How to improve reading habits so they become part of your lifestyle
On World Book Day 2022 (which falls on April 23rd every year), China’s President Xi Jinping encouraged Chinese people to develop good reading habits in a congratulatory letter to the nation’s first reading campaign. He mentioned that reading was vital for acquiring knowledge, gaining wisdom, and raising moral standards. Likewise, Xi added that the Chinese nation has valued reading since ancient times, which has contributed to the confident and self-empowered characters of the Chinese people.
Both Xi’s comments on reading, along with his book recommendations, have become popular topics of discussion on social media. The message is likely to be received well as reading has become more popular among the Chinese in recent years. In fact, more paper and digital books were read by both Chinese children and adults in 2021 compared to the year before.
Whether you’ve been inspired to pick up a book again or are someone who thinks about reading every day, but never actually does it, this Pacific Prime China article tells you how to improve reading habits so they become part of your lifestyle.
1. Don’t be afraid to give up
Remember that reading is meant to be enjoyable, so giving up a book is completely fine. A book you don’t resonate with or have trouble understanding can make reading feel more like a chore – and most people don’t do chores unless they have to.
So, if you started reading a book and are forcing yourself through it for a few days or chapters, it’s probably time to put it down and move on to the next. The more books you read and love, the more you’ll realize how many books are out there. Don’t waste time on the crummy ones.
2. Make time for it
If you find yourself delaying reading all the time, then you’ll probably have to pencil it in. Schedule a few 5-10 minute slots in your day to spend on reading. No matter what’s going on, stick to your schedule like you would with an appointment with someone else.
Similarly, think about times in the day when you can easily incorporate reading. Can you read during your commute or lunch break? Or how about a few pages while you’re having your morning coffee? And of course, there’s nothing like cozying up with a good book in bed. These are simple yet incredibly effective ways to improve reading habits in no time.
3. Never leave home without a book
Say it with me: I will carry a book with me whenever I leave the house. Avid readers include a book in their mental checklist right before they head out the door. After all, it’s essential. What else would you do while waiting for your appointment who’s running late or in line at the bank?
When you carry a book with you at all times, the opportunities for reading are everywhere. It’s also a more fulfilling way to pass the time than aimlessly scrolling through social media.
4. Keep a reading list
People who live by lists will be especially tickled by this tip, which involves making a list of all the books you’d like to read. How you go about this is entirely up to you. For example, you could open a Goodreads account for a digital record or go old-fashioned and jot it down in your journal.
Regardless of the method, the rules are simple: write down every good book you hear about. It can be through friend’s recommendations (or Oprah), magazine articles, or overheard in conversation. Mark the ones you’ve read and, for bonus points, make a couple of notes to refresh your memory as your reading list grows.
5. Find a quiet, distraction-free spot
If you’re reading at home, pick a quiet corner of the home where you can sit comfortably and dive into your book without being disturbed. Keep distractions to a minimum, meaning no computers, TVs, or electronic devices nearby. The same goes for music and noisy people, whether you live with family or roommates.
Side note: those wondering how to improve reading habits in adults are often surprised to realize that the time they spend watching TV or on the internet could go towards reading instead. Be mindful of where your time goes and what habits you’re reinforcing.
6. Read with your children
Depending on your child’s age, you can read to them or with them. Reading, in general, is a must if you have children. Instead of thinking about how to improve reading habits in students, you can teach children to value reading from a young age. Not only does developing a reading habit in kids help turn them into life-long readers, but it can also contribute to their success later in life.
There are plenty of wonderful children’s books out there, so start reading and enjoy quality time together in a healthy way.
7. Turn it into a ritual
Before you know it, reading is likely to turn into your favorite part of the day. You can help speed up the process by making it as pleasurable as possible from the start. Here are some ways you can make it extra special.
- Prepare your favorite beverage to sip on (or your favorite snack to munch on) while you read
- Cover yourself in a comfy blanket
- Read as the sun comes on or goes down
- Take your book onto the balcony for some fresh air and sunlight
You get the idea! Hopefully, the tips above can help you turn into the reader you’ve always dreamed of being. Reading gives you a safe space to take a break from whatever’s going on in your life or the world and peace of mind wherever you go.
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