Somewhere after “lose weight”, “stop procrastinating”, and “fall in love”, “read more” is one of the top goals that many people set for themselves. And rightly so: A good book can be very satisfying, it can teach you things you never imagined, and it can create characters so vivid you feel as if you really know them.
So, the real question isn’t “why should I read”, it’s “why shouldn’t I?” For a lot of people, reading is ‘boring’. Books remind them of something they ‘had to do’ at school, and with the social media in the equation, things may not get better. From reading, you can learn the lessons of geniuses, revolutionaries, great leaders of all time and so much more. Surely, you must have realized that I am not talking about textbooks and course material; those are a must. I mean the good old paper/hard back novels or even the more recent e-novels.
The motion picture Mogul, Walt Disney, has this to say, “There is more treasure in books than in the entire pirate’s loot on Treasure Island”. What more can one ask for? You may argue that a movie will do same. True maybe, but remember, “If E no be Panadol, E no fit be like Panadol”. The experience can never be the same. A movie will amuse you but a good book would keep you amused while developing life skills. Moreover, you are spared the square eyes and extra calories we tend to gain when we sit in front of a screen for long.
- Enrichment of language and vocabulary
- Exercises the brain
- Reduces stress and puts you in a better mood
- Better writing skills
- Great and free entertainment
- Helps you to think outside the box/ develops creativity
- Makes you a great conversationalist
- Provides knowledge and information
- It Improves Your Memory
- Improves concentration and focus
So now that you may want to pick up a book to read…how do we go about it?
- Know where to start. If you’re not already an avid reader, you might feel a little overwhelmed at the choice of books available. In that case, why not try some reliable lists on www.goodreadingguide.com and www.delibris.org. These sites offer information about books which can help you choose what to read, including thousands of recommendations, reviews and video reviews.
- Read often. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, it will all add up week by week. Always try to have a book handy somewhere to pull out when you’re standing in line or sitting on the bus. I usually look forward to Sundays when I can hang out with a good book for a few hours. Even the thought of it makes me smile.
- Aim. You could read casually or you could set up a goal. You could start with something related to your profession, medicine, engineering, fashion design, etc. By reading one book related to something you are interested in in a week, you can become an international expert within a few years. You can easily make up your own goal such as two books a month (1 book per 14 days), or twenty books a year (about 1 book per 20 days). By having an aim, you can more easily write/decide your list(s) and possibly get through many more books than you would otherwise.
- Reduce television/Internet. If you really want to read more, try cutting back on TV or Internet consumption. This may be difficult for many people. Still, every minute you reduce of Internet/TV, you could use for reading. This could create hours of book reading time.
- Go to used book shops. My favorite place to go is a discount book store where I drop off all my old books and get a big discount on used books I find in the store. I typically spend only a little money on books, so although I read a lot, books aren’t a major expense. And it is very fun to browse through those sights above seeking out new books download. Make your trip to a used book store a regular thing.
- Read fun and compelling books. Find books that really grip you and keep you going. Even if they aren’t literary masterpieces, they make you want to read — and that’s the goal here. After you have cultivated the reading habit, you can move on to more difficult stuff, but for now, go for the fun, gripping stuff. . First, realize that reading is highly enjoyable, if you have a good book. If you have a lousy book (or an extremely difficult one) and you are forcing yourself through it, it will seem like a chore. If this happens for several days in a row, consider abandoning the book and finding one that you’ll really love.
- Balance and diversify. Almost everyone has a subject/genre that they are really interested in. It doesn’t have to be an ‘academic’ subject either. Whatever it is, choose it and read as many books as you can find about it. However, you should also have a go at something completely different – how do you know you won’t like it until you’ve tried it? Why not wonder into a completely different part of the library, randomly picking up a book and reading the blurb or first page? You never know, you may discover a new passion. The key is to balance depth and breadth.
Finally, make efforts to ensure that the book you are about to read is one that is fit for consumption. No one would eat a spoilt meal unless the person is mentally challenged, so also is it with books. A book is supposed to add to your life not debase you. The sites above rate books according to their contents, this can help in your selection. Remember, the eyes are the window of the soul, let’s not get them blackened with trashy reading materials. Like they say “garbage in, garbage out!”
So, try not to think of reading as a chore. It’s not homework. It’s not work at all. It expands your horizons, pushes your imagination and can change your life. Don’t miss out, kick start your reading habit today and discover a whole new world with Aladdin and Jasmine!