5 Easy Ways to Develop a Reading Habit
The typical person reads fewer than four novels annually, although avid readers (like Bill Gates or Barack Obama) read more than fifty. I read about ten books from cover to cover each year, skimming through another fifty. I only read an entire book if I need details that go beyond the summary or if there are any deeper insights that I find illuminating.
How do you boost your reading, is the query. The following are some methods for creating a reading habit:
1. Start reading about the topic you are interested in:
If you don’t read, your first challenge will be figuring out where to start. The best approach is to read books about topics you are interested in (for instance, football, gardening, or cuisine) and then look for recommendations, which can be easily found by conducting a Google search. Start with a straightforward and simple-to-read novel; a good example is Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse. Some books have a slow start. Continue reading over the first few pages and reach the chapter’s conclusion. You may always skip pages if the author’s writing lacks lustre but there is something about the book that attracts you, like an engaging plot. And if you’re not enjoying the project, it’s okay to stop working on it in the middle. It is therefore never too late to start reading. The goal of good literature, according to Mortimer J. Adler, “is not to see how many you can read, but how many can speak to you.”
2. Schedule reading time each day:
Make time every day to spend an hour reading a serious book. Some people would contend that you don’t have an hour. But if you have an hour to spend on maintaining your physical health, such as going to the gym or for a run, you should surely spend at least as much time on safeguarding your emotional, intellectual, and spiritual health, which are considerably more important to your overall wellbeing. Think of reading as a form of meditation or as a way to develop attention. A great way to start the habit is to go to book readings and discussions at a local bookstore.
3. Read physical books to keep your attention on the task at hand:
Finding the time and attention span required to focus on avoiding distractions is our biggest challenge. Having actual books around helps us stay focused. Real books can help us reduce our screen time and offer a different way to refuel our brains, even though e-books have their place. Physically holding books can help you slow down and get perspective.
4. Use time-saving applications like Audible and Blinkist when you’re short on time:
While there is no alternative for reading, there are a number of helpful apps that can help you make the most of your free time. It’s an excellent idea to listen to audio books while driving. One more is Blinkist, an app that provides a platform for nonfiction book summaries and is currently my favourite. Most business, economics, and how-to books, in my opinion, are easily summarised. I read a lot of non-fiction, so Blink provides me with a brief overview and key takeaway for each. Purists could object to such short cuts, but I prefer to compare the two approaches to two different cricketing philosophies. Reading a summary on Blink is like watching a T20 game or the highlights, however reading a full-length book is like playing a Test match! Each has a distinct audience and intrinsic value.
5. Review the writing and content:
For instance, Siddharth Mukherjee’s The Gene incorporates both his personal story and magnificent images while presenting scientific topics in a clear, pertinent way. If you love style, you must appreciate each phrase. In a similar vein, you might read for the author’s use of language, the clarity with which the argument is put forward, and occasionally for the cross-disciplinary connections that reveal the author’s thought process. This can help you write better and communicate your ideas more clearly. Similar to this, you must read the entirety of opinion pieces and books by authors whose intellect you respect or whose opinions you may find interesting regardless of whether you agree with them, such as Noam Chomsky or George Orwell.
Reading is now regarded as a necessity rather than a pleasure. Remind yourself that this is your sacred time for developing your creativity, your attentiveness, your sense of possibilities, and pulling up whatever is best in you from some deep well. Put away your devices. Find a peaceful place where no one will disturb you. If you choose your reading material well (I prefer biographies, books on ideas and leadership, and anything else that is not merely for amusement), I can almost promise that you will emerge an hour later a more nuanced and genuine version of yourself. You’ll start to question how you ever got along without it if you do this often enough.
Nearly everyone is happiest (inspired, creative, and engaged) when they are intensely engrossed, and least happy when they are scattered and distracted, as my friend and novelist Pico Iyer puts it. Use one of the best methods for boosting attention and joy that man has found to create a prescription for pleasure for yourself. Reading is what it is!