I think one of the most tragic moment for us as kids was precisely the one when we started associating books with grades instead of the wonderland it took us to.
You may detest reading today but don’t deny that once long, long, back you had a staple for night time stories and comics – especially so if you are a 90s kid who was born long before ‘Internet’ made its way into your life.
But then, shit happened. We grew up.
You can’t find time anymore. You can’t focus enough to read beyond two pages. In fact, you hardly remember, if you’ve ever read an entire book in your life. Watching Netflix is easy, but reading is damn difficult. You spent your teenage years out in the playground or inside on video games. Books just never happened.
But now we have grown up and as adults, we understand the value of reading well enough to regret not to have cultivated it as a habit. It’s not just fancy to read but it is so much more informative, productive, perspective-altering and yes, relaxing too.
But even if you don’t precisely LIKE books, the very fact that you are here states that you WANT to like them. Considering you are a creative aspiring person looking to self educate yourself to grow more, the choice is obvious.
So, here are 6 easy tips to help you get started (okay, re-started) on this life-altering journey.
1. Don’t wait for motivation
Most of the times, we keep looking for a perfect moment, or perhaps a perfect story, to kickstart a new habit. But the truth is, starting something always takes a certain amount of force. So force yourself. Set it out as a serious intention – as serious as you’d take an exercise regime or a creative project. Give yourself at least five good reasons why you want to start reading. Put an alarm, or a reminder and allot yourself an appointment for this new intention. Don’t wait, do it.
2. Start slow
It will obviously be overwhelming if you present yourself with an unrealistic adult expectation of finishing a book in two days. Remember, reading is no more a task for grades. No one is judging you anymore. So be nice to yourself and start slow.
Start by reading 10 minutes every day moving on to 20, 30, 40 and perhaps 60 at some point. You might have to force yourself to sit down at one fixed time of the day but don’t force yourself to pace upto increased time intervals. Once you build interest, you will automatically transcend your 10-minute time frame to 20 without even realizing it.
3. Start short too
It’s really fancy to pick a fat popular bestseller but trust me, it’s no fun. It’s intimidating. When you are starting to read, pick up a collection of short stories, or perhaps a story of 200 pages roughly. The idea is not to pick anything detailed or slow enough to lose your interest.
Right now, you wouldn’t be interested as much in a writer’s poetic weaving of lines as much as his train of thought. Right now, you would want to know who’s the goddamn murderer. What the hell did blue curtains in the background meant – no, you are least interested in that. So, pick something fast, easy and binge.
4. Pick up your favourite flavour
When you are trying a new cuisine, you always start by sticking to your favorite flavour, just to play safe. So play safe here too and pick a genre which has been tried, tested and loved by you in zillion ways.
Don’t pick your first book just because you stumbled on something random. Once you are comfortable with reading, you can further experiment and push yourself out of your comfort zone. But now when you are starting, look for something conventional, popular and massy. Usually, thrillers are a great way to start reading because they tend to build up your interest till the end.
But again, you know what sparks your interest the most.
Dig bestsellers, summaries, Goodreads recommendation, amazon reviews, your favourite celebrity’s recommendation or even your best friends’ who know what you’d like – and then pick your first book.
5. Carry it with you
Be that sexy nerd and cultivate a habit of carrying a book with you always. You have ample of free time in a day and sometimes as good as a 10-minute break is enough to browse through something you have handy in your bag. Usually, you would have spent that waiting time at doctors’ or metro by well, waiting, so why not as well utilize it productively? According to a study, rich and successful people across the world have one thing in common. Yes, you guessed it right.
6. Don’t Give Up
Remember the last time you tried reading a book and decided reading is definitely not your cup of tea? Well, it wasn’t reading but the book which left you sour.
So if it doesn’t work out for the first time, go and try another. Pick another book, and another, if it still doesn’t. Just don’t give up on it, because reading can truly change your life in unfathomable ways.
Let me know if this did help you or motivated you a bit to kick start that long overdue habit. Reading always inspires me and each story has added a perspective to my life. I wish you the same.
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