Books have always been a part of our lives, from learning ABCs to solving complex Mathematics problems to reading about famous people. When we were children, the school textbooks were all we had. We had no choice but to study them. Some we liked others not so much.
I used to prefer books with pictures in them. They were more fun to read. Surprisingly, I liked Science textbooks because they used to have a lot of pictures in them. I hated English literature books. It was difficult for me to understand what the writers were trying to say in those books.
I hated reading and comprehending those books. Also, they had very few pictures. Some had none.
Today, I am a book-lover. Yes, I still have my likes and dislikes but they are not based on the pictures present in the books like it used to be. I am a consistent reader now. I started becoming a book reader about four years ago. Now when I say “a book reader” I do not consider academic textbooks. Although, even when I had grown up and been to college, I still only considered reading my college course books. I never understood why people read other books. I mean who has the time. Why would you spend your time reading a book instead of watching TV, playing games, sleeping, or anything that’s fun? That’s what I used to think about books.
The first book I ever bought was Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill. The book was talked-about everywhere on the Internet. It was highly recommended by successful people and entrepreneurs. I mean the title itself was enough to attract readers to it. I went to the local bookshop and bought it.
When you are a first-time reader, it is not easy for you to capture all the information in the book. I honestly did not understand everything in the book. It was not because the language was complicated or anything like that. It’s just that I was not used to reading books. I slowly began reading more often. I took the time to sit and read for at least 30 minutes a day. Four years later, my book-shelf is almost full.
My Experience from Reading Books
Each book has its own lesson. There are a lot of genres in books. I mostly read non-fiction, self-help, psychology, and science-related. I am not into fiction. So, no novels and stories for me. Every book I read is a different experience. The authors have different styles of conveying their messages to the readers. I have read different books on the same topic and felt that one was interesting and the other was not-so-much interesting.
The first time I started reading was not a good experience. I had difficulty understand the context properly. But instead of trying to understand everything in the book, I went to another book. After I had read about 4-5 books, things started changing slowly.
Firstly, I had developed a habit of reading. Whenever I had nothing to read, I felt that something was missing in life. I had to have something to read regularly. Secondly, I started understanding books, not just what was written inside them but the experience itself. I understood why people read. Thirdly, my reading skills improved. When I started, it took me about a month to finish a book. Now it only takes about a week or two. Once, I finished a 100-paged book in a single day. Lastly, it’s just fun. I feel good when I read a book. It’s even great when I have something new and interesting to read.
How Can You Start Reading More Books?
I can go on and on about my experience from reading books. Here, I would like to share some tips for people who want to start reading books but are having a hard time doing so because of various reasons. I know a lot of people in my circle who say that they want to read more books but they somehow can’t. My friends borrow books from me and they return it back to me unread or partially read. Some don’t return it back at all, which reminds me – I’ve got to make some calls. Anyway, so here are some useful tips for them and for anyone having similar issues.
First and foremost, you have to be clear that you want to start reading books. The intention is very important. When you have clarity, it motivates you to go and get the book and actually start reading it. Some people just buy the book and keep it unread. I suggest you find a book that you want to read and be prepared for what you are going to get out of the book. Don’t buy a random book just because it has a fancy name or a cool cover. Be clear that you want to develop a habit of reading. Your mindset must be ready. Also, don’t start reading the book just because your friends do it. It must be because you want to do it.
2. Reading is a HABIT, Not a HOBBY
This is very important. I learned it through experience and this has helped me till today. What most people who want to start reading do is they think that they are going to read a book whenever they have got “free time”. I promise you there will be no free time. There will always be something to do and something to be involved in. Thinking of reading in your free time will never be helpful. Take reading as a HABIT, not a hobby.
What you can do is set a time during your day to read, just like you set time to wake up, go to work, eat lunch, and all your daily habits. If you are a morning person, set aside at least 30 minutes in the morning to read. If you are a night owl, set a time at night. It would be great if you do it at the same time every day. That way you will develop a habit and you subconsciously think of reading at that time during the day. I am a morning person, so I do it in the morning for at least about an hour. So take a particular time of the day that is best for you to read.
3. Research on the Books
Before you buy a book, it is always good to know about the book first. I always read the book reviews and check the ratings online before I buy it. This helps you to set the intention as well. Know what the book is about, who the author is, what is the genre of the book, and so forth. This helps you save time and money.
It is also good to read book summaries once you finish reading a book. This is especially useful for starters. If you understand the book completely then that’s great. But if you still seek clarity then it is good to read summaries after you finish a book. There are plenty available online. Try to read more than one summary because it helps you understand the book from different perspectives of different people.
4. Switch Books
So you researched a book online, you read its reviews, you read about the author, you like it, and you bought it. You start reading it and somehow you get stuck in the middle. Either you don’t understand the book or you start feeling that this book is not meant for you. What to do then? This happens to me a lot.
What I simply do is stop reading the book. Yes, I leave it as it is. Then, I find another book. I find something else to read. After I have completed a few books I come back to the first book which I thought was not good for me. When I read it the second time I begin to understand more because by now I will have developed a reading habit and a good way to understand books. The first book will now have become a good book to read. So don’t stop reading when you get stuck, just switch to another one.
“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J.K. Rowling
5. Have Fun
At last, just have fun with reading. Once you get into the habit of reading, it starts becoming fun. Really, it does. It’s good to find a reading buddy as well. That way the fun is expanded. When you have a friend who reads, it will be fun to discuss the book with him/her, talk about your experiences with the book, and it will always be helpful to find good books. You can also join a book community. It always keeps you updated. Reading a book is not as complicated as it sounds once you start having fun with it.
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