Reading as a hobby may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
It may surprise some people, but not all of us may indeed tend to bury ourselves into the pages of past, future, or imagination.
We may want to read; however, it is not something we will die for at the end of the day since some of us have different lifestyles and hobbies.
Nevertheless, cultivating reading is essential if one has a conscious desire to grow and evolve.
Reading keeps us up-to-date with current affairs and helps us develop new aspirations and goals. It is a form of education in varied topics — ranging from history to something our future may become.
As a never-avid reader, although I always found myself wanting to, I realized it is hard when we compare ourselves to “become” someone we are not inherently.
Just like developing any new habits, we need to figure out our ways to succeed.
Until recently, through various trials and errors, I figured out a constructive way to develop the act of reading while pushing myself outside my comfort zone and, at the same time, not feeling insecure or frustrated.
#1 Start by finding your style.
We all have our preferences for the topic of interest that selectively matches our personality and mood.
When I first started cultivating the habit, I assumed that based on what I like to watch as movies or T.V. shows, I like romance and thriller novels. Unbelievably, I found myself not at all being hooked up to such genres of books — even if they are bestsellers.
Diving deep, I realized that at the moment in my life, I needed self-help based books than romance. Hunting through several books, I found myself reading books that push me towards personal growth than pleasure. To my knowledge, I still sit and watch romantic movies and enjoy thriller series, though.
One aspect is knowing what our style is in reading.
Some people love digging through history, literature, and so on. However, I love these genres to be cultivated visually than through reading. Somehow, it does matter what we like reading when we do not have developed a firm hold on the same.
In addition to the topic, the next important aspect is the author’s style.
Every author has their style of writing and playing with the language. Surprisingly, I found myself not clicking with every author I come across, even if they are well-known and produce bestsellers.
Meanwhile, knowing the style of the topic and the author requires going through a few books. It requires consistent efforts and almost dating books and authors to understand what we match with the best.
It is essential to understand that one may not have to read all kinds of books at once. It is important to be choosey about the sort of books we want to bring into our life — something we love, keep us happy and sane, and bring healthy values to ourselves again, which depends entirely on the person who is choosing.
#2 Read one page at a time or two at the max.
When we are new to reading, sometimes it may get overwhelming to finish a book in a few days.
I found myself struggling through finishing books — either due to loss of interest or being paranoid and frustrated for not completing a book on time.
What we need to remind ourselves is that we are not in competition. We do not have to finish a book a day or even a week. We should take it slow yet, steady.
Each of us has our own pace to go through pages and have ways to read.
To overcome the feeling of incapable of fulfilling my goals, I decided to read one page a day or two pages at the max — It works.
Reading one page a day can add to our “achievement of the day” list.
Meanwhile, reading a few pages sometimes helps us cultivate the ideas we may have gained by reading the book. Reading a page a day gives us the time to process what we learned and use it in our lives.
#3 Read while listening to music.
Music defines our life — it rhythms with our mood, personality as well as desires.
Listening to music while reading is a beautiful feeling one might want to pursue. However, there is a little bit of tunning that one may have to do.
I tend to start day-dreaming whenever I listen to certain songs and music. However, a list of songs beats in my head without distracting me from reality.
While cultivating reading, I found listening to music helped me remain focused.
Songs or instrumental music — piano or binaural beats — can assist us with staying focused. Hence, choose the music that hits the right spot without swaying you away from the book.
Additionally, it also somehow helps us not to fall asleep while reading. Many faces dosing off while reading — from one sentence to a page can affect. Listening to music while reading somehow can keep us away from falling asleep.
For us, who are not avid readers, getting distracted by our surroundings can be easy. Hence, putting our headphones on with the appropriate sounds can help us reduce the same.
#4 Schedule your time to read.
Creating a system is critical to developing new habits.
If we are serious about instigating a good habit in life, we must repeatedly practice the same.
Practicing something out of our comfort zone requires a routine, which comes with scheduling the tasks.
Scheduling a particular time of the day for practicing reading gives full justice to the act of reading.
For me, the time I spent commuting to my work and back home is perfect for reading a book. In public transport, the best thing to kill time is to read. It helps maintain your privacy, kills your time when you are by yourself, and uses the time to gain something fruitful.
Additionally, one can read before bed. As part of the evening routine, a cup of tea with light music and a book makes the perfect ambiance before bed. The same can be achieved as a part of the morning routine, to read a page before starting the day.
When we practice the same schedule over and over again, automatically, the habit is built. The act itself prepares our mind for the activity which is new to us.
As we repeat the habit consistently, whether we enjoyed it or not, there is a sense of achievement for performing something new.
#5 Start with one book and then multiple.
When we try to target multiple at a time, most often than not, we are not giving even 50% interest on one. Multi-tasking is good and survives when mastered properly.
Start with one book and intend to finish at least 50% of the book before starting a new one parallelly.
As a part of a new habit, taking baby steps is necessary, and we develop confidence in our abilities by doing so.
Once we finish one book, we can push ourselves to read two books at a time, and so forth. Here again, we have to be smart about the topics we choose — it is good to have different genres when reading multiple.
We can always tweak our ways to improve our habits or push ourselves to achieve more.
Acknowledging these means have helped me boost my ability to sit and go through a book at a time. I have not become an avid reader but have successfully developed the habit of reading regularly.
You may or may not become an avid reader at the end of the day.
Yet, you can still enjoy a book or two for a few months or a year. It is normal and acceptable as long as we feel secure with our style, enjoy the activity, and happy with who we are.