“Because while everyone can read a book, not everyone can read it right.”
Let’s dive right into some of the ways you can develop your reading habits:
1. Finding your Right Book: The primary concern of a novice reader is how to select the right book for reading. There is a vast sea of extremely good books from extremely amazing writers out there, and to choose a drop from this sea is in itself a tough task. While almost every book you read will provide some value to you, not all of them will exactly suit you and your needs. Your process of book selection should be based on what you expect to gain from your reading. For instance, if you are someone wanting to add some discipline in your life ‘Power of Habits’ might be a good pick for you, whereas if you are willing to take your first dive into the world of personal finances ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ could be the one that suits your needs. What can also help is going through the back cover of the book or even looking at the index to gain a little more insight into the books before fixating your eyes on one. A fellow mate recently suggested an app called Blinkist to further ease the selection process. It provides you with summaries and highlights of various books and if something interests you, Voila! You’ve completed the most important step and are set to start your reading spree.
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me”- C.S. Lewis2. Setting well-defined targets: While picking a book is one of the most steps, the book won’t read itself sitting at some corner of your bookshelf bathing in dust. What I’ve seen with most of my peers and am guilty of doing so myself oftentimes is reading vigorously the initial few chapters and then going easy on the pace to finally losing touch of the book and forgetting it’s existence in its entirety. But what helped me deal with this was when I discovered that setting small targets gets the book done much faster than what I’d been doing. It could be something like reading for 30 mins (and not more) every night before bed or completing 50 pages everyday. The important thing here (which I myself try to keep note of) is to not go beyond the targeted time or the targeted number of pages. While it may be tempting to do so on some of the days, not doing so is what keeps the hunger of daily reading alive. And once you find yourself comfortable with the existing targets for a consecutive couple of days, you may altogether increase your targets for the upcoming few days. This way not only will your reading goals be fulfilled but soon reading will become an integral part of your day, the way it should be.
“Take a good book to bed with you- Books do not snore.”3. Using that Highlighter: The rationale behind reading a non-fiction book, when there also are tons of more interesting fictions available, is that you want to gain something at the end of your read. Some help, some perspective, a little discipline and answers to a lot of whys and hows. And so it becomes important that you don’t let your reading vapourize into thin air but put in a little extra effort to help retention. And that is when highlighters and notes come to the rescue. While using these two mighty super-heroes could be tedious at first and may not give you the reading experience you aim for, you surely will appreciate using them once you are done with your reading. Marking the things that you think are important and noting down the things you would want to remember and refer back to later, the recipe to make your reading actually impactful. And on the plus side, you get to add pretty colours to your book. Devise your own retention strategy using highlighters and notes. Get. Set. Go. 4. Feeling Stuck? Drop and Move On: While this may not be a very popular opinion, but if you feel you are slaving through a book and no matter what you try you simply cannot find the right motivation to complete a particular book, the best thing to do in such a situation is to drop that book and move to another. No, that does not make you a ‘quitter’ nor does that mean that you’ll never become the reader you want to be. All it implies is that maybe this wasn’t the right book for you or the right time for reading this book. All it makes you is a strategic reader. Why waste your valued time or why waste a good book? And maybe one day you will again find yourself with the same book you once left midway at a more apt situation and a more appropriate time. And that is when you can Finish the Unfinished. Till then, give that book the break it needs from you.
“Why waste a good book by reading it at a wrong time.”5. Consistency is the Key: Know that all the points discussed here or anything else you might come across anywhere, will do no good to you if you are not consistent with your reading. The sandcastle that you ventured on to create for yourself will be washed away by the ocean waves before you even near it’s completion. And the only way to prevent this mishap is to guard your creation with the shield of consistency. Consistency is the key, always has been, always will be. Make sure that you keep meeting your daily target of reading even when on the days you are least motivated to do so. It is a constant battle between you and your mind, and it always will be so until you show your mind who the Boss is. Keep on fighting all that keeps you away from your goals, until you don’t have to. Soon, Reading will become like any other daily habit of yours and you will shine as the Victor.
To sum up, the only good way to read is the one that keeps you reading and also retaining the information you collect while reading. While the points discussed here are not exhaustive in any manner, they are the ones found to work well with most of the individuals. Try it, implement it, modify it, suit yourself and get Reading. And though you may not want to be a scholar or a philosopher, your daily reading can surely make you the smarter and the more likable one from among your peers.
Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” – Anna QuindlenHere are a few books you can start your reading journey with:
- Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life – The book talks about various ways that help the readers find the purpose of their life and how to make the best of their living.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People – One of the classic books there is that teaches you the techniques and methods to handle people, make them like you and to win people to your ways of thinking.
- The Power of Now – This book will help you realise and understand the essence of being a human and discusses various tricks of the mind to push oneself to greater limits.