If you are reading this, chances are you are struggling to cope up with the sheer amount of books available nowadays. It could be an overwhelming process to choose a book and sticking to it. The first step can be an excruciating barrier that can stop you from gaining all the knowledge that those books have to offer.
How to take the plunge?
Let’s take a quick look at a step-to-step guide that can be an effective way for you to break that mental barrier and form a lifelong habit that can generate a lot of positives in life.
1. Choose a book that appeals to you
Ask yourself, why to waste time on things that do not hold a purpose you want to achieve. It is easy to fall into reading ruts where you can feel pressurized to read the trendy topics or some omniscient embodiment of the literary community that has no significance on your interest and hobbies. It’s better to indulge your mind in books that align with your passion and force you to think and construct new ideologies.
2. Keep a book where you like to relax
The easiest way to make something a habit is to remove any friction. After you come home from work, you shouldn’t lose time deciding on something to read or digging through your room looking for a paperback you started on your last flight. The best way to overcome the distraction is to place your book at a place where you are likely to relax.
3. Repurpose your time
In a world of easily accessible media, it is easy enough for a person to get distracted by the vast majority of content including videos, music and games. If you look at it in terms of raw numbers, the average person watches 35 hours of TV each week, the average commute time is one hour per day round-trip, and you can spend at least another hour per week for grocery shopping. All in all, that’s a total of 43 hours per week, and at least some of that could be spent reading books.
4. Create different ways to read
If you have a traditional outlook on reading books, and you feel it is boring, it is time you change. Tim Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Workweek and a handful of other bestsellers has developed a technique that allows the reader to read 300% faster than usual.
The first technique, the tracker/pacer, is to use a pen as a tracker or pacer instead of fingers to run across the lines. Ferriss calls this second technique Perceptual Expansion. With practice, you train your peripheral vision to be more effective by picking up the words that you don’t track directly with your eye.Rapid eye movements called saccades occur constantly as we read and as our eyes jump from margins to words. Minimising these are a key way to boost your reading times.
The takeaway here: If you can advance your peripheral vision, you may be able to read faster—maybe not 300 percent faster, but every little bit counts.
Another innovative way to read books is to utilize applications such as Spritz and Blinkist that take unique approaches to helping you read more—one helps you read faster and the other helps you digest books quicker. *Click on the hyperlinks to understand more about them*
5. Read every day
Reading isn’t something to be done once a week to check a box, it’s something to do every day.
A strategy that would allow you to read more books without letting typical distractions get in the way is to read 20 pages to start the day.
James Clear’s technique of utilizing 30 minutes of his early morning to read 20 pages has helped him develop his reading habits from reactive to proactive. Usually, we read on the basis of our reactions, when we see an interesting link flashing across the screens on Facebook or Twitter. Instead of proactively engaging with a book, most of our time is used on reading content online. From a learning perspective, it’s probably a better use of time to read books because of its higher quality information (better fact-checking and more extensive research).
This reading strategy asks you to invest in yourself by picking a book daily before the normal bustle of the day.
These guidelines are basic and fundamental to help you in making your life productive and worthwhile. Every book you read, and the information you gather helps you in future in one way or another- be at dinner conversations, impressing your colleagues or making an argument on forums. The wealth of a person lies in his knowledge, which gets only better as it supported by the wonderful openness of the world.
The only thing that’s stopping you from reading a book is YOU. So shrug that mental block and climb onto the reading ladder.
If this post inspired you and taught you some pointers on how to read more books, please leave a comment. We also hope you’ll encourage others to make valuable use of their time and make them prioritize reading as a part of life.