How To Build Books Reading Habit In Busy Routines

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How can we build a book reading habit?

Currently, I'm doing Masters along with full-time Job. Courses are almost completed but working on Thesis.

Reaching around 11 PM after office, I usually read some research papers and do work for the thesis. Sleeping from 2 AM till 9 AM and leave for office at 12 PM.

The main objective is to get suggestions in building habit of books to read.
I personally prefer self-help books are we can always read technical things while learning and doing work.

What daily routine do you follow and how u build a habit for book reading?

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I was in same boat as you, here is what I did.

I did not want to jump on wagon of Audible and online GoodReads etc.. instead -- I went to my local Library , signed up for free.
They provided me with Audio and Online Cloud Library access that I can listen and read on my devices wherever I am for FREE.. on top of it all I also borrowed few hard copy humor books as I wanted to start enjoying my reading on positive level, vs going to read some fiction crime books.

My fav that I read few years back is Project Phoenix, it is for anyone that is in IT industry.

Once you like all of that, and want to go for more 'recent' books, then go to amazon and audible etc.. as some mentioned.


Great to know you overcome it and made your habit.

Actually, i am more interested in reading the paper books rather than audible or online for:

  1. I need to improve English vocabulary.
  2. To save myself from eye-strain issues as i use computer in office and research purposes for my Masters.

What are your suggestions to build that habit.


The book i will read next is :

How to Make Friends and Influence People

I will suggest you to check it out. As you are currently into books reading unlike me. You may find it good.


There's two things you can do to accomplish this.

First, the easy one: always pack a book with you, preferably something you can read in spurts. We always have those moments through our day when we're just idling. When you're waiting, make a habit of picking up the book instead of checking social media! You'll be amazed how much material you can get through in this way.

Fun fact, I actually don't even carry a smart device! Books are my "idle-mode," and I've been able to clear through "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens, "Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame, and "Pour Your Heart Into It" by Howard Schultz already this year!

Second, the harder one: set aside time in your morning. I'm up at 5 AM every day, as that gives me quiet, alone time for fresh coffee, devotional, and then 1-2 hours of learning. I have a number of books (both print and ebook) and Udemy courses I'm working through, so I pick a different one each day of the week.

Right now, I'm simultaneously learning:

  • SQL
  • Advanced Python
  • Java
  • Linux internals
  • Game engine architecture
  • Agile Project Management

No matter how weird or busy my day gets, I always at least have my early morning going right!

Now, that might not be 5 AM for you...especially given that you work until about 11 PM. You might need a different time. However, as long as you're getting enough sleep, shifting your wakeup time may help. Mornings are actually better for this than evenings, as your brain is gearing up, not down. My personal optimal sleep time is 7 hours -- if I go over that, I'm actually more tired -- so 10 PM to 5 AM is a great sleep schedule for me.


Thank you very much, Jason.

always pack a book with you

This is great advise you have given me as I find some time in a day in an office where I can't do anything excepting opening social media on my mobile phone. Of course, I can't study in Office so I should spend that time in a productive way.

Looks like these are great books, I am going to add in my good reads list.

the harder one: set aside time in your morning - Mornings are actually better for this than evenings, as your brain is gearing up, not down.

Yes, you are right.
I tried this thing today and was not able to spend more than 15 minutes in books reading.

What I have decided is:

  1. Read 15 minutes after waking up the morning.
  2. Keep the book in my bag so I can always read them in free time in the office, Especially when you got a big park just in front of your office.

Yes, my sleeping hours that are also 7 works pretty are fine.

Thank you for your advice.


Don't worry about it. :) If you have work to do til 11PM then accept that now is not the time in your life when you read books. Once you have some actual free time, follow your interests, read what keeps you hooked, and drop a book when it no longer holds you.


When my Master will be completed, I might end up putting myself in PhD programs that might take another 3-4 years with doing the full-time job so might not find the specific time you are referring to.

Once you have some actual free time

Don't you think Books reading habit should not be limited to "actual free time"?


I read either for pleasure ("out of curiousity" etc is the same thing) or for work (university or job). My recommendation is that if you already have two big work things going, don't be hard on yourself if you don't have time to read. It's better to spend the little free time that you have to be outdoors and with people.

But, like any habit you want to build, you can start making very small steps. What usually works is to tie the new thing that you want to do to some other thing which you've already developed as a habit or ritual. Eg. read for 15mins right after you wake up, or after breakfast, before going to gym, etc.

Thanks Marko for your Advise. You are right i shouldn't spend hours on reading, instead finishing the work i already have.

What i can do is find some time like 15Min / Day to read the book and make it consistent. In this way i think i can make habit of improving myself by reading the self-help books.


Let's be honest, 2018 isn't for books, videos are just better... at least for me.

I HATE reading books, but I dedicate at least 2 hours daily for watching courses, conferences, talks... etc.


I'd say, books aren't for you. Nothing wrong with the year, and we really shouldn't just follow the "popular fads" of information delivery purely because they're popular. I read actual paper books - dozens in fact, every year - and find they meet my needs much better than videos (and with less eye strain).

That said, yes, there are other ways of getting information. I'm taking three Udemy courses right now, in addition to all the books. ;) Find what works for you.


Ah, yeah books aren't for me, as I mentioned "at least for me"... especially the part that I can't read with the 2x/3x speed as I do when watching videos :D

Actually, there is something wrong with most of books (in the dev field), they have lots of theory comparing to videos which you see the apps moving front of you.

Most courses have the same problem too, but talks are really awesome (they're really practical, and show real-life-dev problems & solutions), here is an example of what I mean:

I, too, prefer books that aren't theory heavy, and there are more than you think. Here's just a few of my favorites.

  • Game Programming Patterns by Robert Nystrom
  • Dreaming in Code by Scott Rosenberg
  • Learn C the Hard Way by Zed Shaw
  • The New Hacker's Dictionary by Eric S. Raymond (hilarious!)
  • Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric S. Raymond
  • Game Engine Architecture by Jason Gregory
  • Hacker's Delight by Henry S. Warren
  • Python Cookbook

Books aren't not your cup of tea, and that's fine, but there aren't any inherent problems with books, even in the dev field, themselves.

Personally, I'm the opposite. I get through books faster than lectures, and remember more of the material. That's not the fault of lectures - nothing wrong with them - they're just not as effective for me personally. :)

I guess as you mentioned it's just a personal taste thingy !

And seems like there are good books out there, I might get into one of them soon... thanks for the recommendations :)


IMO self-help books are great and do a better job than watching videos.

Comparatively, if I'm learning something some technology I would definitely go for videos, courses and talks.

How you build a habit of learning and dedicating 2 hours daily?


Agree with what you said.

Hmmm I do get 2 free hours everyday, where I stay totally alone, without anyone around me. One hour in the morning and another one at night... consistency is the key here ;)


I read novels on my Kindle at night. One thing I learned is that it's perfectly okay to stop reading a book that doesn't move you.

I don't have "tricks" on how to build a habit, if you can find books that you deem interesting you will find the time (after you finish the thesis :D), if you can't find the time you're either too busy (which is perfectly fine) or are reading the wrong books ;-)


Yes, I think reading on Kindle or computer is more easy thing to do.

For me, I think I should stick with Paper book for keeping less eye strain issues.

I really like those books and when I started to read him, I spend about an hour in a week which really affected by another routine, I think I should spend 15-25min in a day and make it consistent.


I'm not a big fan of self-help books, they mostly help me sleep. Regardless what kind of book, I try and read at least an hour before I go to bed. This helps me calm down, leave the stress of the day behind me and just satisfy my interest in a specific subject. Extra positive is that I cut down on my screen time in the night as well!


I try and read at least an hour before I go to bed.

Damn! You are lucky to find 1 executive hour for book reading. I wish i could do that at night.

I'm not a big fan of self-help books, they mostly help me sleep.

Yes, but some of them are really great. I have recently bought a book titled "How to Make Friends and Influence People" and its really great.

I prefer self-help book for myself as I can read the technical book in my office can and read articles :)


If you have any commute at all, or if you are exercising, Audible can be your best friend. I've managed to read quite a few books in the past couple of years, but Audible was the game changer for me.


Yes, Audio Books are doing pretty great. In my previous Office, audio books for Game Of Thrones really helped my colleague to finish them easily.

Yes, my commute consists of around 2 hours daily - 1 hour Office Distance.

Actually, I want the Paper book read because of 2 reasons:

  1. Improving vocabulary as English is not my mother tongue.
  2. Audible is not free and I can get a book for around 2$ in my area.

While travelling to the office, I usually spend time on calls or listening to Podcasts that really helps me to stay updated with the modern trends.

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