Ways to Nurture a Lifetime Reading Habit

Children love to read when they come from a home where their parents also read. However, as time goes by, school-mandated book lists take over and turn the task of reading into a chore. As a result, many adults have simply been turned off to the joys of reading.

Here is a list of several ideas on how to get yourself back into the habit:

  1. Read what you like.
    Don’t get caught up in the latest best-seller lists simply because it seems that everybody is reading the same books. If you don’t like vampire stories, then picking up a copy of “Twilight” is never going to appeal to you. Find a book, be it non-fiction or fiction, which talks about subjects that you already know you’re into. That’s the best way to increase the odds that you’ll finish what you’ve started.
  2. Remove the distractions.
    Trying to fit in a few chapters while the television blares in the background and the kids are running around playing laser tag is not conducive to the reading process. More often than not, you’ll discover that you’ve only succeeded in reading the same one or two sentences over and over again due to all the outside noise. Find a quiet spot to read so that you can fully immerse yourself into the world of the book you have selected.
  3. Make the book a regularly scheduled event.
    Just like going to the gym or taking that annual trip to the dentist, if you don’t hardwire it into your routine, you’re simply going to find excuses to not do it. So, rather than wondering if you’re ever going to have the time to finish that novel you’re working on, you’re more likely to find out what happens next if you know that your 8:00 pm date is that bound set of pages.
  4. Get a library card.
    Book can be an expensive proposition, and with so many different authors vying for your attention, it’s very hard to justify shelling out $20 on a new hardcover book that you might absolutely hate just a few pages into it. That’s why the local library is a godsend to any lifelong reader. You can grab any book you want for free and give it a try. All it costs you if you don’t like the book is a return trip to the library to try to strike gold again.
  5. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.
    Most lifelong readers have a certain genre of book that they prefer above all others, but you should never limit yourself. Every once in a while you should pick up a book that has a subject matter which intimidates you. Maybe you won’t get through it, but if you do, you’ve only enriched yourself in the process and the quest for learning should never end.
  6. Talk with your friends about books.
    If you like a book, share that information with your friends. Not only might you open up avenues of discussion you didn’t think were possible, but you may just get a solid recommendation in return. There’s nothing more gratifying to a reader than being able to share a world they’ve enjoyed through a book with people that care about.
  7. Don’t limit yourself to books.
    Newspapers and magazines can be the sprints to help keep your reading skills sharp between the marathons that are books. Like any muscle, the reading muscles needs to be worked out and kept strong lest it fade into the background. If you’re serious about becoming a reader, there’s really only one thing you need to do. Read!