You may have heard that readers are leaders and rightly want to cultivate a reading habit. Let me start by saying, well done, you are one step closer.

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You already know you need to read more; what you need is the push and the tips to cultivate and sustain a reading habit.

Before we proceed, I need you to overcome any defeatist attitude you may be battling; you can become a voracious reader.

Once you believe you can do it, it is very much done. So, you must not allow yourself to think otherwise.

Now that you know you can, understand that it won’t happen in a day; the habit will take at least three months to fully form.

So, be ready to give yourself time and don’t give up on the way. Now that that’s done, let’s get to it.


9 Tips to Cultivate a Reading Habit

1. Start with Your Favourite Genre

If you were once a reader who lost the habit because life got in the way or you got addicted to social media instead, then you likely already know what you enjoy.

However, if you are a beginner, you may need to identify what you enjoy before proceeding.

This doesn’t have to be a long process, though. What are you interested in and wouldn’t mind reading about? Do you like stories? Then, you may prefer fiction. What kind of stories do you like? Romance, action or sci-fi? What setting do you enjoy them? Do you like Western action, African romance or historical settings?

Also, do you like stories about inspiring historical figures? You may enjoy historical books or biographies.

Or you could simply try reading different books until you find what you like.

Bear in mind that this doesn’t mean you won’t read any other genre; you shouldn’t limit yourself. But starting with what you enjoy will ensure you don’t drop the habit before it’s cultivated.

When you are a little settled, you can start experimenting with more genres.

2. Set Reading Times

If you want to cultivate a habit, you’ll need to suck it up and just do it. You can’t afford to leave it to chance.

That means you must set times to read and follow through with it strictly. Don’t assume you will find time to read if you don’t consciously make time for it.

You must add it to your calendar to read within a particular time every day.

3. Read in Bits and Pieces

This is particularly effective for books you find boring. I said earlier that you shouldn’t limit yourself to a certain genre; reading broadly is important.

But to achieve that, you may have to read some boring topics. To help you read them, you can decide to read a chapter per day or 5-10 pages per day, depending on what you can manage and your schedule.

By doing that, you can be sure to finish more books than you envisioned. Consistency is vital to being productive in any venture.

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4. Join Book Clubs

Book clubs make reading enjoyable and keep you accountable. So, you should definitely consider them if you want to cultivate a reading habit.

There are different kinds of book clubs, and you can find most of them online. Some meet virtually, while others meet physically. Some read different types of books, and some streamline their books to certain genres.

So, it depends on what you want and can accommodate into your schedule.

If you can’t find one, you can always create one and announce it on social media. You never know who is in your shoes, needing others to inspire them to read more.

Plus, being in the company of readers will do wonders for your reading habit. If readers do not surround you, this is a good way to get reading buddies.

How to Cultivate a Reading Habit

5. Set Reading Goals

Set reading goals periodically to challenge yourself. For instance, you can set a goal of reading three books monthly.

Make sure the goal is achievable, though. If you don’t find reading enjoyable, setting ten books in a month is a recipe for disaster; you are basically setting yourself up to fail.

So, don’t do that to yourself. Instead, make sure it is realistic and achievable.

Then, you can inspire yourself by having a reward system to keep you motivated. For example, if you achieve your goal, you can take yourself out for your favourite meal or do something else you enjoy.

Having a reward in view is a perfect motivation.

6. Make Reading Enjoyable

Reading is not always the most enjoyable activity, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you. So, you need to make it enjoyable.

Joining a book club is one way. Discussions are usually had on the books read, which could make it more interesting.

You could also read with a friend if you can get one to join you and discuss it.

For you, it could also be setting the stage by getting snacks to munch on and lying comfortably on a couch in a quiet environment.

Another idea is to read different books simultaneously, especially to get through the boring ones. Read something you love simultaneously with something dreary. If the latter gets too tiring, you can read the one you enjoy and return to the boring book later.

So, find what works and work around it.

7. Carry a Book Around

Carrying a book around is a great way to read, as it allows you to read quickly during times of inactivity.

For instance, instead of mindlessly surfing the internet, you can catch up on a few pages while queuing for coffee, at the bank, or wherever.

This can also come in handy while in transit or having lunch at work. Reading can be done anywhere and doesn’t always have to be in a specific setting.

8. Drop a Book You Absolutely Don’t Enjoy

It’s better to continue reading than to be turned off reading because of a particular book. So, if you find that you absolutely can’t enjoy a particular book, don’t be afraid to drop it.

Pick something else that you enjoy and keep reading.

9. Don’t Give Up

Most people can relate to the fact that when picking up a habit, it’s possible to fail at it once or twice. It’s normal, so don’t give up.

For instance, if you planned to read 3 times a week and didn’t read in a particular week or one day out of the three, don’t let that deter you.

Pick yourself up and keep going. Falling is not the problem – in fact, it’s expected – staying down is the issue. Don’t waste time beating yourself up over not doing it on a particular day; read the next day.


Cultivating a reading habit is not easy, but it’s not impossible. Also, although reading comes naturally to some, everybody can develop a reading habit.

You just need to set your mind to it and apply these tips, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a voracious reader. 

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