Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by Sophie
If you’re anything like me, then these days you might find yourself scrolling aimlessly on your phone more than flicking through the pages of a good book or magazine. But if your New Year’s resolution is to get back into reading, then in this article I’m going to detail a number of ways in which I managed to get off my phone and back into the pages of a good book.
How to get back into reading
Before we get into the article, just remember that reading is meant to be a fun and rewarding experience! While the goal of reading is to learn, entertain, or simply relax, if you’re struggling to get back into the reading habit, I recommend planning on giving yourself a reward for when you’ve finished a good book (this can be anything from purchasing yourself an extra special box of tea to an outing to the cinema).
Now, this might seem like an obvious point, but you don’t want to try and force yourself to read a three-part 600 page each trilogy like Lord of the Rings all in one go! Instead, start small and begin with an anthology series, short stories, or even a short book of poems (if that’s something you’re into).
Set realistic goals
If you spend as much time on the self-titled ‘Booktok’ (i.e. the literary focused niche on TikTok) as I do, then you can easily fall prey to comparisons. Don’t set yourself a goal like reading one or two books a week because when you inevitably fail, you’ll be put off reading even more! Instead, go for something realistic like one book in a month or a chapter of a book per day.
Decide on the right book
These days it’s all too easy to be swayed by the opinion of an influencer online who you’ve never met and don’t know (I know I have been). In order to fall out of the trap of ending up with a book that you actually won’t like or won’t read, do some research in advance and read reviews to discover if you’re choosing a book you’ll actually like.
Create a cosy reading environment
If you’re feeling uncomfortable then it can be hard to get lost in the pages of a book. Create a cosy reading environment somewhere in your home (there’s plenty of reading nook inspiration on Pinterest but you can start small with a corner of your living room or bedroom). I also love preparing myself a hot tea before I settle down with a good book.
Limit distractions around you
While this can be easier said than done (I used to live next to a busy intersection on a main road so know how easy it is to be distracted by the sound of revving engines!), there are still things you can do to limit the distractions around you. The main thing is to switch your phone off or put in in silent mode and leave it in another room so that you won’t reach for it when you’re meant to be concentrating on your book.
Join a book club
When I moved to London, one of the first things I did to make new friends and rekindle my love of reading was to join a book club. While some books might be more inspiring to read than others, having the encouragement of people around you to actually read a given book (and a deadline by which to finish it) is incredibly motivating when you want to get back into reading.
Make a routine of your reading
Much like every other good habit in life, getting back into reading becomes that much easier when you make a habit of it by allocating a slot of time in your everyday routine.
While you might be busy with other commitments during the daytime (work and childcare are the two that spring to mind), I recommend setting aside half an hour or so each day in the evening to dedicate to reading.
I personally tend to read for around half an hour before I go to sleep, but you can wake up earlier in the morning and do it then if you prefer. The point is: set aside time to read as part of your routine and you’ll get back into the habit of reading more easily.
If you are really pressed for time in your daily routine and aren’t sure that you have time to sit down and flick through the pages of a book or click through an e-reader, then a great alternative is to make use of audiobooks. This way you can listen to them while cooking, on public transportation, or even while having a relaxing bath.