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Get Reading This New Year

3 weeks ago / by Xia Poddar

It’s a gift to yourself that keeps on giving

“Books show a man that his original thoughts aren’t very new after all.”

It is no surprise that reading expands our minds, it also allows us to identify and assimilate into the vast culture that surrounds us. Reading is crucial to really live life, and feel it happening to you. However, this isn’t an easy habit to keep! Reading can turn strenuous when your brain is clogged with stimuli or it can get boring when you approach it with the intention to keep your cognition going. Yet, it is a priceless habit worth inculcating early into life. It teaches you attention, the one thing that we are losing so rapidly.

1. Keep a Log

Human are simple creatures, we thrive on incentives, rewards and that checklist-like feeling of accomplishment. A reading log is your answer to soothing this human instinct.

Start simple. Use an old notebook to track your progress as you peruse through the chapters. This not only motivates you to consistently read but also encourages you to fill up the page with various novels. Once you have read the entire book, an excitement to log ensues, adding emotion to that rather heavy task, makes it all the more worthwhile.

2. Just Grab It

This is important for someone who isn’t a seasoned reader or someone who’s just dipping their feet into the extensive world of the paperback.

Go to a library or a bookstore and pick up any book that seems interesting. Start at a familiar section for a higher success rate. Time yourself and pick up something in at least 6-10 minutes. Once you have a book in hand, flip through it. Does the first-word fire a neuron? Does this sentence sound like a puzzle piece to something larger? If there’s a curiosity brewing, you’ve found your task. This way you break the ice with this seemingly daunting hobby.

Sometimes a large variety can disable us from taking that initial leap into something foreign.

3. Read at a Specific Time

We are nothing but creatures of habit. We wake up according to our body clocks and eat when we always do. Our bodies attune to lifestyles almost instantly. So why not apply this to reading? Choosing a comfortable time, before bed is ideal as it lulls the mind. Once you’ve committed to a time, pick up your material and read away. The more you do this, the easier you’ll naturally read without that mundane, routine feeling.

4. Use Reading Apps

The digital spaces you inhabit prompt your habits too. Do a test run. Move all the social media, games, and other distractions off your home screen and put them in a folder, away from the primary homepage. Replace them with any reading apps to a primary location on your screen. This way you’ll be prompted to read more whenever you open your phone.

5. Make Reading a Social Habit

Start by talking about books with your friends. If your friends read ahead you are likely to catch up and maintain your habit. We all yearn to find our tribe and doing an activity with some form of community promotes the longevity of our habits. Adding a social aspect to reading makes it attractive and exciting!

6. First Read What’s Useful

Focus on material that impacts your life is a good way. It provides with instant gratification rather than a slow-burn realization from an abstract novel. Everyone faces problems and challenges. If a book helps you address those problems, you’ll naturally be more satisfied with it.

We all read and form habits differently and some techniques work better for some people. Yet this list will give every kind of thinker at least one way to pick up the book and finish it cover to cover.