When I started out reading it was all about making pompous claims on how books are much better than their movie adaptation and all other bragging stuff. You know the usual reader stuff 😛
I always was a curious child when it comes to exploring stuff. I remember vigorously checking out my mother’s Sidney Sheldon and Robin Cook books. Just rummaging through the titles without reading a single word from it. I used to make these tiny stamps pretending to be a librarian and all those kiddish stuff.
Her book collection is full of science fiction, thriller and extra-terrestrial genre something I was least interested back then. I remember my mother giving me Agatha Christie book titled ‘And Then There Were None’. That was my very first book which took me almost a month to finish but I cherish those days. To complete that book was not less than an achievement for me.
Switching back to the present years, as I was busy with my bragging journey, I never realised when I fell for reading. It all started seriously with works by Khalid Hosseini, Annie Frank, Agatha Christie who gave me some serious reading goals. Soon I found myself stuffing my face reading horror, thriller, dark and comic varieties without discussing anything to anybody. The fact that I was so engrossed with these books kept me busy and not break the sweet little bubble I was living in.
I also sometimes overhear conversation when people shared their favourite books, check on YouTube for the must-read ones and read a lot of blogs on how to maintain the habit for the long term.
I must say, I am quite happy with the progress as I had laid a goal of reading a min of 2 books per month and this I keep a track with GoodReads by Amazon.
Today, I would love to share the same effective hacks to keep you focused and embark your journey as a reader.
Forget about your Ideal goal, Just Start Somewhere!
Recently I switched my job and I easily get around 1 hour of commuting time. So, what I do to keep me engaged? Yes, a book. I always carry one wherever I go. I am very lazy when it comes to following a goal like many but I resolved to myself that this time it is going to be different.
I will only stick to reading 10 pages per day and if luck is on my side, I would eventually increase the volume. It worked for me and currently I read easily around 20 pages per day. Not that great of progress, but it is better than the previous rate.
So, what actually worked for me?
It was the minimum count that I had set for myself. If you are a beginner starting from 10, 5 or even 2 pages will do. I am sure you will increase your speed.
Take a Screengrab of Whatever Makes You Think
Taking notes is something that everyone will suggest but for a regular traveller taking out a pen and a notepad, every time you come across a stunning line is not an ideal scenario. I instead grab a screenshot of whatever I see worth having a second glance.
Here are some of them –
The most favourite ones become my WhatsApp Status or Instagram story. You know what they say, sharing is caring!
Stop Scrolling Aimlessly, it’s so depressing!
I still resent scrolling blindly through the posts, not having a clue what I am exactly looking for and sometimes even forgetting what the real motive was behind unlocking the screen.
This was the first thing I had to get rid off. Taking out a book instead of your handset is much better. Something that all the readers do as soon as they get some time to spare.
The moment I pick a new book I make sure to update about my last read on Good Reads. This is where I have set a goal for myself and I am trying deliberately to stick to it. Initially started with 3 books per month now my reading journey has been stumbling a bit. But I do finish 2 books per month which is not bad according to me. Something is better than nothing right?
Get started with your reading goal today. Trust me, the moment you update your reading status, it feels out of the world. And then, do not forget to leave a review on your best and worst reads which can help fellow readers. All these reviews are shared on Amazon platform as well.
Now that’s a no-no.
This is a major roadblock if you are a beginner and would love to build a regular reading habit. Consistency can only be maintained when you start feeling comfortable in a particular zone. To achieve that comfort, one has to take baby steps and evolve gradually.
This applies not only for reading but any given habit you want to succeed in. One step at a time honey!
Keep a track of your reading speed
The average reading speed of an adult is somewhere between 150 – 200 words per minute. An avid reader can also go anywhere between 300 wpm – 500 wpm.
It is not a big deal to track your reading speed but it kind of gives satisfaction when you manage to cover a whole lot of content in less time. There are tools you can use to calculate your reading speed. My favourite would be – http://www.freereadingtest.com/.
Try it, you don’t even need to login or make an account to be able to use it.
So, the network is kind of unstable at times especially when I am travelling. I hate it when I desperately want to find the meaning of my recent find and the network bar upsets me.
I finally decided to look for an offline alternative. I diligently use English Dictionary – Offline which is my ultimate saviour. It follows British English but there are other offline options as well.
I started off with suspense, got inclined towards thriller, my interests slightly piqued by horror and then rested with dark themes and great plots. Over the years, I know one thing for sure that I won’t be able to pick a book that is solely based on romance.
So, if not my favourite genre, I realised the one that I can’t stand. That’s a catch, isn’t it? Keep on reading, you will find your companion soon 😀
I also thought of sharing a resource that can help you to some extent – https://bookstr.com/quiz/quiz-which-book-genr
Damn yeah! Hail the creator of peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, Archie, Tinkle and Chacha Chowdry for I don’t know what my childhood would have been like without them.
Comics were the best thing that happened and always will be. If reading novels is not your cup of tea, just get your favourite comic books and go on. It is all about what makes you happy.
This one is my favourite thing to do. A few months back I had posted the pic below on an Instagram handle where people discuss their favourite reads and why they picked the particular book.
Imagine for a budding reader like me, it was a place full of happiness. I got to see a plethora of book options along with the most honest reviews that can inspire me get a certain book of my choice.
There are many such handles which you can join and give
your honest opinions about a book. This way you can even e-meet people with
same interests and share experiences, just like an online book club.
The above points are purely based on my personal experience and each and every point that I mentioned above worked for me like a charm. I would like to conclude this article with the benefits I got due to my regular reading habit.