Reading has tons of benefits, but it is not an easy habit to acquire. I had struggled to sit and focus long enough to read and finish the books. It took a while to get my reading habit in a better shape today, and over time I constrained myself to some restrictions.
These restrictions allowed me to develop my reading habit and gave me a chance to bring those restrictions to a small step-by-step framework,
Here are the top 3 (& Bonus) things I did to improve my reading:
Read something you enjoy and are already familiar with
Stories from past experiences and encounters are always bringing some good memories. And hence reading about something that brings good memories makes it less painful to read. You can also pick your favourite movies and TV series in book form.
Here the books are big enough, but as you know most of the story, there is less pressure to finish but enjoy it.
Pick something small to read (like Hemmingway, Penguin classics)
Now, as we are getting better at reading by having something we like, we can expand our habits to the small (thin) books to read or at least not demand a long time commitment.
A small book can be finished in a shorter time and give a good feeling of finishing something.
This sense of finishing a book is essential because this will boost your reading confidence and help you pick up the next one.
Pick something portable
Portability was something that got me more habitual in reading. It would be very few times a week if I waited for a quiet time and place to read.
So I picked portable books and read whenever I got time—in Bus, Metro, Park, waiting for Covid Test etc. There was no stopping as I could read anywhere and finish the books faster.
You can carry pocketbooks in your jackets and some bigger ones in a small backpack.
Recently I read two books that I able to finish in (my) record time were:
- The Old man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway
- Think like an Artist by Will Gompertz
I carried them all around with me in my jacket pocket and read whatever I could whenever I could. And this changed my ideas on progressing through a book.
I still carry more giant books, but I choose the ones I can carry easily while buying new ones.
Now pick something you want to learn and fit at least two of the above criteria.
If it is a linear book and not making much sense, set it aside for a while.
It encourages me a lot to share more of my learnings.
I have compiled a video covering the above three tips; you can watch the video while you are still working on your reading habits 😉
What tips do you recommend for folks struggling with reading habits?
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