Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

5 Ways a Reading Routine has Improved my Reading Habits

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With the internet all abuzz with everyone’s routines, I thought I’d mix it up and share my reading routine. I never thought much about when or how I read, I just knew that I did it. I never made time for it and so, there were more times than I’d like to admit when I struggled. I would struggle to find the time. Not anymore though, a solid routine has helped me find balance.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Firstly, Google defines a routine as “a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.” You might also consider your other routines. Some are as mundane and underwhelming as going to work. Having a reading routine might be a little extra, considering my morning/nighttime routines are still coming together. Regardless, having one routine in place that actually works is helping with other routines I’d like to establish. So let’s dive right in.

1. No Books in the Morning

When I first wake up in the morning, my brain needs at least twenty minutes before literally anything begins to make sense. This is why I avoid reading first thing in the morning. If I dive back into a book I am really getting into, I risk missing parts of the story or not grasping a concept because my brain is still half asleep.

Instead, I find that meditating or sitting by my window with a warm cup of tea helps me ease into my day. Giving my mind a moment to wake up before I start thinking about all sorts of things, has also been tremendously helpful in reducing the number of headaches I get. So I have learned to just avoid any sort of heavy reading in the morning.

2. Audiobooks are Friends

Okay, hear me out, for a long time I regarded audiobooks as “dumb”. I thought there was no point in listening to a story. How would you ever get the same experience? Well, turns out that I am the “dumb” one. I always preferred to read a physical book. Curling up somewhere cozy with a book and a hot cup of tea were one of the early reasons I began to love reading. Audiobooks felt more convenient and less familiar.

Lately, I’ve been finding small blocks of time in which I can use my AirPods to get more reading time in. Most of the time they are little bursts of availability, twenty minutes here, thirty minutes there, but those small amounts of time add up. Sometimes I’ll later check my reading time to discover I’ve gotten in an extra hour!

The more I read and the longer my to-be-read list gets, I am finding that convenience sometimes trumps familiarity. While I will always love the feel of a book in my hand, it’s not always possible to sit down and just read a book.

3. Less Screens At Night

Something I read a lot about (as I am putting together a nighttime routine) is that screens before bed are bad. Yet I am someone who absolutely loves to get all cozy, just to scroll on my phone for an hour. Without realizing I was scrolling for such long periods of time, I wanted to change that habit.

Now, I listen to around twenty to thirty minutes of my audiobook before going to sleep. I complete my nighttime routine and then get myself cozy and listen to a bit of my book. Assuming you aren’t listening to a high-stakes, action-packed thriller, this should help settle you too.

I’ve only been doing this step in my routine for about two weeks but it has grown on me the fastest of all the steps in any of my routines. I’m currently reading “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and find that listening right before bed helps to calm my mind down. It is easier to let go of the day’s stress and focus solely on the story as I begin to let myself feel sleepy.

4. I Feel More Productive

This one might seem a little superficial, but as someone who is trying to grow a book blog, reading and sharing my thoughts is a must. If I am not reading, keeping up with #booktok, or surrounding myself with other books/book content, I will run out of ideas for my own blog.

I listen to audiobooks when I have the time. As well as making reading a priority, I feel productive. I feel confident when it comes time to draft a blog post. Whether it is a review, recommendation, or a listicle like this article.

This might not produce the same feeling for you. Getting in that workout, making that healthy recipe you’ve been saving, or cleaning up your space might make you feel productive over reading. And that’s okay! That’s entirely the point. For me, it’s getting through my to-be-read list. For you, it could be different.

5. Reading is Fun Again

So you’ve reached point #5 and you’re scratching your head, “but she didn’t even share her routine with us!”. That’s because my routine doesn’t have a set schedule. I choose to prioritize reading and so I read every day. Reading every day is my routine and it has helped make reading fun again.

I read during the in-between moments at work, in my car, while I clean the kitchen, and in bed before going to sleep. These in-between moments where I would put on music, a podcast, or just enjoy the silence, are now moments filled with stories that I enjoy. And while I still love putting on music, podcasts, or enjoying the silence, being able to find time where I can squeeze in more of whatever story I am reading has brought me quite a lot of joy.

Final Thoughts

I never really thought I’d have a reading routine if I am being honest. Only recently (thanks to the internet) did I even become semi-obsessed with routines in general. I struggle in finding consistency but have noticed that simple, easy-to-maintain routines have become a staple in my day-to-day life.

What about you? Do you have any routines that are important to you?

Interested in how to develop your own routine or system? Check out my other article “3 Routines and Systems I Plan to Incorporate Into my life + Ways to Maintain Them

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