Reading Habit

How to Cultivate a Reading Habit That Sticks?

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If there is a sure way to achieve more career success, it’s reading.

If there is a single habit to keep you content, it’s reading.

Yet, we neglect reading because scrolling Facebook seems more entertaining.

No, checking for social media updates is not the same. In fact, if you have time to browse the Internet, you will surely have time for actual reading. What you read and how you read directly affect your personal growth especially career wise.

It’s time to cultivate a reading habit that will change your life for the better. Here’s a practical guide to help you get started:

Find a purpose: Why do you want to read?

Besides the fact that reading is essential to your career growth, what else motivates you to read? With a more personal (and concise) purpose to pick up the reading habit, you will be more likely to stick to it.

You need to identify the possible results that you want to achieve from reading in order to set up a reading plan. Is it to have a discussion about an interesting subject with your peers at work? Is it to write your own reviews of the book? Or is it simply to share a quick takeaway from an article on your LinkedIn profile? Whatever it is, incorporating consistent activities after reading is the key to developing the habit.  

Start small: Read every day, one article at a time


For those who rarely pick up a new book every now and then, it is best to start consuming online content before committing to a concrete reading list. You can choose to read anything that matches your preferences. Choose a good content site to subscribe to and start reading their fresh articles to kick-off your day instead of running through all of your social media accounts.

While there are million of websites worth checking out,  save your time by visiting news and content aggregators like Flipboard, Medium or LinkedIn Pulse. You can literally search for the most-read articles of your preferred topics, from business updates, trending news, latest innovations to self-help articles, anything you need to cultivate a reading habit is right at your fingertips!

“Expand the definition of ‘reading’ to include non-fiction, humour, graphic novels, magazines, action adventure, and, yes, even websites. It’s the pleasure of reading that counts; the focus will naturally broaden. A boy won’t read shark books forever.” – Jon Scieszka

Learn to read: Make the most of your reading

One of the reasons why people dislike reading is because they get bored of the words easily. In order to read more, one must learn how to enjoy reading first.

Any book or article can be as fascinating as Harry Potter as long as you immerse yourself in it. Don’t just read to acknowledge, read to understand. Imagine yourself having a conversation with the author about the subject matter, interpret what he or she is trying to convey in every sentence, analyse the points given, and then ask yourself questions to justify the message. It’s called critical reading.

With a more personal approach, anything that you read is “filtered” to reflect your own perception on certain things. Over time, you will find reading more pleasant as you learn how to read with both your heart and mind.

“Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well.” – Mark Haddon

Set goals: Curate an engaging reading list and allocate suitable reading time


The trick to reading more books is to read only a number of pages in a day, and usually, a-30-minute read every day is all it takes to complete a book within weeks. But first things first, you need to curate a reading list that works for you.

The easiest way is to seek recommendations from your friends or even strangers. From Google search, Quora posts to Online Book Clubs, you can look up countless of worthy titles to indulge in throughout the year. You can categorise the genres for each month to ensure the diversity of your “library” (also to keep your mind fresh). Depending on the length of the book, you can schedule your reading time appropriately; test your average reading speed here.

Related: 5 Books that Will Help to Transform Your Career Forever (Part 2)

Don’t forget to carry a book (paper or digital) wherever you go so that you wouldn’t waste any second to read. And also, try to apply the critical reading skills while reading books as well.

Unwind and reflect: Take a break after each book

No one is keeping score of your reading habit; so don’t force yourself to read as many books as possible. After finishing one book, allow yourself to take some time off before picking up the next one (while still maintaining the regular website content consumption).

Try sharing your favourite parts (or quotes) from the book on social media sites, or even blog about it so that more people will be inspired to read. As you learn more from each time you read, the habit of reading will surely stay without any agenda needed.

“I did the traditional thing with falling in love with words, reading books and underlining lines I liked and words I didn’t know. It was something I always did.” – Carrie Fisher

If you are already excited to embrace the bookworm lifestyle, why not starting right here? Follow us for valuable career advice articles that will help you to excel at work.

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