Plenty of us are looking for a new hobby to keep us busy and enrich the time we invest into it. Reading for enjoyment is an example of a great hobby to expand personal development or be entertained. But you may not know where to start or if reading is even for you. We’re here to recommend starting reading as a hobby, where to begin, and how to make the most of it. Here’s how to start reading (and continue reading) as a hobby:
- Why you should start reading
- Find the right book
- Make a reading list
- Set reading goals
- Create the right environment
- Choose the right time to read
- Dig deeper into your reading
Why you should start reading
There are plenty of benefits to reading but also reasons for why reading makes for an effective hobby. Books can be found and brought around virtually anywhere because of smartphones. Reading is an expensive hobby since books can be found for low prices, from second-hand, found at a local library, or on a smartphone. If you prefer not to read on a device, books are the top way to learn information while limiting screen time. Learn more about topics you have a deep appreciation for and on brand new subjects or genres. What you can learn from reading expands your knowledge that you can share in conversation.
What else can books do besides give you something to do? Reading improves your ability to absorb information and repurpose it in your imagination or communicate ideas with others. Basically, you can become better at processing information or organizing ideas in writing. The more you read the better your vocabulary and memory can improve over time. Lastly, studies show that reading increases your emotional intelligence and your empathy for others. So reading has the ability to strengthen our brains and provide escapes from daily life in powerful ways.
Find the right book
It may seem obvious, but it’s hard to start reading regularly if you don’t enjoy what you’re reading. When you have the motivation to keep reading a great book, reading as a habit will be a lot easier. Start by thinking about what you want to get out of a great book. To be transported to another world like in fantasy novels? Receive advice on a topic like in personal finance books? You can stick to what you’ve liked in the past or completely branch out of your comfort zone. Remember that reading as a hobby doesn’t just mean fictional novels, it can mean poem collections, biographies, or even magazines! If you’re still unsure what to read, take a look at the New York Times Best Selling Lists or take recommendations from friends and coworkers.
Make a reading list
Say you have plenty of ideas of what you want to achieve by reading as a hobby, what do you do now? Making a reading list is the best thing to do when there are many types of books you want to read. First, approach a reading list like a brainstorm of everything you may want to read at some point. If that list ends up being too long, sort books by genre or topic. Then considering the reading goals you set for yourself, you will be able to prioritize and schedule how you finish each book on your list.
Set reading goals
There’s no right or wrong way to make goals to start reading as a hobby. Just as long as you know why you want to do it. Having a purpose along with a clearly defined objective is more likely to be met than unrealistic goals. Setting too high expectations for a beginning reader can make reading (a fun activity) a chore. Consider your own current reading skills and habits when deciding how many pages or books you want to read in a set time frame. For example, wanting to finish 24 books a year or just reading a few pages a day to start. In the end, you will have felt more accomplished for doing the things you already wanted to do.
Create the right environment
When you try to start reading, do you find it hard to focus or stay engaged? One solution may be to create the perfect environment for engrossed reading. Not every setting is made to be one to focus on a task like reading. The ideal location is one without distractions and you feel completely comfortable or cozy. The outdoors can also be relaxing for reading in the right circumstances. Eliminating distractions also means putting devices aside that otherwise would draw focus away from your reading.
Choose the right time to read
Along with having the ideal reading spot, choosing a consistent time to read can help develop your reading habit. Once you associate a certain time of day with reading, it’ll be hard to stop! Lots of people like to either read at the beginning or end of the day to spend crucial time without their phones. Good time periods can start from 30 minutes for beginning daily readers to hours for people who get sucked into books easily. If you have trouble starting reading at your selected time, set an alarm to help you remember the time you want to set aside.
Dig deeper into your reading
The last suggestion to stay committed to your reading habits is to take them to the next level. Use additional techniques and tools to enhance your reading skills. Annotating and journaling are great ways to help gain a deeper understanding of a book just by taking notes. Reflecting and tracking your reading progress makes reading as a hobby much easier than going with less guidance.
Another option is to get others involved to enjoy reading together. Search for local events or general advice from public libraries and even bookstores around Conroe, Texas. Or join a book club where you can discuss your thoughts and stay in touch with other readers. Regardless, these techniques expand your reading skills and will make it more productive and less stressful.
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