Learn How to Enjoy Reading with These 10 Tips (Start Having Fun!)
Some people are born with the gift of enjoying reading. They can spend tireless nights finishing a book or studying without breaking a sweat, but for most of us mortals, we were not granted this ability.
Sitting down and reading for just 10 minutes can feel like torture. We go through one page one, two, three times without comprehending what we’ve just skimmed, after every other sentence we feel the unstoppable urge to check our phones, and the possibility of completing a book seem like a fantasy.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Hello, you ‘all, this is Juan Cruz from Inerize, welcome to the second class of the Reading Course! In this article, you’ll learn 10 tips to enjoy reading and finally have fun while doing it.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Tip #1: Pick the right books
It’s common sense to begin with books that you enjoy, but many of us don’t do it. We choose books that friends and family recommended, or that our favorite YouTubers mentioned but few take the time to think about what is it that we want to learn or explore.
So, put yourself first.
Forget the recommendations you’ve heard from other people and explore your interests.
Is it manga, science fiction, politics, economics? Or is it philosophy, sports, marketing, dog training, cooking?
Once you’ve found what you want to read, do a quick Google or Amazon search, and figure out the best of them. You’ll surely find tons of ranked lists and bestsellers to get started with the right foot.
Tip #2: Set a goal and write them down
Did you know that a 2015 study by a psychologist called Gail Matthews showed that when people wrote down their goals, they were 33% more successful in achieving them than those that just had them in their heads?
If you want to enjoy reading – whether it’s for pleasure or your studies – it’s always good to set goals and write them down. They will provide a boost of motivation and help us stay committed.
But don’t write anything yet, wait for…
Tip #3: Start stupidly small
Building the habit of reading and learning to enjoy it is hard by itself, so why make things by setting lofty goals that are destined to destroy our motivation and momentum?
Attempting to read a book a week or an hour every day can be difficult if you are just starting. These goals require quite a lot of commitment, discipline, and a brain that is used to low levels of stimuli. Not saying that you shouldn’t give it a try if you feel up to the task, just that it’s not the optimal way to begin.
What I recommend instead is to start stupidly small, literally. Just like the challenge in the first class of the Reading Course (if you haven’t watched it, click here), setting a goal of 1 page a day is a great strategy because:
- First, it’s super easy to do it, even if you are tired or had a bad day.
- And second, it helps you build momentum that you can leverage to increase your reading time in the near future.
Now you can grab a pen and paper and write down your reading goal. Remember, start stupidly small. So stupidly small that it’s harder for you to miss it than to do it.
In this way, reading and studying will feel, not like a chore or obligation, but a relaxing and short hobby.
Tip #4: Build a reading list
Remember when you had to explore your interests and search for the best book in tip #1? In this tip, we’ll go a step further and build a complete reading list. Look for other books in your genre or broaden your horizons and explore other interests that you might have.
Find a least 10 of them and write them down. Having books, you are looking forward to reading will motivate you to finish the one you are currently working on and make you excited about this whole endeavor.
Trust me, it works.
Tip #5: Find your why
This tip is all about discovering why you want to read and study. What is the reason that is motivating you to even watch this video in the first place?
- Is it because you want to have a good time?
- Because you’ve watched someone you admire on social media recommending it?
- Because you need to pass an exam?
- Because you want to be more successful or more educated?
Get very clear on why you want to do this and perhaps even write it down.
Knowing your reasons will help you push through difficult times or days when you just don’t want to read. Remind yourself of your why and use it as motivational fuel to keep going.
Tip #6: Create a Reading Ritual
The dictionary defines ritual as:
A religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.
If we throw away the obvious spiritual connotation of the word, we end up with:
a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.
All of us engage in these types of rituals.
- When we wake up, most of us do a series of actions in the same order, each day:
- We take a pee
- Some of us shower
- Brush our teeth
- Have breakfast
Rituals are powerful because they prepare us for what’s to come. So, why don’t we create a ritual that helps us with our task at hand – reading. Let’s name it The Reading Ritual. You can of course build your own but here are a few suggestions:
- Before sitting down, make sure you are dressed comfortably.
- Check your reading goal.
- Remind yourself of your why.
- Set your phone to airplane mode.
- Set a timer for a certain time and get going.
Be creative, see what works for you and build your Reading Ritual.
Tip #7: Join a book club or start one with a friend
We are social creatures by nature. We tend to copy whatever other people are doing just to fit in with our social group and avoid breaking the rules.
Book Clubs take advantage of this feature of our psychology and help us stay consistent with the habit of reading – and therefore enjoy it more.
Not to feel behind or out of tune for not finishing a book, we’ll do whatever we can to accomplish the book clubs’ homework.
If you cannot find one that catches your attention, try finding a friend that is into reading too and build a small book club. Being accountable to someone other than yourself will help you be constant. Furthermore, discussing what you are reading with your friend is super fun and consolidates your learning.
Tip #8: Read in the morning
Willpower and discipline work just like a battery. They get depleted during the day and recharge at night. That’s why if you want your reading time to be enjoyable and without succumbing to distractions, aim to do it in the morning.
In this way, your willpower levels will be at their highest and usually, in the first hours of the day, there are fewer distractions.
Tip #9: Adopt the Right Mindset
Some of you might be lucky enough to naturally enjoy reading and studying. And I’d like to tell you, I’m jealous.
For the unfortunate ones, I recommend a mindset, a new way of looking at this whole endeavor. If you are expecting to enjoy every minute of your reading time, you are probably wrong. This belief will crash after a few days or weeks.
What I propose instead is to see reading just like going to the gym. It’s hard to dress up, take the bus or grab the car and go to the weighting room, but once you get there and start lifting weights, all of a sudden, the struggle disappears.
You are already there and there’s no way out. Furthermore, doing exercise, although it’s tiring – it feels good.
The same happens with reading.
You might resist sitting down. For the first 5 minutes, your mind might be all over the place. It’s not fun.
But once you get going, once you build momentum, it becomes enjoyable. You get in the flow and the number of pages read naturally goes up.
So set the right expectations and begin with the right mindset, you’ll not regret it.
Tip #9: Take it easy
Finally, the last tip I want to share with you is to take it easy and be kind to yourself. Reading with consistency, day in and day out can prove difficult. Life is uncertain, problems arise, and bad days are going to happen.
You might miss a day, a week, or even a month. If you do, don’t be harsh with yourself. I’ve been there and not just with this habit but with everyone I try to implement.
The important thing is that you eventually come back.
Books are an amazing hobby as well as a powerful platform for self-development and education.
If you follow these tips and develop the habit, you’ll eventually learn to enjoy it and will be able to sit down for hours lost in the pages in front of you. And once you do, treasure it… because there’s nothing like it.
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