By: Anamitra Roy
“The whole world opened to me when I learned to read.”
Mary Mcleod Bethune
Reading is considered as one of the most popular habits in the world. But at the same time it is also considered as one of the most unpopular habits. This is so because if you are born with this habit then you have received one of the nicest gifts ever. But if you were not and are trying to grow it within you then you may have a tough time.
Here are some simple steps to develop reading habits:
- Get Ready:
Henry Ford once said that getting ready is the key to success. So you need to get ready before you start with a new habit. You have to create the situation around you that will help to inculcate the habit. Do not expect too much out of yourself. Just think of creating the situation that will push you towards this habit.
- Surround yourself with books and book lovers … a situation for inculcating a reading habit:
Almost always when you meet a doctor and complain to him about sleep disorders, you will see that the doctor is asking you to not watch violent movies or read thrillers before you go to sleep. Like any other machine, the brain also needs time to shut down. Similarly, the brain also needs time to prepare itself to accept a new habit. So first of all, surround yourself with books and book lovers. You will see that you are getting ready to accept reading as a habit by doing so. This is the first step of preparing your mind to develop the habit of reading.
- Eat that Frog:
Now that you have a lot of books and readable, you have surrounded yourself with book lovers and readers, this is the best time to start with reading. But it surely is not an easy task. Remember, nothing in this world is actually easy. So you are up with a challenge that others are also facing but of course, may be in other spheres of life. Stop procrastinating and get going with the books and readable around you. For trying to stop procrastination just do what makes you go cold in your feet i.e. in the language of world famous management expert, Brian Tracy, trying to eat that frog. Brian Tracy almost always says that eating that dirty frog is almost equal to doing something that you hate. If you hate reading, you have to eat that frog i.e. you have to start reading.
- Demarcate the target into small fragments:
Sourav Gannguly, one of the batting maestros of the Indian cricket team scored a century in his first test match at the historic Lord’s. In an interview he said that he was actually not eyeing the century. Instead he was concentrating on reaching small targets of ten runs. Once he reached the first ten runs, he was again developing a target of scoring another ten runs. While developing reading habit, it is advisable to follow the same principle. Break the target into fragments. You do not need to finish the book at once. The book is meant to be enjoyed. So read a few pages. Come out of it. Then again read a few more pages. Give time to yourself. Just like a good quality wine can be enjoyed through small sips, similarly a book can also be enjoyed in installments. It is advisable to have patience while reading a book. The rule is simple. You do not need to finish it at once. Take your time. Enjoy it slowly, gradually but surely. Breaking the target into fragments helps you to stop procrastinating. Remember you do not need to climb the mountain by jumping at the peak. A thousand small steps and you are there at the peak. Similarly, one page at a time and may be that you have finished reading one of the bulkiest books around.
- Remember the Advantages of Reading:
When you read a book, try to take small pauses in between. During such pauses think about what the writer is saying. Think. Think and absorb. Try to implement in your life what the writer is saying. If you find positive results in your life after such implementations, then you will enjoy reading the book even more. This is a very easy way to motivate you to develop a reading habit. Secondly, remember that all of us have only and only one life. We take birth once, we live once and we die once. But a reader’s life is different. A reader lives many lives while reading. I can promise you that you will reach 20,000 leagues under the sea when you are in the company of Jules Verne. You will cry for the happy prince when you are going through Oscar Wilde’s creation. You will find it impossible to stop laughing at Uncle Podger when you are with Jerome K. Jerome. Try to identify yourself with what is written in those pages.
A book is not only a source of information. It is a friend, a source of joy, a companion, a guide, a partner, a developer of knowledge and a giver of a new lease of life to you. Keep the game very simple. Do not expect too much from yourself. It is fine that you were not a voracious reader. That does not make you less successful or less popular. You have a great life. But if you want to make it better, you can start reading. You can start right now.