Many people think they have bad reading habits. In truth, they don’t have a reading habit at all.
Reading takes time, effort, and often it takes work to go through many books out there on the shelves. It’s not easy, and it’s undoubtedly more difficult than ever, with all the distractions in the world today, to maintain a healthy and productive reading habit. It is, however, extremely valuable to our lives, in whatever pursuits and roles you have, to be and become a reader.
Readers develop leaders, and we could all use more leadership skills in our lives. You might not be a boss, CEO of a company, or coach of a team — but you can still be a leader. A prestigious title isn’t necessary to be a leader in your house, organization, and to your family.
But your reason for developing a reading habit may not pertain to leadership. Maybe you want to read more, grow your knowledge of a subject, or watch less TV.
Whatever your reason for wanting to build a better reading habit, here is a guide to help you get started towards that today.
Read Something Interesting
If you are starting to get back into reading, or starting to read for the first time, read things that will interest you. Reading the latest business book everyone is raving about is excellent, but not if it makes you want to poke your eyes out and never pick up a book again. Find something you are interested in and dive into it.
You can learn life lessons from all kinds of books — fiction, biographies, non-fiction. Even poetry and classics have incredible life lessons and moral stories. Don’t get caught up in what exactly you are reading; instead of that, read something that will get your mind thinking and in the habit of sitting down with a great book.
If your only goal is to keep up with the latest business books and ideas — while not a wrong goal to have — there are easier, quicker, and less painful ways to get the highlights to these books, rather than painfully plowing through a book you don’t want to read.
Nothing is worse than reading 300 pages on something that doesn’t do it for you, no matter what the crowd says.
Find A Great Resource
If you haven’t been reading at all, you need a great resource to put you in the right direction on book recommendations. Finding an excellent resource for a book to read may not be easy if you haven’t been reading, but you will find some resources over time.
Start with the classics. Or, once you find a great author, see if their website has a list to start reading.
Another tip, which is from Ryan Holiday, who is an excellent resource for book recommendations, uses this idea. If you like a book you read, find a book from the biography in the back to find your next read.
Finding good books to read can be a challenge sometimes, but it’s worth finding and reading the right books in life.
If you don’t already read, one of the most likely reasons is that you think you don’t have time. That’s an easy fix. Schedule it. Could you put it in your calendar? Or, pick a time of the day that works best for you.
Maybe it’s 10 minutes in the morning when you get up, 30 minutes after lunch, or 20 minutes before bed. Whenever it is, please do it. Take this time to get better and grow your reading habit.
If you find something within these pages that you like, take notes. Highlight, underline or make notes on the side. Use your book as a document that you are using to make notes about things that inspire you, something you want to remember, and you want to apply. Don’t be afraid to write, scribble, and make marks all over your books.
There is no real reason to keep a book in perfect condition. It needs notes, bent pages, and underlines. That’s what this book is for: to learn.
Read With Purpose
Don’t read because you think that’s what you are supposed to do to be smart or to be able to say I read 32 books this past year. The point of reading is to learn and grow towards something we want to become in the future. Learn the things that will make you better in your profession, as an entrepreneur, leader, and parent.
Whatever your roles are in life, reading is essential to grow more into that role. Experience is great, but reading + experience is far more productive for your future.
I hope that you find some wisdom in this guide and something that will help you grow your own reading habit. Reading can be dull at times if you aren’t reading a good book or aren’t engaged. Reading isn’t easy. It’s work on ourselves, and it’s productive work if you are reading the right things and engaged in what you are reading.
On top of all that, reading the right book at the right time will change your life, and afterward, you may never be the same.