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How To Make Reading A Habit And Finish The Books You Want To Read

How To Make Reading A Habit And Finish The Books You Want To Read

I read almost every day. Although I’m a full-time student, freelance writer, and internet junkie, I try to make reading a priority. Not only is reading mentally stimulating, it’s also a way for me to unwind at the end of the day. If you want to integrate reading into your everyday life, here are seven ways you can easily do so.

1. Make time for it.

Yes, it’s that simple. If you want to read, just make time in your day for it. You don’t have to spend hours turning pages; even a short chapter a night is fine. You’ve just got to fit reading into your day. Associating your reading time with relaxation will make it more appealing, and you might find yourself craving a book instead of television as a way to veg out.

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2. Commit to a time of day.

If you feel best reading in the morning while eating breakfast, do that. Or maybe you’re a read-before-bed kind of person. Whatever time of day works best for you, stick to it. Reading will become more of a habit that you associate with a particular time, which makes it more likely that you’ll stick to it.

3. Create a reading area.

At home, I have a special reading corner. In it, I have a bookshelf, a large armchair, a floor lamp, and lots of pillows. I feel most comfortable reading when I’m tucked away in this little area. Some people feel better reading propped up in bed, and others prefer an outdoor setting. Find where you’re most likely to enjoy reading and stick to it.

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4. Bring what you need.

Tea, pillows, snacks, background music, glasses: whatever you need to settle down and get reading, make sure you have it with you. Nothing is worse than having to constantly interrupt your reading session because you forgot something. Make yourself comfortable and stay put.

5. Consider joining a book club.

Book clubs offer great ways to get introduced to new books, make friends, and keep on track with your reading. Book clubs set deadlines for reading, and others in the group often hold each other accountable for completing each book on time. If you can’t seem to find a book club in your area, consider making one with friends, family, or coworkers. It can be a good new way to bond with others in your life.

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6. Read what you like.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t like the newest book by so-and-so famous author. So what? Forcing yourself to read books that you don’t like is a recipe for disaster. Learn when to give up on books that you’re not enjoying and move on. Once you find a book you like, consider reading other books by that author. Additionally, there are great resources for picking your next book. What Should I Read Next is a great online resource for finding your next read. The site takes your preferences and finds new books or authors that you’re likely to enjoy.

7. Look for book alternatives.

As a firm believer in physical, hold-in-your-hands books, it pains me to mention book alternatives. However, many people find devices like Kindles, Nooks, and iPads to be very useful. These devices allow users to download digital books. Tablets can be a real space saver, as many of them are capable of containing over a thousand books at once. Though they can carry a hefty price tag (iPad minis start at $399), these devices are getting cheaper. A basic Kindle will only set you back $69. If you think you would prefer a digital alternative, shop around for the tablet you think would best fit your needs and budget.

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Featured photo credit: Viewminder via flickr.com

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 17, 2019

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

Saying, “Thank you,” can be difficult to do. Some things just demand a little something extra because of the magnitude of the favor or the depth of appreciation involved. But what can you do to say thank you in a meaningful way? Sometimes you have to get a little more creative than just firing off an email. Here are 20 creative ways to say thank you that your friends and family will remember and cherish!

1. Make a gift bag.

A unique, homemade gift bag with a custom label or a note is a simple but heartfelt way to show your appreciation for the wonderful things your friends or family have done for you.

2. Give a toast.

Many people fear public speaking more than death, giving this particular thank-you a little extra meaning. Composing a sincere, eloquent toast and delivering it is a nice way to show appreciation that truly comes from the heart.

3. Write a poem.

“Roses are red, violets are blue…” Uh, you could write that...but why not put a little extra zing in it? Find out what their favorite kind of poetry is: haiku, free verse, iambic pentameter, and so on. (Google them if you don’t know what they are.) Then write one that expresses why they deserve your thanks…and why you’re glad to give it!

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4. Create your own labels.

There are a number of websites that offer custom gift labels. Find one that fits your personality and that of your friends and create a personalized thank-you label!

5. Give a gift card.

Sometimes choosing what to give a friend can be tough. A gift card is a good way to get around this problem. As always, be sure to include a personalized note or card thanking the recipient for their friendship and help.

6. Send a letter.

Snail-mail is a largely lost art form. Don’t worry about how long the letter is, though. What really matters here is that you took the time to put pen to paper and express your feelings sincerely and honestly!

7. Use social media to send a special message.

If someone’s done something you think the whole world should know about, why not put out a social media blast? Use your blog, your Facebook, your Google+ account, and your Twitter to spread the word about why this person’s someone your friends will want to know too!

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8. Make your own digital greeting card.

While an email isn’t always the best way to go when saying thank you, a digital greeting card that you put time and effort into creating can really brighten someone’s day! Make the card reflect the recipient’s personality and compose a short message of thanks for their generosity.

9. Make a YouTube video.

Sometimes, actually hearing someone say, “Thank you,” can make all the difference. Why not take it a step further and create a special video of thanks for your friends, family, and those special people who helped make your day so important…or who helped you through that rough time?

10. Deliver cookies or candies.

Making something yourself is a fun and delightful way to say thank you to someone. Create a sampling of baked goods or homemade candies and decorate them with a simple message, or make them so they form letters! (Think Valentine’s candies, only situationally appropriate.) Attach a thank-you note or label and surprise those special people with the gift of your time and creativity.

11. Make surprise gifts for guests.

There’s no need to wait until “later” to send a thank-you message. Why not do it at the time? Create little gift packets or bags for your guests with surprises inside. This is a great way to say thanks to the people who attended your event, and make sure they won’t want to miss the next one!

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12. Put together a flower basket.

Whether you prefer fresh or artificial flowers, assembling a flower basket with a thank-you note is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day and show you appreciate them.

13. Take a picture.

Sometimes capturing the moment is the best way to put a smile on someone’s face. Have someone take a picture of you receiving that special gift or opening that surprise package and send the giver a copy with a quick but sincere note to say thanks!

14. Repay their generosity by paying it forward.

The best gifts come from the heart, and the best way to repay a gift is to pay it forward. If your friend has a special cause they care about or something they believe in passionately, why not make a donation in their name or volunteer some of your time to the cause? This will mean more than any number of cookies, candies, or thank-you notes because you’re taking your friend’s love and spreading it around to others.

15. Do something special for them.

Take them out to dinner. (See “make a toast.”) Give them that movie they’ve been wanting forever. Cook them dinner and give them a present when they arrive. Any of these are good options for showing someone you really appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

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16. Reciprocate their help.

Everyone needs help sometime. Whether it’s holding their hand through a particularly traumatic incident or helping them replace the alternator in their car, being there when they need it shows you remember what they did for you and how much it meant. It also shows that you’re willing to be just as good a friend to them as they were to you!

17. Be there for them.

Not every thank-you gesture has to be a grand public spectacle. Sometimes just giving them a place to come hang out when they’re lonely or showing up to offer them a sympathetic shoulder means the world to a person.

18. Listen to them.

Listening is almost as lost an art as the handwritten letter. When your friend or family member needs to talk, listen to them. Ask questions when appropriate, but just letting them know you’re there and paying attention to them to the exclusion of all else for a little while is a great way to say thank you for the times they listened to you.

19. Say it in another language…or two…

A simple thank you is great…but why not spice it up a little? Instead of just saying, “Thank you,” write or make a video of you telling them thank you in different languages. Some examples might be, “Gracias! Merci! Danke schoen! Spasibo! Mahalo!” and any other ways or languages you can think of. (The ones listed above are Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hawaiian, in case you were wondering.) If you want to really get tricky about it, say a short phrase in each language that conveys why you’re thanking them!

20. Show them some love.

A simple touch, a hug, or helping out when they need it without being asked may be the most powerful gratitude message you can send. Offer to take the dogs for a walk, sit for the kids for a few hours, or run to the grocery store so they don’t have to. The little things are often the most important and meaningful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send a note, but sometimes your simple presence and willingness to help is all that really matters.

Featured photo credit: Hanny Naibaho via unsplash.com

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