Jan. 12, 2020

How to Build a Reading Habit: Five tips to help you read more books in 2020

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PS.  This episode sounds a little different as I recorded it as a full video episode - you can catch the video on YouTube or IGTV.

To celebrate 1 year of Steph’s Business Bookshelf and a new decade, in this special episode I am sharing the five top tips I use to read over 30 books a year that you can use to build your own reading habit.

With new years’ resolutions in full swing, and more people wanting to hit the books to increase their knowledge, enhance their career prospects, make a personal improvement or just learn something new, the time is now to build the daily habit of reading.

So here are my five top tips to help you read more books in 2020 (and beyond).


My friend Tammy (who featured on episode 52) recently wrote this great article about the benefits of reading and shared her own tips: https://www.tammytansley.com.au/reading-why-it-matters/


TIP 1 (00:31) – Start small.

Start your habit by making it impossible to fail. Set a goal that is just one page, 1% (if you read on an e-reader) or 5 minutes every day. Make it so easy that you would never be able to not do it.  There are so many ways to break it down and make it so easy to do.


TIP 2 (1:10) – Habit stack.

Stick the new reading habit with something you’re already doing. Don’t try to do all the new things at once. If you commute to work by train, add your reading habit to that existing activity. Another example would be going to bed; you can add the reading habit into your bedtime routine and read your 1%, one page, or five minutes.

You can also think of something you want replaced. For example instead of picking up your phone to check on Instagram, you can pick up a book. 


TIP 3 (2:26) – Read for fun. 

If you’re trying to start reading, do not start with War and Peace. If Harry Potter is what’s going to get you into the reading habit, then read that book. Over time you can start to read the books that you want to read or you feel you ‘should’ be reading ideally, but establish the habit with something fun.


TIP 4 (4:05) – Share.

You can start a book group with some friends, family or colleagues. Some people start a book group at work where everyone is given a month to read a book before the group get together to discuss what they learnt.  You could even split the book up so everyone reads a different section of the book and put it all together in your ‘book club’. The idea is to share the learning, make it social and fun – it’s also a great way of combining habits if you want to increase your social activity this year.


TIP 5 (5:00) – Mix it up.

If you know that lugging a book around on the train while you’re commuting is not going to be sustainable for you, then don’t bring a hard copy book but instead invest in a Kindle or e-reader. You might also find that audiobooks are a better option for you if you drive a lot – all of these types of reading are equally valid (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise) – it’s about finding the best one for you for different circumstances.

PS.  I highly recommend that the first book you read is Atomic Habits by James Clear which will help set your path for your sustainable habits.

Music:Halation by Evolv https://artlist.io/song/941/halation 

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