If you do a survey, the majority of the people will say that they don’t like reading. Or, books are such a bore. Or, they want to read but can’t concentrate and fall asleep. Or, they read a summary of the books and get the overall idea, and whatnot! Being a writer, I have experienced a few things about readers.
- Those who are not interested in reading anything will NEVER BE interested no matter how much you try because they are convinced that they can’t read!
- Those who are a bit interested DO TRY to read but unable to reach that level of interest and ultimately give up or get distracted by social media because that’s easy!
- Those who are very much interested in reading will read anything and everything, even if they don’t like – just to explore and understand why it’s not appealing.
I am writing this article because…
(Well, you can skip a couple of paragraphs if you fall under the second category I just talked about! You can go to the conclusion directly, but try not to miss that at least!)
Ya, so I was saying that I am writing this article because I have experienced each of these moods. My parents are avid readers. My mother, being a housewife, reads quite a lot than my father. She is a member of three libraries and visits them every month without fail. My father, on the other hand, explores many different genres and languages. Currently, he is trying to learn Urdu words from a dictionary!
Books surround me from the beginning of my life. But heyyy, fact check – this is something that does not come in heredity. I also struggled a lot while reading and focusing. However, I love (and quite good at) languages. FORTUNATELY, 90’s kids didn’t have cellphones or the internet. So, the only fun activity – apart from playing kabaddi, kho kho, satoliya, goldspot, and nadi parvat – is reading a good book or watching Shaktiman on Doordarshan.
How I started
I started with Champak, Panchtantra, and Arabian Nights. After a few years, my father wanted me to start reading English. (I am from the Gujarati medium, by the way!) So, he used to give me Filmfare, so that at least I try to attempt English reading. Filmfare was fun – all the pictures and filmy gossips I loved the most at that time. (Now I ask, why God why!) But yes, it helped me A LOT to revive my interest in English magazines and books. (Great idea, Dad!)
So, like any other Indian, I started my actual reading journey with… none other than… Chetan Bhagat. That too, with his first book – One night at a call center. (One more time I ask, why God why!) Then a few others and finally, I achieved the maturity and grip to understand the GREATEST and my most FAVORITE authors – Sidney Sheldon and Agatha Christie. After that, there was no looking back… UNTIL I got a cell phone!!! (Even today, my feelings for my mobile is quite confusing – ‘I hate you like I love you’ types!)
Anyway, the reason for sharing my story with you because I wanted to explain that the reading habit needs to be cultivated. You have to put some effort, and you have to be consistent. I firmly believe that books are significant for our mental health, mentality, maturity, growth, and even success. And yes, IT IS POSSIBLE to be a reader if you are not stubborn about not being one! (FYI – Stubbornness is uncurable as it is directly related to Ego!)
Let me help you a bit if you feel helpless when it comes to reading.
Think of the subjects that attract you the most. Who are you? THINK! Do you like classics, thriller, crime and mysteries, fantasy, horror, fiction, romance, science, the universe, movies, success stories, or something else? THINK! Once you know it, it will be easy to maintain interest.
Keep It Small
Read short stories – one page or two pages at max. There is ‘n’ number of books available online and offline that don’t include lengthy content. Start with compilations if you can’t decide what you should read.
Make a Habit
Read only for 5 minutes to 15 minutes a day in the beginning. DO NOT miss or skip a single day and keep practicing. The most common excuse looks like this – I don’t want to read for 5 minutes today, but tomorrow, I will definitely read for 10 minutes. Trust me; it does not (NEVER) work! (Been there, done that.)
Let Go of Boring Stuff
If you are a new reader, this step is crucial. Leave that book if you start losing your interest in the story. Remember, leaving a book midway is okay than leaving the habit of reading. If you don’t let go, then it will burst out, you will keep procrastinating, and eventually give up reading. So, letting go of boring books is essential.
Surround Yourself with Readers
Join a reader’s community or convince your friends to take a challenge of book reading. (It’s anyway better than the TikTok challenges!) Discuss the books with each other, try to think, evaluate, or write a review of your favorite books, suggest, exchange, and purchase good books. It is vital to surround yourself with readers to stay motivated.
DO NOT read on Mobile or Laptop
I don’t need to explain why I am saying this! So please… keep your phone on silent mode or 10 feet away while reading. Use Kindle if you don’t like paper books, but keep all other distractions away to read in peace. Don’t worry; the world can survive if you don’t touch your phone for 15 minutes straight.
Last but not Least, START!
Even after reading this article, I am sure many of you are not convinced that books are irreplaceable. There is no doubt that YouTube, Animation videos, Short films, Podcasts, and Audiobooks are some beautiful alternatives and sometimes more effective. But again, we might feel lost and miss a lot of valuable information as, in the end, they are ‘digital’ media! To stay fully focused and think or understand a context deeply, I personally believe that nothing can replace a book! So, please GIVE IT A TRY and start exploring.
I am always here to help you to choose your kind of books and listen to your beautiful stories. Starting our journey, you can ask, suggest, or talk about your favorite book/reading experiences in the comment section. HAPPY WORLD BOOK DAY everyone. Stay at home, be safe, and cultivate a new habit of reading.