Dr. Seuss once said, "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
How true! Reading is one of the most healthy and intellectually stimulating habits one can adopt. If you didn't make it a habit as a child, you can still do so now. Start right away! If you are already an avid reader, you can always improve. If it is not yourself that you want to encourage toward reading, then it could be your friend, parent or child. Reading makes us better by providing us with a better mind, vocabulary and personality. Try the following steps and you will see the difference yourself.
We all are passionate about something; there is always something that attracts our attention. Find that. That is what you should be looking for. In a technologically driven world like ours, it is very difficult to make someone else or ourselves focus on a book for a couple of hours. So, start with the books that focus on your interests. If you like sports, start with sport magazines or a biography of your favorite sports person. If you like watching thriller movies, try some detective/mystery novels. Whatever you are passionate about, there are always some books available to support your passion.
Once you have decided on your interest, try and take recommendations on that subject from your friends, relatives or peers. You can also find a ton of recommendations from online portals like GoodReads or Book Likes, which specifically focus on book discussions. Even better, join one of these communities! By doing so, you could always find someone to share your reading experience with. It is always fun and rewarding to have constant encouragement around.
By now, you should have gained interest in books and reading. Now would be the right time to experiment with different genres. If you like reading biographies, it doesn't mean that you wouldn't like fantasy novels or philosophy. Look around, try new books and authors and, who knows, you might end up discovering a whole new area of interest for yourself.
Allot a minimum time-slot for your everyday reading and make sure, no matter what, that you read daily for that period of time. Be it for 10 minutes or an hour, depending on your schedule, try and read a few pages every day.
As mentioned above, it is good to join a book community to keep you motivated. Discussing your reading habits and interests, your new-finds, ideas, favorite authors and quotes will keep you going. Join book clubs in your community, attend poetry slams, visit local libraries and book events. Whatever you do, find your people and an excuse to keep yourself engaged. This would not only improve you as a person, but would also give you a sense of personal satisfaction. This method is also known to be a good stress reliever.
To put it in a nut-shell
Books can become your best friends. To quote Makim Gorky, "Reading is the ladder to step forward". So do not hesitate to step forward and do not be surprised if you end up meeting a "new" you! Happy Reading!