Making Reading a Core Part of Our Life

Photo by Eugenio Mazzone on Unsplash
Photo by Eugenio Mazzone on Unsplash

Throughout the last 3 years, I’ve read more than 120 books and it completely changed my life.

I was not an avid reader at that time though.

The whole process seemed way too complicated. Find a great book, get a copy of it and block off time to actually read it. Too many steps, why not skip it entirely and play video games instead? And I did. I went down the easy path.

Then one day something changed.

What happened?

I acquired a Kindle e-reader and the process became way simpler. While all of the steps discussed before still existed, it became easier to tackle them.

1. Find a good book

Deciding on what to read is only difficult in the beginning. After reading my very first non-fiction, my reading list started to grow exponentially.

Thanks to podcasts, friends, traveling and blogs, I keep extending my list with interesting books every day.

Finding a good book nowadays is as smooth, as looking through my “Want to read” list on Goodreads and select one.

2. Get a copy of it

Having thousands of books in our pocket is the coolest thing about having a Kindle. Getting new books is as easy, as going online and finding them at one of the stores.

Goodreads even gives you an overview of the various places you can obtain the desired book.

Example of store recommendations on Goodreads
Example of store recommendations on Goodreads

3. Blocking out time to read

While having a physical copy of a book has its beauty, it needs more thoughts around reading circumstances. Carrying it around is a hassle and it is hard to hold one while standing.

Owning an e-reader makes these problems disappear. I often carry my Kindle in my back pocket and grab it whenever I have a few minutes to kill. Waiting for someone, commuting to work and traveling are all excellent opportunities to read a few pages.

I still love blocking out time to read in a more relaxed manner though. However, having my Kindle with me all the time makes it possible to read much more than I could by solely relying on those special moments.

How could you start reading more from now?

1. Get a Kindle

You could guess by now, I love e-readers.

Its portability will make it an ease to have with you all the time. You will be able to read no matter where you are(no, not while driving, that is dangerous 🧐). You can even read while standing, as it is lightweight enough to hold it in one hand.

You will also save a lot of time by not going to a book store/library to get new books. Once you are finished, you can go online and get a new one, it is that easy. And the best part? Your device can hold thousands of books at the same time!

Skipping logistics(shipping, printing, rent for the store, etc.) makes the price of an e-book much more affordable. There are even thousands of books online you can get for free!

Even though there are different e-readers on the market, I would recommend you getting a Kindle. The ecosystem that Amazon has built around the Kindle makes buying new books a breeze, the devices are high quality and they are affordable(fun fact, Amazon does not even make a profit on Kindles).

Owning a Kindle is the reason why I am able to read so much.

2. Make it a habit

Reading is a habit and in order to acquire it, you want to work on it every day. According to science, it takes on average 66 days to form a new habit.

In order for a habit to stick, you want to do it every day. When I started to read, I’ve promised myself to stop using any electronics at least 1 hour before going to bed and devote that time to reading. This had the double benefit of blocking out quality time to read and avoiding exposure to blue light before sleep.

Instead of reaching to your phone to check Instagram while having 2 minutes to kill, try grabbing your Kindle and read a few pages. This will help to train your brain to read whenever you have some free time. It will also help you to reduce social media usage, which is always a good thing.

3. Set a goal

Goodreads is a really good place to track progress. It has the yearly reading challenge, where you can decide how many books would you like to read during a year.

This adds an extra fun thing to the game. It makes possible tracking your progress along the way. It also shows you all the time if you are on track to hit your proposed number. Gamification is cool, I wish more apps would have it.

You could start by committing to 12 books for the year. That is only one book a month, which should be doable for anyone.

4. Find books that you enjoy

This may sound obvious, but if you repeatedly read books that you find boring, it can become tedious rapidly. There are many excellent books out there, so if you don’t like one, just put it down and find a new one. Life is too short to read boring books.

Final thoughts

What is your experience with reading? What is your go-to strategy to achieve your reading goals? Do you own a Kindle or read physical books? What is blocking you to read?

Feel free to share your thoughts about the ideas expressed in this post, don’t be afraid to ask questions or just reach out on any of the socials listed below if you would like to nerd out about reding.

Thanks for reading! 🙏

Róbert Istók
A personal blog by Róbert Istók about coding, traveling, habit building, and much more (Psst... I am open to opportunities.)