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Building Better Reading Habits

There are some things that never go out of style or become obsolete, and one of these things is reading. Needless to say, reading is not only a practical part of life but also a means to escape the pressures we encounter on a daily basis.

The medium we use for reading may have evolved over the years but the benefits remain the same, and there is no denying that people who read, whether it's for fun or practical reasons, definitely have an edge over people who don't. Given the many benefits of reading, the more we read, the better off we'll be. If you want to bring yourself to read more or simply start to make reading a part of your daily life, you have to build better reading habits.

Understanding the Benefits of Reading

If you know and understand the advantages you can get from reading, it's going to be easier to motivate yourself and get the right mindset. Reading definitely has a number of advantages.

  • Reading can enhance cognitive function.

Your brain, just like any muscle, needs exercise. And the more you exercise your brain, the stronger it'll get.

Through reading, you'll be able to improve your analytical skills, improve your memory, improve your vocabulary, gain new information, and expand your imagination, things that are very useful in the real world.

  • Reading is fun and relaxing.

There is a huge difference between reading because you have to and reading because you want to. Try reading material that you enjoy and you'll be surprised at how much time you can kill. Immersing yourself in a good story can be a very good stress reliever.

  • Reading is not an expensive past time.

If you don't already have any books that are just lying around at home, you can always borrow from friends or head to the library where you can find a wide range of books to choose from.

Setting Goals

Whenever you set out to do something, one of the hardest things to do is take that first step and break the barrier. In order to build better reading habits, you have to set targets for yourself.

  • Budget some reading time during the day.

Determine what portion of the day you would find it more agreeable to do some reading and then determine the duration you would like to allocate for it. You can start by reading 15 to 30 minutes every night just before going to bed, for example, and then you can work your way up. Just muster up some will power during the early part of this process and before you know it, reading books will become second nature to you.

  • Try to make a list of materials that you want to read.

For example, make a list of the top 100 books you'd like to read before you graduate or hit the age of 30 or whatever. This is going to serve as a sort of checklist where you can determine your progress as well as a guide on what you actually want to read. By following your list, you'll also get a sense of satisfaction on what you've accomplished and how far you've gotten.

Setting the Mood and Atmosphere

In trying to cement good reading habits, you need the right conditions as well. You're going to want to make things as smooth and easy for yourself as possible if you're going to stick with some practices long enough to turn them into habits.

  • Read in a peaceful and soothing environment.

It's easier and more pleasant to read in a place that's quiet and comfortable. You can concentrate more and get the most out of what you're reading and be more relaxed and rested at the same time. In the long run, you'll actually be looking forward to these moments.

  • Steer clear of distractions.

Television, gadgets, crowds, all these things can hinder you from reading. You really have to make a conscious effort as it is very easy to get hooked on movies, video games, or the Internet. Keep in mind, though, that once you've established good reading habits, you can virtually read anywhere.

  • Enhance your reading experience.

There are a number of things that can help make reading more enjoyable. You can maybe enjoy a good book while having your favorite cup of coffee or a refreshing beverage, or perhaps while having a picnic in a beautiful garden. You can just stay home on a nice, cool evening and settle into your favorite chair, or you can even enjoy reading in the company of other people.

Building better reading habits can actually open a lot of doors for you. When you read more, you get to learn more, gain more knowledge, get smarter and wiser, be more insightful, and a whole lot of other things that can only advance you in life one way or another. Now go conquer that first page.

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