How to read more and/or transform yourself into a person that reads on daily basis? Learn these 7 reading strategies and start reading more right now!
1. Don't limit yourself to one format (try out digital and audio books).
Nobody loves the old-fashion reading method more than yours truly, for there is nothing quite like holding a book in your hand. This physical aspect of reading can be quite important. Not to say anything about the aesthetic aspect. There are some incredibly beautiful book editions out there. I mean just beholding such gorgeous books can be rewarding in itself. However, there is no denying that modern reading has many benefits to offer. Audio-books can allow you to read while you're commuting or cleaning the house ( I will get into more detail later). Similarly, digital books (eBooks) allow you to access them at any time, you can easily download a book to your cell phone and read away ( no need to buy a kindle if you don't want to but I will get to that later). Really, audio and digital books are both affordable and practical. Besides, if you're opting for classical literature, you won't have problems finding free ones. In addition, upcoming authors often offer free books in an exchange for a review. Moreover, some authors only publish in an audio and digital form. Why limit yourself to traditional books when there might be better options for you? Let's face it, most of us have our cellphones/smartphones in our hands pretty often. Scrolling down the screen and reading a chapter or two instead of browsing through generic news feed can be a good time investment. Similarly, putting on earplugs on and listening to a chapter doesn't require that much effort. You can still enjoy reading the traditional way. If you ask me, the best thing is to combine all the three reading techniques. Reading traditional books will allow you to rest your eyes from screen and can be made a part of your digital detox. The same can be said for audio-books, obviously you can listen to them without watching the screen. Every book medium has its benefits, learn them and use them.
2. You can read while you're doing house work, cleaning the house and/or preparing a meal with the help of audio-books.
Unless you were born a billionaire, there are probably things & chores you have to do everyday. Cleaning the house is one of them. Most people don't particularly enjoy it, but you can make the experience more enjoyable (and yourself more productive) by listening to an audio-book while you do it. The same applies to cooking. Audio-books are great because they allow you to use your hands and that makes multi-tasking a lot easier. By making reading a part of your daily routine, you will make sure you get it done. What is more routine than cooking or eating? I mean we have to eat to stay alive. What if you don't cook? That's alright. You can read while you're waiting for the food to be delivered, whether you're doing that at home or in a restaurant. Naturally, if you are at a romantic date or just on a night out with friends, you might not want to ignore the person (or persons) you're with. But if the person you're with pulls out their phone and starts checking their messages or reading news, why feel free to ignore them with the help of a book. The same applies for audio-books. I mean it is pretty socially acceptable to listen to music just about anywhere, so why should books be an exception?
3. Remember that non-fiction has a lot to offer.
It does. Most people associate reading with literature, but if by some change you're not into fiction (or you get plenty of fiction from other sources such as movies or series), don't forget that (especially nowadays) there is a book about every possible subject out there, from time management to anything field specific. Reading more can only improve your education. You might for example, choose books in the fields you're working in. This will not only allow you to impress your boss or co-workers, but might get you more excited about your job. Reading is one of the best ways to acquire knowledge and we all know that knowledge is power. If you are a student, reading more that is required of you and talking with your teachers about it is a great way to impress them. Explore your options. Talk with your boss, your co-workers and your family. Maybe you can help them all by reading something that might be extremely relevant for your business or family. For example, your family or friends might need your advice on anything, from financial planning to gardening. Reading more and doing your research can only help. Some employers even allow their employees to read audio-books while at work (earplug in only one ear, though). Even if the company or the employer don't improve of reading at work, it is better to let your employer catch you reading a book, then browsing though facebook. If nothing else, you will appear smarter.
4. Remember that other people read and that it is something you can share with others.
A lot of people tends to assume that 'nobody reads these days'. Nothing could be less true. If people didn't 'read nowadays' our entire world would fall apart. We wouldn't have doctors, scientist or experts of any kind. To become an expert in anything, one simply has to read. All educated people read, one way or another. Most professionals read, especially successful ones. Most high-paying jobs require constant education. True, sometimes that education doesn't come in the traditional book form, but quite often it does. It is an urban myth that people don't read. The only groups of people who quite possibly didn't have to read and still don't need to are people who were born into money, startles and/or celebrities famous mostly for their looks, but they are rather detached from real life (not hating, just a fact) so you can't take them as an example. They are an exception to the rule, rather than the proof. As a rule, human beings read. Even if it is true that younger generation in some countries might not read as much as their parents or grandparents did, it still proves nothing. Remembering that other people read is important because it gives us something to share with them. Don't be afraid to talk books with people. Once you have started to talk about books with your friends or even acquaintances, you will be surprised by how much feedback you will get and how many heart-warming stories about their reading experiences they will share. Open about what books mean to you and others will open up as well. Sharing something as intimate as a reading experience can really bring two people closer together. Reading is something you can share with people.
4. Join a library and make regular visits to it, don't forget to enjoy the process.
Libraries are quite affordable and most of them (especially public ones) are practically free. Explore the opinion available to you. I renew my membership for three libraries annually. Regular visits to the library can feel a bit like shopping and be enjoyable for just the same reason. Browsing the bookshelf and knowing that you can read whatever you feel like can give a person a wonderful feeling of power. It can be quite liberating and freeing. Making library visits a habit can not only help you to relax by setting some time aside for yourself, it can also (and for the obvious reasons) make you read more. Visiting a library regularly is also a good way to get reading recommendations. Once your visits become more frequent, your librarians will probably remember you, possibly even get to know you and will hence be more eager to help you choose a good book. Most of them are quite good at that actually. Let them help you in your reading journey.
5. Inform yourselves about the benefits of reading as it can motivate you to read more.
Let's admit to it, we all like to ask ourselves- What's in it for me? If you learn about benefits of reading, you will probably be more motivated to read. Trust me, there are so many benefits to reading. Besides, developing one's intellect, reading improves our concentration and linguistic skills. If you're into any kind of writing, reading is simply a must. Reading expands our vocabulary and makes us automatically better in any language we choose to read in. It can even be used as a tool for language learning, but more about that some other time. One of the things that people don't realize is that you can loose calories while reading. This only applies if you're reading something that is truly intellectually challenging, though. Intense intellectual work burns calories like crazy, but you really have to work your brain to get to that stage. A lot of people ask me how I keep my figure. If I answered by reading, they would probably laugh, but who can prove that I'm lying? Let me ask you this, how many morbidly obese scientists you know of? Have you ever noticed how the majority of scientist or bookworms happens to be well- slim or skinny? How is that possible if they spent all their time reading, sitting behind desks or working in labs, getting almost no exercise? Some food for the thought, people. Once I talked with one architect lady and she mentioned how she still weights the same as she did as a teenager despite eating a lot. It didn't surprised me at all, because I know the secret- she works a job that is extremely intellectually challenging and that is the secret to her thinness. When I told her that, she said: You know what Ivana, you're absolutely right. It has nothing to do with metabolism (she is past fifty and our metabolism gets slower with time) or fitness (she doesn't work out). It is all due to her intellect.
6. Read to others or ask them to read to you (you can also read aloud to yourself)
If you a mother, you should consider reading to your child, as it is both beneficial to the child and something potentially very enjoyable. I listed a lot of useful reading tips here, but I have also thought of you moms out there and I understand that not all of them might be applicable to you. I understand that a majority of mothers has to keep an eye on their child (especially if the child is a toddler) at almost all times, so reading a book or even listening to an audio book while they are also cleaning the house or doing whatever might simply not be an option. Besides, kids are like energy vacuums. I do love them, but it is the truth. By the end of a day, an average mother might not have the energy to read and there is no point pushing it. So, the only way that a lot of mothers can get some reading done is by reading to their child. Naturally, one has to consider the age of the child, but we're talking small babies, it doesn't really matter what you read to them, as all babies love to listen to their mother voices, so almost anything you read will sound soothing to them. I remember reading Macbeth at loud to babies ( I don't have kids of my own but that doesn't mean I haven't done a lot of babysitting). Sure, Macbeth isn't kid appropriate but does it matter if I read it in a language that a child can't understand? Not to mentioned they were babies. Reading Shakespeare to babies is actually a good way to get them used to the sounds of the English language. By reading aloud, you're not only getting used to the sound of your voice but you're leaning how to use it probably. It is a good exercise for your vocal cords and lungs. It can even be a very enjoyable process, especially if you're reading poetry aloud. Reading poetry aloud is a bit like listening to your favourite song or singing it aloud. Most of us have to give at least one public speech at some point in our lives and reading aloud can be a good preparation for that. Asking others to read for you can also be a great way to connect. Reading together can make the whole reading process much more enjoyable. Even reading along by ourselves can be beneficial as it gives us an opportunity to work on our voices and pronunciation.
7. Don't forget about rereading.
Rereading counts as reading and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. There are many benefits to rereading. You can rediscover many of your personal favourites. This in turn can motivate you to read more. Reading is not a competition. It is not about how many books you read. At least it shouldn't be, although you can use book counting as a way to motivate yourself to read more. Besides, getting some reading done, rereading makes you see old books in a new light, and it can even reveal to you something that you might have missed. If you ask me, rereading is totally awesome. By reading something you had already read and liked, you can be sure you're in for a treat. As I wrote in one of my old blog posts, if the book is really good you can read it many times.
"Don't you tend to remember the opening paragraph of your favourite novel? I do. I think many of us do remember it, especially those who make it a habit to reread their favourite novels. Have you ever noticed how when you see a certain film (taken that it is any good) for the second time, you notice some things you haven't noticed before? If the film is a masterpiece, you may even notice something new every time you see it. Moreover, some movies are truly timeless classics and you can watch them a number of times without ever getting bored of them. It is the same case with books, if they are really good you can reread them countless times and always discover something new. Sometimes it feels like listening to your favourite song. In that sense, reading the opening paragraph is like listening the beginning of a song you really love...and sometimes it makes your heart skip a beat. " (excerpt from one of my old book reviews)