When I was younger, I was an avid reader. I tore through children's and young adult fantasy novels in middle school and some of high school. However, eventually I lost interest in reading for pleasure, and when I tried to return to an old favorite or a new series, it seemed an impossible task. Does this sound familiar?
I am certain that there is a inverse relationship between smartphone use and reading ability. The scientific data for why is treated of better elsewhere. Simply speaking from my own experience, the best way to start reading more is to stop using a smartphone so often. This can be done in many ways. The best success I've had is an app FocusMe which can schedule times to block apps and websites. I can't edit the hosts file on my android, so this is a good alternative. Some success was also found with Actuflow and Keep Me Out. It's also helpful to turn on the battery saver at the highest level, so that most of the apps are unusable. One could also switch to a dumb phone or another alternative.
The other necessary task is, of course, to read more. It's best to find a book that you want to read, and is the type to For me, being unable to put down The Hobbit was what gave me the confidence to try harder to read more and use my smartphone less. After that I moved on to tackling the long list of books I had planned on reading. This is still paying dividends.
I'm not sure the benefits of reducing or outright discontinuing smartphone use can be overstated. On their own, I see no intrinsic detriment. But software made for smartphones is engineered for addiction, and for nearly every utility of a smartphone, there exists some alternative. More often than not, that alternative does require some extra effort or time, but it is almost invariably worth it.