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I have always loved reading but could never find myself setting up the time to do the activity that I loved so much. Almost two years ago I would just think about how much I would want to incorporate a little bit of reading each day into my schedule ending up doing nothing about it and have my books catching dust on the shelves. Well, I got tired of that because like I said, it’s an activity that I really enjoy and it was something that made my day better than a day in which I didn’t read. The thing is that as much as I loved reading I loved procrastinating and making excuses more. I then decided to take matters at hand and put up my mind to establish a reading habit, routine or space in my day to read and in this post, I will tell you exactly how I did it.

I am a full-on planner girl when it comes down to getting my life together and about that time in which I decided to develop my reading routine, I also started my first ever bullet journal. I have been bullet journaling now for almost two years and it has honestly helped me a lot for emotional health and goal setting.

Figure Out Your Why

You need motivation when starting a new habit and when it comes to habits, I believe that knowing why you want to develop them is essential to fulfilling your habit goals. I didn’t just want to read for the sake of reading. I wanted to read because it is something that makes me happy and that nicely complements my day. After giving a lot of thought to it and developing my why I decided to move on to the next step.

My overall goal was to develop a daily reading routine. I didn’t add things like I want to read 10 books this month and stuff like that because at that time I wasn’t even reading in the first place and I needed to figure out the time that I would put into it and a nice place to keep it up to put stuff like quantity of books.

List the Books you Want to Read

I had already quite a few books on my shelves that were piling up being unread. So the next thing I did was a list of all the books that I had and in what order I wanted to read them. When it comes to books, most of them I have are part of a series so I just go with chronological order and if I have a stand-alone I just place it randomly in my to be read list except (nowadays) when it is a book club pick for the month.

Integrate to your Schedule

My biggest excuse for not reading was always that I didn’t have enough time in my day so I would just put it off. I fixed that by making a schedule of my day and making time blocks of the things that were set in place in my schedule and figured out time frames for the various things that came up throughout the day even resting times because at the end of the day we are not machines, we are humans and we need to remember to take care of ourselves and not overworking ourselves up. I figured out that the best thing was to have at least 30 minutes each day for reading because I figured it was the perfect time frame for me to work on and slowly integrate the habit of reading into my day today. If you want to setup a self-care schedule, you can do so in the workbook I created for self-love and care that you can get by subscribing to my weekly newsletter.

book review template

Set Up a Timer

I set up a timer each time I picked up a book so that I wouldn’t make excuses to drop it off and keep myself reading for at least thirty minutes. Now, this may seem a little harsh for some of you but it honestly worked well for me though I can understand how it could not work for everyone. Most of the days, because I cannot say every day, I set up a timer and read for at least 30 minutes.

Track It

I needed something to remind myself of this habit that I wanted to create as well as someplace to track how well I was doing at keeping it up. There is when my bullet journal comes and takes charge of it. I created a simple graph habit tracker that I use to this day as you may know from reading my monthly bullet journal setups. It is the perfect thing to track every time that I read and I would base it completely on the time and not the pages or other sorts of measurements. If you are interested in starting to bullet journal yourself, here is How I Started Bullet Journaling and My Recommendations.

Ignore the timer

At first, I had the timer so that I could keep myself from dropping the book for at least 30 minutes but then, as time went by, guess what? I didn’t want to let go of the book! I would ignore the timer and keep on reading because the book was so good I didn’t want to drop it. I didn’t have a problem with that because that is just what I wanted from the first place. Read. Read because I knew it made me both happy and see more of the world and humanity in beautifully written stories that taught lessons and I got myself each time more perplexed with the art of storytelling on a whole other level than I was before.

Books you Want to Get

By the time you develop the habit, you are either running out of books to read or already ordering books and thinking about investing in a bookshelf. Books can become a big expense for avid readers that just go through them quickly. If you know me you know that I love discounted prices and sales. As much as I wanted to get a bunch of books it was difficult for me to think of a way of getting the maximum amount of books with the least amount of expenses in traditional bookstores that didn’t offer sales regularly.

Thriftbooks Review

I then was told about an online store named Thriftbooks and I fell in love with the prizes and then, the quality. The store sells new and used books and most of them are $5 or less. I was kind of worried at the beginning that they would come extremely damaged even though I heard that they were good but I still had a little bit of doubt when getting them. Here is the thing though, if you want to buy a new book I would always recommend Amazon but when it comes to used nice quality low priced books, I will recommend Thriftbooks. Most of the books that I own are from them because to this day I have not had an issue with my orders.

The prices are amazing and I always make sure to take the least expensive one and in the acceptable quality category they have. The most inexpensive one because what I care about the most is that I can read the book. I don’t mind a bit of damage on the cover and stuff like that, I like it because it shows that the book has been well-loved and let me tell you, most of the time the quality has surprised me in the best way possible leaving me shook because I would be expecting something a little damaged and then it coming in a quality that for me is basically new. I will always compare the prices across platforms so that I know I’m getting the best deal.

One thing I must mention, I always get standard shipping and it often takes a while for the books to arrive, I don’t mind it as much because I know it will get to me. Also, I don’t know for everyone around the world, but for me, the shipping is affordable and I live in Puerto Rico. I don’t know if the shipping is the same for everyone but I know that if you spend $10 you get free shipping and to me, that’s about two or three books plus free shipping. The more you order the merrier because you are also gaining points to earn a free book.

Also, a little bit of a disclaimer; Thriftbooks is not paying me to say any of this. I just really like the store and saving up money from books because the more you save the more you can get when it comes to investing in books. Plus, you are being environmentally friendly by getting books that are used.

It’s okay to not be up and reading all the time…

Remember that you are a human being and that you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself especially when it is something that you want to do to make yourself happy and not stressed about. You don’t have to read every single day and it is okay if you don’t accomplish your reading goals as they originally were set. That’s why I love goal setting in my bullet journal and the bullet journal system in general. I love the idea of adjusting the system to your needs and being able to customize whatever you want from it.

I really really hope you found this blog post helpful. Are you planning on creating the habit of reading or do you already have it developed? If you do, what are your favorite books at the moment and which books do you plan on reading next? Remember that I’m focusing this whole month on self-love and self-care and created a whole workbook just for you to get once you subscribe to my weekly newsletter. If you liked this post, make sure to check out all of my social media platforms so that you can see more fun content like this.

Be Yourself, Be Happy, Be Human.
xoxo, Patrick

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