Last year, I realized that I was no longer an avid book reader. I hadn’t picked up many books to read just for the joy of flipping through pages and immersing myself in them. For a literature lover, I felt like I was slowly losing a piece of me. Most of the books I read were out of necessity – for school and not for pleasure. So, one of my goals for the year was to develop a reading culture and read at least 1-2 books per month that had nothing to do with academics.
However, like most goals, I figured this one could easily fall through if I had no concrete plan on how I was going to achieve it. If you are like me, and you would love to develop a culture of reading books just for the joy of getting lost in them or for personal growth, then this article is for you.
1. Determine Your Reading Goals
To cultivate a reading culture, you need to set realistic goals, compare them with your schedule. How many books can you read in a week? Or a month? This will help you to determine the reading goal you’ll set for yourself. Also, knowing what you want to achieve while reading books will serve as a guide — is it to broaden your knowledge about certain topics, to learn new skills, or to be a better student? Knowing your “why” is crucial.
2. Start Small
Starting a reading culture is a long-term commitment that starts with smaller habits. For instance, if you are trying to get into novels, it’s best to start with short stories or novels with fewer pages rather than bulky ones. Remember, a little progress goes a long way. You can start by reading 10-20 pages per day depending on how much time you can dedicate to your reading goals.
3. Curate a Reading List
A reading list simply entails the list of books you would love to read. Whenever you come across any book that interests you, include it in your reading list so you don’t forget it. You can curate your list on your notes app or by writing it down in your journal. You can add to your reading list by getting book recommendations from friends or book lovers on social media.
4. Read Books on Genre You Like
This is not to say you shouldn’t explore other genres of books. However, you are most likely to finish a book on genres and subjects that you enjoy as opposed to reading a book simply because it’s a bestseller. Sometimes, when there is so much hype around a book and it isn’t on a subject you’re interested in. There will be a high tendency for you to pick up the book and struggle with finishing it.
5. Use a Book Tracking App
Using a book tracking app helps you reach your reading goals faster. With the aid of technology, modern book trackers have features that help you stay organized, set reminders, take notes and so much more. There are tons of book reading tracking apps out there, you just have to find the one that is right for you.
6. Create or Join a Book Club
Book clubs are a fun way of reading and having discussions about books you have read. They’re also an incredible way of getting book recommendations and they provide a support system. Being part of a group of people who love reading or would love to develop a reading culture like yourself is a great way to hold yourself accountable and to reach your reading goals much faster.
7. Try Audiobooks
Audiobooks provides an alternative for people who may not have the time or patience to flip through the pages of a book. You can give audiobooks a try if you’re not a fan of the traditional way of reading.
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