3 Questions to Ask Yourself to Increase Reading Habits

Red neon question Mark

1. What kind of literature entices you?

Often times we think of reading as meeting the expectations of an assignment. Besides the academic setting, this occurs in workplaces too when thinking of lengthy emails that “could have been a meeting” or slide decks with so many words or fanciful designs that zoning out is understandable. By associating reading with primarily negative experiences, adding a book to your reading list sounds more like a chore than an enriching activity. However, the benefit to reading beyond corporate or educational settings is the choice is yours as the reader. What this means is that whether you wish to fall down a rabbit hole of obscure science fiction or spend hours commenting on lighthearted fanfiction you find on Wattpad or AO3, you may customize your reading list to curate your own interest and curiosities. Not only does reading become possible, but when thinking about film or theater, for example, these still count as reading if we expand, or really ignore, boundaries to the definition of literature. The discussion of what counts as literature of course comprises a whole other discussion in itself and will be discussed in another future post.

2. Why not find a community of readers?

The trouble with thinking about literature (again not just books as a reading) is the absence of people to share ideas and participate in a lively discussion. With the 21st century access to the internet from everything but our kitchen appliances but maybe not for long, finding others to discuss literature with is as easy as accessing the Web. Multiple options arise here: you can find a local library and see if they offer books clubs or events of that nature, or if you prefer a more introverted and online-oriented centered discussion then there are places to hold conversations such as Goodreads and literary Discords. It is all about preference since the library may take more time to commute, obtain a card, etc. as opposed to joining a bookclub in person or from the coziness of your home. Once joining groups containing people in varying steps of their reading journey but also diverse interests in literature, you’ll be on your way to not only finding your next book recommendation from a real person but discussing the last one you read in an engaging format.

3. Have you considered starting or keeping track of a reading habit through technology (digital/physical)?

Let’s be honest, while you may embark or continue on your reading journey after the previous 2 tips, establishing a habit brings complications. If you consider the downfalls of school or the workplace from the first point, they actually offer a greater likelihood to keep reading since a vetting or checking process occurs: either a grade or better yet increase in salary and performance. One helpful solution to the freestanding process of increasing your reading is to find a resource useful to your own preference and modalities which help you create a routine and stay on track with it best. Again, personal preference is crucial to this step because you must first decide if you want to take an “old school route” and track your reading lists and future reads on paper/a planner, or utilize the indefinite amount of tech options and apps out there which can digitally track a library, reading streak and more. Sometimes a mixture works too, I have a former colleague who decides what to read by listening to weekly book podcasts, tracking them on Goodreads, and with a planner. Perhaps all of that is too type A for you, no problem, try out different methods until you find what grants you an enjoyable reading space apart from the hectic trials of the real world.

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