• Isabelle Osborne

Make Reading A Hobby: How To Read More

Hobby | An activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.

Reading is one of the most relaxing, enjoyable experiences, but often it comes secondary to other things in our lives. How many times have you gone to bed with the intention of reading, only to check your emails, scroll through Instagram and reply to messages, before noticing the time and switching the light off, your book collecting dust on your bedside table for another night?

If you'd like to turn reading into something you do on a regular basis, try these five tips...

Take a Book Everywhere

Breaking down the definition of a 'hobby', we see that it is something we do on a frequent basis. One way to turn reading into something you do regularly is to maximise the opportunity you have to read.

Wherever I'm going, whatever I'm doing, I always have a book in my bag. You never know when you might have a spare moment to read a few pages - on the train or tube, waiting for a friend, on your lunch break, or passing time before a delayed appointment. This is, essentially, 'leisure' time. Your book can become the 'filler' activity when you have some 'leisure' time. Try reading just one page at some point during your day aside from the moments when you might read for an extended period. Before you know it, you'll be diverting straight for your book when you free minute.

Listen to Audiobooks

Following on from the above, another way to turn reading into making reading a regularity and help turn it into a hobby is to enjoy a book even when you can't physically pick up a book. Think walking, cleaning, ironing, exercising. Why not read whilst you're doing these mundane, often weekly if not daily tasks? Your attention is on nothing but the present, so it's the perfect time to stick your headphones in and immerse yourself in a book. You'll be creating more time with your current read, so that it almost unconsciously becomes part of your normal routine. Routine equals hobby.

Screen Time = Book Time

I first saw this idea on Jack Edwards' YouTube channel, when he swapped his phone screen time for time spent reading books. When building a hobby, an important step is to minimise the things that distract or deviate your attention so you can devote time to deeply and consciously learning and loving your chosen activity. I'll not pretend my phone isn't one of the biggest distractions for me. Turning my screen time into my reading goal not only reduces the time spent on my phone, but also forces me to focus my attention for a specific time every day, which is especially helpful when I feel like I've been neglecting my reading.

Whether you turn your screen time into book time or simply set yourself a daily or weekly goal, be it twenty pages a day or three hours across the week; the more dedicated time you can set aside for reading, the easier it will become to nurture it as a hobby.

Develop a 'TBR'

Having a 'to be read' pile is a great way to build momentum with your reading. The anticipation and excitement of 'what's next' means you're going to want to get through your current book to be able to reach for the new book. Having a sort of 'reading agenda' is therefore another helpful way to turn it into something you do on a continuous, rolling basis, rather than treating it as a 'once in a blue moon' activity.

Remember that a hobby is for fun

Perhaps the most important point of this blog focuses on the 'pleasure' part of the definition of 'hobby'. For it to become a hobby, reading shouldn't feel like a chore. The easiest way to turn reading into a hobby is to cultivate a love of it, because it makes it so much more effortless to pick up a book if it is something you really want to do. So, choose books you really want to read. What makes you curious? Excited? Eager to read? What completely absorbs you and takes you away from the world for what feels like two minutes but is actually five hours? Making reading a hobby starts with reading books you love.