How to Read More
Truth about the Decline of Reading
Experts often cite the famous survey in 2004 in which it was found that hardly anyone was reading, most people were watching hours of television and too busy or disinterested in reading, and most shockingly the majority or adults hadn't read even one book all year long ~ signaling the end of reading as we know it (http://www.nea.gov/news/news04/readingatrisk.html). There were many articles written and much discusion regarding these depressing statistics on the decline of reading and the horrors of what our society has become.
Yes, it is a tragedy that so many people never read a book and fail to understand or appreciate the pleasures of reading. However, people are reading. They are just reading different things ~ hours of text messages, emails, Facebook postings, blogs, Twitter feeds and more. People are spending more hours online than anywhere else. And, they are reading a lot of that time.
So, pat yourselves on the back. All is not lost. We are all reading. Maybe we would just like to read more and some different material.
So, You Want to Read More?
Maybe you want to get rid of that big stack of unread books on your coffee table, catch up on the classics, keep your mind in working order or develop some great ideas for stories of your own? Regardless, you have decided you would like to read more.
On your journey, there will be many excuses to not read ~ no time, too much television to watch, too tired, nothing to read, too boring, too hard. . .
Keeping in mind all of the many benefits of reading from broadening your horizons, sharpening your mind and making you a better writer, here are some easy tips on how to accomplish your goal of reading more:
- Read what you want. You might have an idea of what you should read, such as Classical literature, Shakespeare, or Hemingway. But, if you find these books boring or hard to read, you probably will fail in your endeavors. So, why not read what you want? Love horror, science fiction, fantasy, trashy romance, westerns? Go for it. There are no rules to reading. Read comic books, magazines, or whatever you want. You have total freedom and are in total control.
- Set a goal. Have a stack of magazines or comic books in the corner of your room? Start with that stack. Set a goal to read them in a month. Set a goal to read 5 books or 50 books this year. Without a goal, you probably won't be motivated. It is okay to set a goal that is low ~ breaking through it will feel awesome. It is okay to set a high goal and see if you can reach it. The important thing is to set a goal.
- Work at reading Daily. It will be easy to fall out of the priority of reading if you don't attempt to do it daily. You might say that skipping a day is no big deal because you will read double the next day. It is a slippery slope. You are trying develop the practice of being a reader. So, you have to do that ~ practice. You will get further and further behind each day if you let days go bay with no reading. Set a goal to read 40 or 50 pages a day. Even if you only read 10 pages on one day, you still have accomplished your goal of reading more. Anything that you want to get better at or achieve, you have to work at on a daily basis.
- Bring your reading material with you. There are many times of the day where you have to wait on someone or something to happen. These are the perfect moments for reading. You can read while you are waiting on the bus, at the doctor's office, in line at the bank, when you on hold on the phone, at lunch, or waiting for a meeting to start. So, bring your reading material with you and have it on you to pull out when you have a spare moment.
- No money, you can still read. There are many ways to get reading material without spending a dime. Go to the library or trade books with friends. People give away free books all the time. I have found some really good books just in a random box marked FREE on the side of the road. Just ask around.
Don't Give Up
Give yourself a few pages to see if a book is to your liking ~ sometimes a good book takes a while to hook you in. Try several different genres to see what are your favorites and holds your attention. Keep an open mind on what might interest you. Get recommendations from others on what they like to read.