don’t have to waste mental energy during your morning.
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Learning constantly

To get better results in life you need to learn constantly. And the best way to learn is to read effectively and a lot.

Upgrading your brain

A new idea, outlook on life, mental model, is all it takes for something to click inside your brain.

Your brain will start making connections between books that seemed to be on different topics. The more you read, the more links you form and the richer your understanding becomes.

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Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle
  • Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day;
  • Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends;
  • Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon;
Melatonin

Is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. 

Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, making you sleepy, and less when it’s light, making you more alert. 

However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm

Influence exposure to ligh

During the day:

  • Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning. 
  • Spend more time outside during daylight. 
  • Let as much natural light into your home or workspace as possible.

At night:

  • Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime.
  • Say no to late-night television.
  • Don’t read with backlit devices. 
  • When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark.
  • Keep the lights down if you get up during the night.

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Prevent Tiredness

General tiredness affects the majority of people.

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It is imperative to sleep 7 to 9 hours for most adults.

An alarm clock or phone alarm can interfere with the body's sleep cycle to wake us up before a cycle is completed. It is healthier to sleep while not being simulated and wake up naturally.

Don't be a Couch Potato

Apart from rest, it is crucial to have a daily exercise routine and get some sun exposure regularly.

Human beings are designed to move and be in the sun, trekking and toiling for hours. If you are feeling tired, walking outside in nature and getting some sun will help.

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We can apply the same technique to get ourselves to read more.

Instead of 2 hours of Netflix each night, cutting it in half would still give you the satisfaction of watching Netflix in the evenings but also free up time to read as well.

Book Summaries

Preview the book in order to vet whether or not it’s worth investing your time in.

  • Use book summaries. Find apps that give accurate and concise summaries of many of the most popular books out there and are constantly updating their library.
  • Use podcast interviews with the author. Authors often go on the podcast circuit to promote their books. 

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Designing your life

Design your life like a choice architect:

  • Encourage smarter decisions you want to do by making them more accessible.
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“First, never underestimate the power of inertia. Second, that power can be harnessed.” 

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  • Lion:  classic morning people. You read about them in all the productivity articles. 15-20% of the population.
  • Dolphin: light sleepers, who frequently get diagnosed with insomnia. 10% of the population.