Reading open our minds to new ideas and gives us new perspectives. Reading helps us grow. Sadly reading as a habit is in decline because of reduced attention span of people. Yet there are still people who are passionate about reading, including your’s truly.
- Develop Love for reading
- Read whenever you can
- Read wherever you can
- Take notes
- Underline key texts
In this post, I’ll talk about 5 more ways in which one can cultivate a habit for reading.
1. Develop a habit
Make it a point to read everyday, even if it is just 1 page. Associate your reading with some kind of signal.
For me any sort of waiting time is a signal to read. Some people check their mails on their mobile or tweet from their tab while they wait, I prefer to read.
Here is what zenhabits has to say in How to Read More: A Lover’s Guide.
Make it a habit. Pick a trigger in your daily routine, and consistently read exactly after that trigger each day. Even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes. The more consistent you are, and the longer you keep the streak going, the stronger the habit will become.
2. Be open. Be public.
It is a myth that one must read in private. If you have to read in a public place so be it. Having said that, a quiet, serene, calm place is definitely a better option than a crowded railway station.
But again it varies from person to person. As long as one does not get distracted, any place should be fine.
3. Commit to reading and make notes
Make a commitment to reading, by writing in a piece of paper what all you plan to read – it can be specific books, topics, ideas. Revisit this list from time to time.
Make a note of difficult terms or concepts that you would like to explore further. Then start looking for those sources and start reading them. A good place to start is a book’s bibliography (if it has one), the reference list of a wikipedia page or Amazon related searches.
Then do a deep dive into the subject and keep on going till you hit a logical wall or till you get tired.
Read more about Swarm Strategy in Ryan Holiday’s wonderful post The Swarm Strategy (How to learn about anything)
Always keep on revisiting your list and notes. You never know when inspiration may strike.
4. Don’t have any goals
Do not have any specific plan while reading. Read any book from any genre at any time that you want. Do not time yourself. Relax, sit back, enjoy – have a nice cup of tea and Marie biscuit while reading.
Reading is not a competition or a race – its a marathon. It is a long term process, you can choose to continue or drop out. Read only as long as you continue to enjoy.
Here is what zenhabits says on how to read more.
Enjoy the reading. Don’t look at reading books like a chore that you have to rush through to get to more urgent things. If you do, you’ll stop reading. Instead, look at the reading sessions as a treat, a spa break in the rush of your day.
5. Create your own personal library
Although I read a lot on my mobile, tab or laptop computer, I still prefer physical books. And what better way to pay tribute to your books, than by buying an antique book case (or modern one if you prefer).
When I got mine, I first organized my books by topic, then alphabetically, then by size – but they always ended up getting mixed.
Now I just pick and choose, what I want to read when I want to read, and once I finish reading I don’t necessarily put them back from where I took them out.
But just having a huge book-shelf filled with books, gives me a high, a sense of satisfaction and a sense of purpose.
The picture on the right is mine, in front of my very own book shelf.
Some Final Words
That’s it then. I hope you enjoyed this list of 5 more ways to read a lot. If you liked it please share. If you have some more ideas on how to read a lot, please feel free to leave your comments.
Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are, said Mason Cooley.