6 WAYS TO START READING (if you hate it)
We have all gotten to that point in life where we realized that everything we learned in school is not enough to carry us through life; and in order to grow personally, be more relevant in our field of work and develop healthier interpersonal relationships, we must learn new things to help us develop those aspects of our lives. This is when we must start reading.
Reading is one of the methods we must use to gain new knowledge.
School and learning from others is very important but no matter how many schools you go to (you can’t even go through school without reading) or how many people you learn from; the universe will still bring you back to a book or a journal or an article that you will need to read.
Simply put, you cannot escape reading especially on the journey of self-development.
Self-development and the importance of reading
Self-development according to the oxford dictionary is the process by which a person’s character or abilities are gradually developed. Self-development is a process; a process contains a series of action steps that lead to the achievement of a particular goal.
The journey of self-development contains six steps and not one of these steps can be skipped:
- Self-awareness (you cannot develop a shortcoming that you are not aware of)
- Questions (this step will help you figure out what you want from the process)
- Research (this is where reading & study comes in. knowledge gaining step)
- Application of knowledge gained
- Evaluation of the results gained for said application of knowledge or the lack of results thereof
- More questions, then research, then evaluation, and repeat… you get the drift.
Any kind of habit can be learned and unlearned, this is one of the power that the human brain possesses. Irrespective of your age, you can learn, unlearn and relearn a habit or a thinking pattern. People only say that it is impossible because of how difficult it is… nothing is impossible, as long as you are ready to do the work.
Science says that it takes three weeks to learn a new habit or to unlearn an existing habit; that is indeed true in most cases but there are some habits that need longer than three weeks to learn or unlearn.
In the case where you want to start reading and make it a habit, you must know that reading requires concentration for a set amount of time. Because of this, I won’t put the blanket of the three weeks proclaimed by science on this because some people have developed the habit of concentration better than others (yes, concentration is also a habit).
While developing the habit of reading may stick in three weeks for some; it may take others longer. I am saying this so that you won’t be discouraged if you are taking longer than three weeks to get used to this new habit. Just know that the more you practice it, the more it sticks.
Without further ado, here are 6 easy ways to start the habit of reading.
1. Start with small books
Many a time, we have faced the task of reading something and the share length of it discouraged us from reading it. Find a small book with a few pages and read it. I won’t recommend how small the book should be because my definition of small may be different from yours.
There is a kind of personal satisfaction that comes with reading a book from the beginning to the end and if you start with small books; it will build your confidence to take on bigger books.
2. Read only when you are doing the number two
Yes, you read that right. Put the book in your bathroom and read it only when you are taking a dump in the toilet. Instead of looking through your phone, you can invest that time and learn something new. When you are done in the toilet, close the book till next time. Don’t worry about the time you spend and don’t feel guilty if it is as little as one minute.
Time does not measure achievement… you know what does? The achievement itself and the feeling of fulfilment it gives you. So if you read while you were in the toilet then you achieved something.
Read Also: 21 Signs You Were Raised By A Narcissist
3. Read an EBook instead
The act of holding a physical book in your hand may be the reason why you think you don’t like reading. We read many things on our phones while browsing the internet; so you can put the book on your phone or a kindle and that will make it easier for you to read.
This method makes it easy to read any time of the day especially while waiting on a cue or like I said before while doing the number two in the toilet. You can start with this Ebook
4. Read one page a day:
This makes it look like it will take a year for you to finish a 365-page book but remember that the aim here is not the race against time. It is the development of the habit of reading and gaining new knowledge from the book.
When you read one page a day, it gets easier and then you can increase it to two pages a day or even one chapter a day. Do what works for you and don’t overdo it, if not you will dump the book altogether.
5. Listen to your books
You are lucky to be living in the age of science and technology where almost all the books available to man also come in audio form. You can listen to your audiobook anytime you want but the thing about listening to your book is that you will have to listen to it more often than when you read it.
It is easier to get distracted while listening to something than while reading it; so listen to your book but if you want to get the best from it, listen to it for at least 30 times. That is approximately every day for a month.
6. Read for only 10-15 minutes a day:
It doesn’t matter the time of day you choose as long as you set your timer and read fervently for 10 minutes. It is way better to read for 10 minutes a day with full concentration than to read for two hours with many distractions in between.
It is not easy to develop a new habit but with constant practice and dedication you can turn yourself into an avid reader; and soon it will be difficult for you to not read.
As you read don’t forget to take notes and apply whatever you learn from the books you read; except you are reading fiction (which I believe you can still learn from). Don’t wait for tomorrow, pick a book and start reading now.