HOW TO DEVELOP A READING HABIT

How to make time to read. Where to read. When to read.


Made and shared with keeping the current lock-down in perspective.


We need to ‘make’ time to read. Or to do anything that is important for us but not urgent. Urgent things get themselves done, and we very well know how. It is the important but not urgent things that we struggle with. Here I’m sharing a few ways I make time for reading.


I started reading really late, when I was around twenty six. Until that point, I had read max three books cover to cover and abandoned about five, three chapters in. I took up a challenge to read 50 books in 2017. I did not complete it, but the challenge made me push my boundaries and I read 22 books in that one year, 7 times of what I had read in my entire life until then! So it was a huge win for me.


This series is for the non readers/new readers out there, who are wanting to develop reading as a habit, but are struggling with which book to read, how to make time for reading, how to remain consistent etc.


01/ Pet mindset.


02/ Curiosity mindset/Book tasting.

Read what you ‘want’ to read, not what you are ‘supposed’ to be reading. Just like food, wine, cheese, colours, music, men, each of us have a personal taste in words as well. And that taste is ever evolving. Instead of getting overwhelmed with not knowing your taste in books when you are just starting out, develop a curiosity mindset. Be curious of what all is available out there to read, try it all bit by bit. You can start with reading the back cover of the book to see if that sparks your excitement to read more, if not, keep it away and pick another. If midway you don’t like reading it, don’t be too hard on yourself, keep it away for a while and maybe go back to it later and read something else in the meanwhile. At the start, the aim is to just read, and develop a liking for the act of reading itself. // Just like food, each of us have a personal taste in words as well. Read what you like reading instead of force consuming must-read recommendations by others.


03/ Practice what you preach mindset.


Buy extra books for cheap at second hand book sales and gift a book to kids visiting your home. This not only helps you spread/preach the reading habit to others, but also forces you (in all good ways and for all good reasons) to ‘practice’ what you preach. I call this my trickster idea. ;)


04/ Reading date with partner/friends.

My husband and I read to each other in bed at night sometimes. It’s really cute, filled with giggles and tickles because he doesn’t do the regular plain reading. He goes all out with voice modulation (he has taken up voice over training 3 yrs back) and background sounds etc making it a 4d experience for me. You could also meet your friend/s at nearby park and read together or to each other.


05/ Family reading time.

I asked avid readers on Instagram, about what helped them develop a reading habit. I’m sharing a few responses below, which my illustration above is a representation of.


“I grew up in a family, where everyone spent time reading, so it felt natural for me.” says @nehapatilmusic


“I developed a habit of reading because my mum always purchased books for me since I was a baby. So I don’t remember ever not reading. When I went to my grandparents place, they still had all her books neatly lined up, which she would read as a kid. From there I developed the habit of going to our colony library to find more books.” says @rhea.gupte


“ My parents helped me develop this habit. They bought me lots of story books right from my toddler days. “ says @shubhada.gupte


“My mother buying me books during school holidays helped me develop a reading habit.” says @pc.prapti


I agree 100% with these folks. Kids learn by example, not by instruction. If you are an avid reader, your kid will pick it up from you. But if you are not a reader yet, but have kids, it would be really amazing to include once a week reading ritual with your kid. If you are feeling like it, you could make it an every night bedtime story telling ritual, where you and your kid take turns in telling each other stories.


Now is a great time! During this quarantine, your kids’ schools are shut, you are at home (hopefully), use this time to bond over reading stories that you like and enjoy! You could begin with picture books, short stories, of a diverse subject range from everyday lessons, to death, to inclusivity, to love, to empathy, togetherness, to hope, to how to deal with difficult emotions, etc. There are soooo many good books out there for people of all kinds and all reading levels. Don’t feel the pressure to read what a celebrity or another avid reader might be reading. Pick up a book that sparks joy in you!


06/ When/where to read on busy days.

My fav location & time to read (especially on busy days) is on the pot, while taking a dump and with conditioner on my hair for 4-5mins. I easily read 2-3 pages in that time. The rest of my bath becomes more inspiring with the words going on in my head and me imagining the rest of the pages, eventually pushing me to read a few more pages through the day.


I like keeping 2-3 books in the bathroom, so I have a few choices based on my mood. :)


Have you tried this? If not, do so and let me know how it goes for you!

This is an ongoing series. I will be adding more illustrations, tips, methods that can help people get in touch with the joy and benefits of reading and also help them with specific actions they can take to build this habit, especially now, during this quarantine.


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