How to Develop a Good Reading Habit: Ultimate Guide For Starters

How to cultivate a good reading habit

The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.

--Benjamin Franklin--

In this busy world, you wonder why anyone would waste their time reading books.  

At the same time, you envy these time-wasters and wish that you could share their passion.

But that's not all.

You have tried to follow in their footsteps but reading got boring after a few paragraphs.

You forced yourself to continue. You feigned concentration. You read sentences over and over again. But somehow you just can't connect with the words. 

The enthusiasm died off as quickly as you started and your reading process, once again, ended with the sinking realization that reading would never be your habit.

I used to feel this same way. 

I used to feel bad about myself because I considered people who read special. 

Until eventually, a book changed my story.

A new world opened up for me. I built strong connections with real and imaginary people across the world. My focus improved. My world view became vast, and my thought process grew deeper. I was right all along- READERS ARE SPECIAL.

Do you want to develop the habit of reading?

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.

-- W. Somerset Maugham -

Here are tips to help you develop a good and consistent reading habit.

How to develop a good reading habit


Over the years, I have come to realize that it is not the fact that we place value on our time that is stopping us from reading (As a matter of fact, we spend several hours on things that are not even productive). Rather, it is the flawed mindset that reading is tedious that is stopping us from harnessing the real power of books.

And until you conquer this flawed mindset and start perceiving it as a fun, enjoyable and transformational activity that impacts your life, reading will always be a feat you can never achieve.

How to develop a good reading habit

I must tell you that this seems easier in writing than it is in reality. There was a time I came across a 260-page book and got scared and decided that I wasn't reaing again. The book seemed so big but it wasn't. And this is why the next step is very important.


There's always a rush of excitement that follows your newly-found desire to read. Usually, it doesn't last long, and you eventually toss that nice book aside, the same way you had done several other books. Yeah, we've all been there.

This is why you need to start small. The process is gradual and you have to respect that.

You may consider reading a small book for a start, since it is natural for you to get bored at this stage. Even if you'd like to start off by reading a fairly big book, don't go in all at once. 10 pages or a chapter (depending on how long) is enough per day. The aim is to nurture your desire. Nothing more.

Also, your first read has to be an interesting book; nothing kills your desire faster than a boring one. It is advisable that you seek help through reviews in your selection process. 


In order to maintain consistency, you need to set a period aside for reading. 15 minutes before bed, 20 minutes upon waking, 30 minutes during the day; the choice is entirely yours. The time may even vary if you'd rather measure your progress by the number of pages/ chapters you have read (as explained in step 2 above).

How to cultivate a good reading habit

Also, you need to find a quiet place to read. To avoid online/phone distractions, reading e-books is discouraged. Paperbacks work better for starters.

If the book interests you so much, you may end up borrowing reading time from something less important (like watching tv). Or something more important (like rest). I once read a book all through the night. And I suffered the next day. Don't be like me; be reasonable.

Even if you're low on discipline, like I used to be, just make sure you read everyday (at any time). 


To develop true interest in books, you need to adopt an active approach to reading. You don't just read like you're trying your tongue on a couple words. You need to read and understand what you're reading. You may highlight important or interesting points or what have you. Just make sure you go with the flow, because that's the only way you can harness the power hidden in books. 

How to cultivate a good reading habit

Doing this would improve your thought process, and also assist you in building connections with people or things around you. You may even be drawn into a world you never knew existed. Fun! Right?

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

--Dr. Seuss--



It is okay to feel overwhelmed.

You may even doubt whether you're able to pull this off.

But remember, 

there's no abracadabra when it comes to changing or forming any habit - be it smoking, drinking, and what have you. 

Changing or forming habits takes time, discipline, and dedication.

Also, progress isn’t linear. 

Some days you’ll feel like you’re well on your way to being an avid reader, and other days you might just GO BACK to reading nothing again. 

That’s normal. It happens to the best of us.

The key is to not wallow in your setback, but to dust yourself off, and get back in the saddle. 

And always remember:

With a book, you're never alone

- Bisila Bokoko-

If you'd like to share your reading experience or share more useful tips in the comments section, it'd be most appreciated.


Thank you for reading. Please leave your comments.

  1. Thanks alot.
    Would put these tips into use .

    1. You're welcome. I hope the tips work for you.

  2. Nice read.
    If there's one thing I'm doing next year, it's reading more

    1. That's the spirit, Gentle Soul. Spread the word!!!

    2. When will you stop your procrastination?.You can't start immediately abi

    3. Lol... He probably doesn't want to miss out on the festivities. Next year is upon us.

  3. Thoughtful.
    Choice of books is one of the greatest threat too

    1. Indeed, you're right, Astute. A book can make or mar you. That is why I review books to help out with the selection process.

  4. Thanks egbon,was really helpful.JazakalLaahu khayran.

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