“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.”– George R.R. Martin
Every year millions of people make a resolution to read a certain number of books. And I am pretty sure, most of them are not able to get past that one book…
I am an avid reader and many times people ask me how do I read so much? And where do I get the motivation to read?
If you really want to inculcate a reading habit, first you will have to find the answer to ‘why’, why do you want to develop this habit in the first place.
Honestly, I had started reading because whenever I used to watch the talks of these famous billionaire leaders like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Warren Buffet, each one of them had this one common habit, which was reading.
Now I am not saying that you might become a billionaire or a millionaire if you start reading, ( if this was true, then librarians would be the richest people on this planet :P)
I am just saying that it would really help you broaden your mind’s perspective in countless ways and who knows, a million-dollar idea might strike you while reading!
Jokes apart, your willingness to open your mind to various ideas, opinions, perspectives, and thoughts should be one of the main reasons why you should read books because that is what is going to really help you really grow as a person. An open mind is a treasure you might want to hold on to for your whole life.
Reading has a lot of benefits, research shows that regular reading:
– improves your vocabulary and overall comprehension
– reduces stress
– increases your knowledge
– improves memory
– strengthens analytical thinking
– improves focus and concentration
– improves your writing skills
Now that we know how beneficial reading habit is, let’s get to how should we develop that habit. These are some ways that will actually help you develop your reading habit!
1. Find the right book
This point is really crucial because if you start with the wrong genre of book, something that doesn’t interest you, then ultimately you might find yourself putting that book down after going through a few pages and you surely don’t want that to happen.
Basically, there are two genres, fiction, and non-fiction which further branch into many genres.
The fiction involves books that deal with imaginary stories that are made up by the author and might revolve around science, fantasy, romance, etc. Whereas non-fiction uses factual information about a topic to the best of the author’s ability and can include self-help books, opinion pieces, biographies, etc.
If you are starting fresh, my personal suggestion would be to start from the fiction genre, as it is more interesting and will keep you engaged thus building a habit of reading.
Non-fiction books can get a bit boring after a certain point, leading you to leave the book. Also, don’t just start a fiction book that uses a lot of complex vocabulary words.
Because at the start you will not be tempted enough to search for the meaning of each and every new word that you come across and you might lose interest.
My first fiction book was ‘The immortals of Meluha’ by Amish Tripathi. That book is interesting enough and doesn’t require an extraordinary vocabulary to start with.
So, choose your first book wisely because you are not just reading a book, you are building a habit.
2. Set a reading time and stick by it
Set apart a particular part of the day just for reading. It might be just after you wake up, before you go to bed at night, or after you return from work. While reading at that time, make sure you are not disturbed by anything.
Find yourself a quiet place, put away all the distractions that might impede your reading, like turn off the TV or put your phone on silent and just start reading.
I personally prefer to read before going to bed as it has its own benefits. According to a study, reading before sleep relaxes your mind significantly and can reduce stress levels by up to 61 percent!
Reading also relaxes your muscles and slows down your breathing thus making you feel calmer.
So, instead of watching TV or scrolling endlessly on your phone, reading will reward you with some relaxation and a good night’s sleep!
3. Start slow
The point where most people make mistakes is that they set unrealistic goals for themselves and when they can’t meet them, they lose the motivational drive and quit.
For instance, some people get too hyped up and decide that they will finish the book in a week.
They read for an hour on the first day, and for another hour on the second day. Then something comes up and they are not able to read on the third day which breaks the momentum. Then on the fourth day they might procrastinate and postpone reading to tomorrow, and this tomorrow then never comes.
Instead of setting a goal of reading for an hour daily, or even 30 mins daily, set a goal of reading just 5 mins daily.
I’m not saying that just keep the book down after 5 minutes, I’m just saying that that should be the least amount of time that you give to reading. Once that threshold of 10 mins has passed, you can continue reading as per your convenience.
The average reading speed of a person is 1-1.5 pages a minute, so considering that you read 10 minutes, you will be reading a total of around seven to ten pages. The average length of a book is about 350 pages.
Considering that you read 10 pages daily, you will complete a book in over a month! That means you could read around 12 books a year! See, you completed your New Year’s resolution! It is estimated that out of 1440 minutes in a day, an average person spends about 160 minutes on social media, and I am only asking you to give 10 minutes out of 1440 minutes in a day to reading, I’m pretty sure you can do that.
In short, start slow, set small goals but make sure you abide by them. Our small actions done consistently can provide compounding results in the future.
4. Get yourself a book buddy
There are a lot of benefits if you also encourage some of your friends to start on this reading journey with you. You could make a WhatsApp group together and discuss which books you are starting and discuss them when you meet!
Doing this will also keep you motivated as you will be aware that your friends are reading and you have to keep up with them. You all could buy different books and exchange them after reading, which would also help you save money and read a variety of books!
If you think you’ll have a hard time convincing your friends to start this reading habit. So share this article with them, and get them motivated. Though you could also be a solo ranger and start on this journey alone but having someone to check on you regularly would help to maintain this habit in the long run.
So go get your friends excited and start on this beautiful reading journey!
5. Try Audio Books
If you are someone who totally hates even the idea of reading, you can always try audiobooks. There are many apps where you can listen to them like amazon audible, Scribd, Spotify, etc.
Listening to an audiobook has all the same advantages as reading does, but it might not be for everyone. Some people may find the narrator’s pace to be too slow or too fast to understand. Some may even find the voice irritable.
It totally depends on the person, if they are comfortable physically reading the book then it’s great, if not then audiobooks are always a choice. I personally feel that physically reading a book can be a more personal experience because in that, your own inner voice would be creating all the scenes in your mind and it would be more connecting.
So, however you feel comfortable, get started with reading!
I guess you are now motivated enough to start reading and I hope you will be successfully able to inculcate this extremely beneficial habit in you. Do tell me which book you will be starting with! 🙂
Also, if you happen to be a marketing enthusiast, do check out this article!