A good book and a cozy place is sometimes enough to fill some people with moments of happiness. Including myself. I do, and always will, love reading. But, by living a busy professional and family life, this is not always easy to do. That’s what I thought until not long ago. But, there are ways to fit everything and have those reading moments of happiness.
I can always remember myself reading. I still have the memory of finishing off my first whole chapter book. Being really proud of myself, I ran to my mother to tell her. I must have been 6 years old.
Since then, a lot of things have changed. Apart from my affection for reading and knowledge which has continually grown.
The information sources that require reading have multiplied. Books, magazines and newspapers are still in existence but their form is not just paper based. Online news portals and aggregators, blogs (written and video), social media, websites and notifications, all of them battle for our attention in a daily basis. And there’s no time to do it all. Hence, quick reading techniques have been elevated to become a necessity for all of us who never have enough time to absorb everything that we would like to.
Are there different ways to read? Yes, they are. Even before I did a quick research about reading techniques, I realised that I had already subconsciously being doing them. A recent medium.com post by Melissa Chu summarised my experience very well.
If you are an avid reader, I invite you to read this and find the commonalities to your experience.
Find your reading rhythm
A few years ago, I was really frustrated because I wasn’t reading as much as I wanted. My stack of unread books was growing (because there’s always a great book to buy even if you don’t have time). I was missing on great articles, didn’t read professional content at all. Had to go through a personal transformation to find my ways to reinvent my relationships with books and reading in general.
I can now say that I am in a lot better place. Melissa Chu’s post was surprising as it summarised my own experience. In parallel with Melissa’s four recommendations:
1. Choose different reading pieces for different occasions.
I read quick articles while on the bus. No books when at a lunch break. Professional related materials when the mind is sharp with relative issues. And, do podcast count as reading while walking or running?
2. Incorporate reading into your daily habit.
With a set number of hours in each day, it is paramount to put reading in your habits. 9 out of 10 days, I will pick up a book to read before going to sleep. I skin over the daily news at breakfast and during lunch. I have encouraged my daughter to sit beside each other and read together. There is time, it’s just waiting to be released. Did I mention podcasts already?
3. Share your reads with others
Joining Goodreads (a social medium for book addicts) and signing up for a few book-related newsletters has helped me identify my reading profile and discover great reads. Furthermore, has helped me share and comment on favourites, and not, with friends. Unsurprisingly, has motivated me to read even more.
4. Reflect on your reading
When finishing any book, I close it slowly and put it aside. This allows me to then immerse into my own thoughts of what I liked, learned and the outcomes that affected my feelings and thinking. For me, one of the best moments in any book, is the moment of reflection when it has just finished. Sometimes, I might write a blog post too after a few days.
My own advice on reading would be that if you like love it, then just pick up a book and start. Only then you will start finding your own reading path.