The Ultimate Guide To Help You Build A Reading Habit In 2023 …

5 practical techniques to build a habit of reading books

Chirag Malik
7 min readJan 12, 2023
Source: Booksmyrefuge
  • In this rapidly changing economy, where a job or a skill is relevant only for a few years, where artificial intelligence and technology are evolving at an immense pace, the only way to thrive and survive in the information age is to be a perpetual learner. Your ability to learn anything you want to learn is considered a superpower in this information age.
  • One of the best ways to learn anything is through reading books, a lot of successful people such as Bill gates, Warren Buffett, Ray Dalio, Oprah Winfrey, Barak Obama, Priyanka Chopra, Mark Zukerberg, and countless others attribute a huge chunk of their success to their habit of reading books.

Bill Gates famously said, “Every book teaches me something new or helps me see things differently. I was lucky to have parents who encouraged me to read. Reading fuels a sense of curiosity about the world, which I think helped drive me forward in my career and in the work that I do now with my foundation.”

  • Through reading books, you’re going to pick up new knowledge and viewpoints, which will alter the way you perceive the world and how you think about it.
  • Additionally, those new thought patterns will assist you in making smart and practical decisions throughout your life. It improves your understanding of the numerous aspects of human behavior, and as a result, your chances of better understanding your fellow humans increase.
  • The new thinking patterns will assist you in updating old beliefs and old methods of doing things, as well as in helping you toss out outdated beliefs that were not benefiting you. Through those revised ideas, you are able to view the world in a new way.
  • Your ability to focus and concentrate is an added benefit of reading books and it’s one of the healthiest ways of consuming content.
  • But sadly with the evolution of technology and social media, our attention spans have taken a massive blow. Our capacity to concentrate on a single task for an extended period of time while sitting still is strongly tied to our capacity to learn or read.
  • Because of the constant notifications from the smartphone’s hundreds of applications, people have found it impossible to focus on one task for longer than a few minutes.
  • In the past few years, I’ve received dozens of emails and messages asking me for advice on how to develop a habit of reading. They want to read books, but for whatever reason, they aren’t able to read them.
  • So in this article, I’ll be sharing 5 practical tips that will help you build and sustain a reading habit and will assist you in becoming a lifelong reader and learner.

1. Start Small And Build Gradually.

  • Living in a society where technology and social media are kings has conditioned our minds to expect everything fast, including fast pizza deliveries, fast WiFi, and fast outcomes. But we must be aware that creating something from nothing and maintaining it takes work, perseverance, the right approach, and the right mindset.
  • Setting reasonable and attainable goals will help you form a reading habit. Don’t expect to finish a book in one sitting like you would a Netflix show. Start with something that requires no effort on your part; depending on your attention span, this could be as little as 1 page each day or as much as 30 pages per day.
  • The second aspect of starting small is to choose short, thin books at first so that you won’t be intimidated by a big, thick book. Do not rush through reading it; take your own time. Ensure that you are paying attention and understanding the material.
  • After some time when you are comfortable reading the set of pages, you can increase it as you wish. Be patient and enjoy the books you are reading, not just get through them quickly.

2. Read What You Love.

  • The first book I read was Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, at that time I was a big sneaker freak and a fan of Nike, so the book automatically caught my attention and I breezed through the whole book in less than 1 week. It was so fascinating to me. I was excited to read it every day.

“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” — JK Rowling

  • If I had picked up a book that someone said I should read and I had no interest in reading about that subject just like they do in schools and colleges. I won’t be here writing this article for all of my wonderful readers.
  • My love for reading ignited when I started reading the stuff I wanted to read, and as I progressed in my journey I got curious about other subjects and read and explored many different genres that were alien to me when I started out.

“Read What You Love Until You Love to Read” — Naval Ravikant

  • I like what Naval said, I read what I loved and that made me fall in love with reading, there is no easy way to say this.
  • Pick any subject/genre you want to explore or learn about, pick a short easy book from that subject and read it. You won’t need any external motivation to read it because you are curious about that subject or genre. It could be fiction, philosophy, poetry, comics, psychology, autobiographies, or anything of your liking.
  • Your genuine curiosity will help you become a lifelong reader.

3. Define Your “Why”

  • Many people wish to read books for the wrong reasons or for no purpose at all; but, if you don’t have a goal in mind, you’ll end up aimlessly roaming and never getting anywhere.
  • You won’t be able to maintain your reading habit unless you have a clear reason. Your reading habit will be sustained if you have a strong “Why.”

Why you are reading what you’re reading?

  • You need to have the answer to this question at your fingertips so that it’ll assist you in getting back up and resuming your reading journey with a newfound enthusiasm.
  • For Instance, a lot of people start reading just to look cool on social media or among their peers that’s not the right way to approach reading, and if someone started reading with this mindset they won’t be able to gain anything out of reading books.
Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash
  • For me, it was the quest for knowledge. I wanted to progress professionally by learning new things, improving my life, and developing a mindset that will help me when I face challenges. That is my “why”.
  • You can come up with your own reasons for reading, such as doing it for enjoyment, taking a break from technology, lowering stress levels, improving vocabulary or comprehension, or learning about various viewpoints and ways of thinking. Anything might happen.
  • When you define it, you’ll feel a new zeal when you sit down to read. You’ll be more at ease and won’t be wanting to read the books quickly; instead, you’ll be more focused on learning from the experience and soaking in the journey.
  • If the “Why” is powerful the “How” gets easy.

4. Make It Obvious.

  • To establish any new habit, you need to expose yourself to cues to persuade you to repeat that behavior and you need to redesign your surroundings in a way that makes it easy for you to read.
  • As James Clear said in the first law of Habit building, Make it obvious.
  • Want to lift weights? Place the dumbbells where you can see them every day.
  • Want to eat healthy foods? Fill up your cupboards with all the healthy foods that you can find in the supermarket.
  • Want to build a reading habit? Surround yourself with books, keep your books at an arm’s distance, on your work desk, or on your bed table, and pick them up instead of picking up your smartphone for mindless scrolling. Keep them in a place where you spend most of your time. If you are always traveling don’t forget to carry a book with you.
Photo by Freddie marriage on Unsplash
  • Expose yourself to cues that encourage you to read.
  • I’m always surrounded by books, at the beginning, it was more about exposing myself to cues and making it obvious and later I’d fallen in love with a room full of books.

“A room without books is like a body without a soul”. — Marcus Cicero.

5. Block Time For Reading.

  • If you’re serious about developing the habit of reading books, you must make it a priority and design your day to make reading easier. Assign a time for reading and stick to it, even if it is just for a few minutes. The key is not the intensity, it’s more about consistency.
  • Set the timer for 10–15 minutes and begin reading a book in your preferred genre or a topic that interests you. Don’t make things too complicated. Give up your phone for these few minutes, and attempt to create a quiet space where it’s just you and the book.
  • This piece of advice still works for me after all these years, whenever I struggle to get into a reading schedule due to all the content creation and writing and do not prioritize reading. Put the smartphone in silent mode, start the timer and begin reading. It’s as simple as it can get.
  • If you can do this consistently, your 15 minutes will automatically turn into 20 minutes to half an hour, your concentration will improve, and you will be able to instill the life-changing habit of reading in your life.

That’s it from my side. Do share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Chirag Malik

Top writer on Medium, in Books, Social Media, Reading, Self Improvement, & Productivity. 90k+ Followers On Instagram. Mails At: