Reading is a fundamental part of one’s education and integral part of communication skills. Habit of reading makes one a good receiver and this helps to become a good sender too (remember communication process from previous article). People who learn to read early are generally more successful in academics and post that. By developing a reading habit, one can instill a love of books that lasts a lifetime and brings wonder, joy and knowledge. It makes one more creative, analytical and expressive for the outside world. And I would say, expressing yourself is a part of communication.
If reading is a habit you would like to get into, there are a number of ways to cultivate it. Few of them being as follow:
- Set a goal - Decide from core of your heart that you are going to become an avid reader and set a goal to read a fixed number of books in next three months. Explore area of your interests; get to know the best book in that area. Buy one and get started. Getting started is the secret of getting ahead.
- Set time - You should have a set time every day, when you read for at least 30 minutes. These are times that you will read no matter what - triggers that happen each day. For example, make it a habit to read just after waking up in the morning (definitely that’s a great start of a day) of before going to bed in the night. This will help you read minimum 15 books a year.
- Always carry a book - In India every person spends average one hour waiting each day. We waste lot of time in waiting for our turn at bus stop, railway station, cafeteria, people to come in the meeting (if you are punctual), at hospital for your turn, movie to start and traffic jams to clear. If there is a time when you have to wait you can always whip out your book and read. Wherever you go, take a book with you. Technology has progressed, now you can go for audio books and utilize your commuting time, too. If you start utilizing this one hour you can read minimum 30 pages a day which translates to another 40 books in a year for no extra time.
- Make a list - Keep a list of all the great books you want to read. You can keep this in your journal or on your system. Be sure to update it whenever you get to know about more great books. Keep a running list, and tick mark the ones you read. Once you make progress you can keep a book log. Where, you can maintain title of the book, name of the author, start date, finish date and your learning from the book on your system. Believe me it is satisfying and at the same time improves your documentation skills too.
- Reduce television - If you really want to read more, try cutting back on TV consumption. This may be difficult for many people. But this could create hours of book reading time. Moreover, now-a-days TV has become an instrument which feeds only negative things into your mind and fasting from it saves you from lot of energy drain. I decided in the beginning of last year (yes, 2010) to not let the idiot box snatch my time and it has made lot of difference to my energy levels & accomplishments.
- Read to your kid - If you have children, you must, must read to them. Creating reading habit in your kids is the best way to ensure they’ll be readers when they grow up and it will help them to be successful in life. Find some great children’s books, and read to them. At the same time, you’re developing the reading habit in yourself and spending quality time with your child as well.