You come across a post on the internet that says “Read Everyday to become successful in life”. You surf Amazon and order a few books to read. The books arrive and you are excited to read them. But eventually, you don’t find time to read and the books gather dust sitting in the corner of the room. Or you might be an avid reader during your childhood, but adulting doesn’t let you do that anymore. Or you simply don’t find the motivation to read, but genuinely want to cultivate a reading habit.
Why should we read books?
Reading, in general, has numerous benefits. Every successful, famous personality today reads books regularly.
From popular business magnates like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Elon Musk to Actors like Emma Watson, Oprah Winfrey, Kendall Jenner from Hollywood, and Priyanka Chopra, Sonali Bendre, and Shahrukh Khan from Bollywood. Many have stated the significance of books in their journey.
Below are a few reasons why one must develop reading books as a habit:
1. Reading improves Vocabulary
When a person reads books, they tend to develop a better vocabulary than others. Because here, you are learning new words and phrases along with complete sentences. When you read something along with context you are inclined to learn those words much faster. And also, use those words in everyday conversations.
2. Increases Attention span
According to research by Mircosoft Corp., the attention span of an average human has fallen from 12 seconds to 8.25 seconds since the year 2000. This makes us a creature with an attention span of less than a Goldfish(9 seconds).
With the invention of new technologies and the introduction of Social networking platforms, we can obtain any information in a mere few minutes. But this has taken an adverse effect on the concentration period of humans.
With a healthy reading habit, one can enhance their attention span which in turn benefits them in other aspects of life where they can focus without losing interest and get the job done efficiently.
3. Increases Emotional intelligence
Emotional Intelligence is a measure of one’s ability to recognize and regulate their emotions as well as understand those of others. With the help of good books, both fiction and non-fiction, an individual can be benefitted from improved EI. High EI helps in building stronger relationships, coping with stress, accepting constructive criticism, set personal and professional boundaries.
4. Boosts Imagination
Imagination is the key to the expansion and advancement of our world. Imagination leads to creativity and creativity leads to innovation. It plays a significant part in the overall development of a person, especially when cultivated in the early stages of childhood. Building a reading habit from an early age gives the child the ability to think beyond the horizon. It further enhances problem-solving skills and creative thinking.
5. Prevents Cognitive Decline
Cognitive decline is the condition of reduced or slower thinking skills. Age is the primary factor for this condition.
According to The National Institute of Aging reading books is a way to keep one’s mind engaged as one age older.
6. Makes you knowledgeable/ Boosts knowledge
If one wishes to be updated about the current world or stand out from the crowd, he/she must acquire knowledge.
It is needless to say that, reading provides knowledge. Whether you read books, articles, blogs, magazines, or news. Reading in any form always gives new information.
Now that we know the benefits of reading, we must include reading as a habit in our routine. But here lies the billion-dollar question, “HOW TO BUILD A READING HABIT?”
Effective solutions on “HOW TO BUILD A READING HABIT?”
Before any of you think of excuses like “I want to read but I don’t really have time to do it”, We have come up with some effective solutions to tackle this situation.
1. No phone zone!
We always complain about the amount of time we spend on social media platforms, mindlessly scrolling through content that doesn’t bring us anything valuable. Now, this may sound cliche, but, utilize the time spent on mobile phones to read a book. Keep your phone far from your sight, pick up the book and start reading. Initially, this may be difficult, but everything requires time.
2. Always keep the book nearby
You tend to do a particular thing when you see it constantly around you. Always carry a book along with you. Whether you are traveling to your workplace or college, utilize that time to read. Keep a book on your nightstand so that you are reminded to read it before going to bed.
3. Start small. Start easy.
We humans refrain to do a task that looks exhausting or time-consuming. Set practical reading goals. For example, set a goal of reading just 2 to 5 pages every day, or reading 5-10 minutes. This way, it doesn’t feel difficult to start. The completion of the target motivates you to continue further. You can also start by reading short stories/books.
4. Build a suitable environment around you
The environment impacts a person’s behavior and actions. Surround yourself with people who share the same interest as you. Join book clubs where you are allowed to express your thought about books and get to hear others’ opinions as well. This brings a new perspective for you. Go to libraries to read. Watching people around you engrossed in a book will motivate you to do the same. Find yourself a reading buddy. Follow creators on social media platforms, who post book-related content.
5. Read what resonates with you
Pick the book or genre that interests you. Never force yourself to read something that you don’t find intriguing.
It’s okay not to finish a book sometimes. Move on and read something else.
Books come in various genres. There are thousands of authors each with a unique writing style. Experiment with what fascinates you and customize your reading.
There are different formats to read like Ebooks and Audiobooks. You can try your hands on those and choose what suits you the best.
6. Keep a reading journal
Now, this can be subjective. Keeping a reading journal where you can jot down your thoughts about a particular book enhances the reading experience. As we go on reading, there might be several thoughts, ideas, and questions crossing our minds. Noting down those thoughts will help you to remember them for a longer period.
Another way is to track your reading journey digitally. There are apps like GoodReads, where one can rate or write a review of the books they read.
While this isn’t a mandatory procedure, it is definitely recommended.
These are a few ways one can build a reading habit. Everyone is different. It varies from person to person how they start a habit. The key is consistency and dedication.
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