No matter the habit, once you fall off the wagon, it can be tough to get back on. Even lifelong readers have periods when they don’t read for fun regularly, simply because life gets in the way. Whether it’s a period of illness, a busy period at work, a new home, a new baby, or any other big life event, major changes sometimes mean reading will fall off your to-do list.
So what can you do when you really want to get back into reading, but you’ve had some time away from it? If you’ve been telling yourself day after day, “I really should finish that book…” or “I’ve got to figure out how to make time for reading again…” you’re not alone. The following strategies can help create momentum and get you back to your bookish ways.
1. Commit to 10 minutes a day
When it comes to habits, consistency is most important. One trick that might help is pledging to read for a set amount of time a day. The best approach here is to start super small and doable.
You want the amount of time you commit to feel attainable so you’re able to get your reading done each and every day. That might mean 10, 8, or even 5 minutes daily. Once your first goal feels like no big deal and you’re nailing it day after day, increase the duration.
2. Pair reading with another habit
Another way to make sure you get your reading in is to stack it with a habit you do every day. Pick something you do without fail. Maybe that’s having a morning cup of coffee, walking your dog, or going to sleep. Then pair your reading with it. Maybe you grab your e-reader as you down that morning caffeine hit, or you listen to your audiobook while you walk. Over time, your brain will start to associate reading with your existing habit, and it’ll feel a lot less effortful.
3. Use your commute time
If you travel to work, use that time to get back into reading. For drivers, audiobooks can be a great solution. For anyone who takes the train, subway, bus, or any other form of public transit, reading an e-book can be an amazing way to make the most of your time en route.
4. Upgrade your tablet or headphones
If it’s in your budget, getting a fresh new tablet to download your books on might be the motivation you need to pick back up where you left off. After all, you’ll want to put it to good use! If you’re an audiobook reader, the same goes for a new set of wireless headphones or a new smartphone.
5. See if any of your favorite authors have released new books
Sometimes you just need to be reminded of why you love reading in the first place. One way to do that is to check out the author pages of contemporary writers you love. If they’ve just put something new out, it might give you the spark of excitement you need to read again. Of course, if your favorite writers are historical, you can always have a look to see if there are any titles of theirs that you haven’t devoured yet.
6. Use your next vacation
Many people find it easier to read for pleasure when they don’t have the stress of work or school hanging in the background. So if you have a vacation coming up anytime soon, make a plan to read a book or two that you’ve been meaning to get around to. There’s nothing more relaxing than kicking back with a great read.