How to Build a Reading Habit That Will Last a Lifetime

Reading is such a great habit to possess. Think about all that regular reading can accomplish.

Some of the smartest, most successful, and most interesting people in the world have written books. They write down the things they consider to be most relevant. They acquired this knowledge over a lifetime of observation, trial and error, and experience.

For $12 or a quick trip to the library, you can have this information. For a few hours of work and a few dollars, you can get inside the head of some of the most amazing people that have ever lived!

If you’re a lover of fiction, you can entertain yourself for little to no cost.

I’ve been a lifelong reader. I don’t remember a time growing up that books weren’t part of my life. From bedtime stories when I was small, to Judy Blume novels when I was a teenager, to the entire Sue Grafton’s alphabet mysteries series just for fun- books have taught me things, added pleasure, entertained me and helped me work through life.

But reading has additional benefits, too. It’s great for your brain health and cognition, lowers blood pressure and stress, and increases your empathy for others. It can also be a boost to your career. Reading improves your decision making, increases your creativity and betters your communication skills.

Practice these techniques to develop a lifelong reading habit and you’ll enhance your life in multiple ways:

  1. Establish a schedule for reading. Establishing a habit requires repeating a behavior on a regular basis. Make a schedule for your reading that you can stick to. Many people like to read in bed, but it’s common to quickly become too tired to read! Take an honest look at your schedule and set aside the time you need.
  2. Only read books that appeal to you. It’s easier to read daily if you read something enjoyable. Avoid forcing yourself to read books that don’t interest you just because it’s on someone’s reading list.
  3. Be willing to toss a book aside and start another. Just because you start a book doesn’t mean you have to finish it. Build a stronger reading habit by ditching the books you don’t like and giving another book a chance.
  4. Create the best possible reading environment. Where will you read? Comfortable seating and good lighting are important. Silence is also necessary for many readers. The best reading environment is up to you but make an effort to optimize it.
  5. Never be without a book to read. Take a book with you everywhere you go. Also, ensure that you have your next book ready to go. Avoid not having a book available when it’s time to read. It’s easy to get out of the habit of reading.
    • Digital reading devices like the Amazon Kindle make it easy to always have a book on standby.
  6. Build a reading list. Make a reading list of books that interest you. You’ll be surprised what you find while searching around for books to add to your list. When you’re finished with one book, you won’t have to spend time looking for something else to read.
  7. Become familiar with your library. Your local library has a lot of books, and you can check them out for free. It’s a great place to walk around and check out some books in person. It’s also a great place to sit down and read for a while.
  8. Become a better reader. Reading is more enjoyable when you can read well. There are plenty of websites full of reading tips. As with anything else, the more you read, the better you’ll become. (PS: The Read To Lead book I mention below has tips to help you read faster..)
  9. Track your progress. Keep a list of the books you finish. You might want to write down on a calendar how many minutes or pages you read each day. Seeing your progress can be inspiring.
pillow on a chair with book Read to Lead in seat
My reading chair. All cozy and ready for the next book. When you begin your reading journey, find a place you love to be. Make it comfortable. Just one more trick to make reading a part of your routine.

Building the habit of reading is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself or your children. But what do you do if you’ve never been a reader? Well, you happen to be in luck. Believe it or not, there’s a book just for you. It’s called Read To Lead, by Jeff Brown and Jesse Wisnewski. I would have never guessed that Jeff wasn’t a lifelong reader. I mean he has a podcast by the same name as the book (which I highly recommend you check out too.). Read To Lead does a great job of walking you through creating a reading plan, determining what you want to read, and how to get the maximum benefit out of your reading time. They offer great suggestions for digesting the information you take in and on how to apply it in your life. I’m also adding a way you can connect with Jeff on LinkedIn as well. He posts great content, so check him out.

So let’s summarize, books are a condensed form of knowledge and entertainment. (You can even learn while you ride with audio books. Zig Ziglar coined the term “Automobile University” to describe how time spent in traffic can be used to educate yourself on a variety of subjects. You can learn almost anything from finance to philosophy, literature to languages. In a year, the average driver can learn about as much as a college student attending a year’s worth of classes.)

A novel that takes 12 hours to read is much less expensive than 12 hours’ worth of movies at the theater. Reading is also great for your mind and body. It enhances your health and the capabilities of your brain. Books can open up the door to new career potential. Pick up a book today!

If you want more secrets to building a successful career brand, you can:

Join one of my courses  and fast track your career.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel and watch quick tips to help your job search or make yourself promotable.

Join my private Successfully Ever After Facebook Group for trainings and information designed for success-seekers.

Check out my audio books: Get Noticed, Get Hired or When In Doubt, Delete It!



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