I know this sounds like a clickbait or you are wondering if this is another one of those investment articles that promise to make you rich, over-night. I guess few of you have start thinking if I have joined one of those infamous network marketing companies and trying to sell some silly stuff for a ludicrous price. Don’t worry, neither I am going to sell you some silly stuff nor intending to give you investment tips, not today at least. Be it due to proliferation of technology or the ever busy work schedules or the need to spend quality time with family, many reasons come in the way of picking up a book or reading an article. We seem to be losing the habit of reading.
This article is a dedication to all the readers who have encouraged this blog by commenting, sharing and engaging in multiple ways. I am glad that this is touching peoples’ lives in many ways than I imagined. I deeply thank each of you who are taking time to read my thoughts. I am also very glad that quite a few readers who otherwise found reading a boring chore, found this space tolerable. I strongly feel the ability to read is a real gift and if you really want to get wealthy, metaphorically and really, it is important that you read, a lot.
ARE WE READING LESSER NOW
I consider myself a reading evangelist and it’s quite upsetting when someone says that they haven’t read a book in a long time. Then I started to dig deeper to find out if this is a larger issue or I am being over-reactive and I came across various researches which suggest the same. World bank has a specific agenda around Learning Crises across countries, Children are found to be showing declining learning abilities despite being in school. American Time Use Survey is an annual research that reports the time spent by people in various leisure activities. If you go through these reports, over the last 20 years the time spent in reading has come down significantly. Now try to remember the last time you finished a book, if you can’t, chances are that you are one among the 95% who are categorized as non-engaged reader.
BUT WATCHING A VIDEO IS CONVENIENT
One of the reasons reading habits are declining is the excessive availability of video content. Researches indicate that reading stimulates multiple parts of the brain and it enhances senses than watching a video, which is a passive activity. Continued long exposure to video have numerous ill effects to the cognitive ability, on the other hand, continued long exposure to reading has been found to have beneficial impact to brain abilities and longer information retention. While quite a lot of informative video content is available, I have found that reading something takes lesser time in knowing the content. May be documentaries and entertainment works better on video format, but if you are in the process of learning about something or understanding analytical insights, reading can do wonders.
REASONS TO START READING
While there are various reasons why you should start a reading habit, I am trying to give some compelling reasons in support of it:
- Leave all those apps and music playlist, reading helps you to build Focus and Concentration.
- Given that reading helps your brain to use multiple senses and you tend to process the information through greater levels of visualization, it betters your Emotional Health.
- Reading is a slower process and hence Memory and knowledge retention ability enhances. You are likely to remember a book that you read long years ago than a TV show that you watched.
- Given that it helps you to build vivid imaginations, longer reading habits help build Creative capabilities.
- One of my favorite life hacks is sleeping and I wrote about the chronic problem that it is becoming here. Reading is found to help de-stressing the mind and help Sleep Better.
- All of us want to be Smarter and you’ll become one with this one habit. Reading habits have found to enhance the vocabulary and knowledge base, helping individuals to have multiple perspectives in decision making.
- I read somewhere that reading makes you a better empathetic person and makes you humble. Perhaps it is because it helps helps us realise things that we are not aware!
HOW TO START
If you have reached till here, in all likelihood, you are keen to start reading. There are common reasons and hurdles that come in the way of reading. Here are few simple tricks:
I don’t have space to buy and keep books at home. While reading feels better with the touch and feel of the paper, space is a constraint and that most often dissuades us. Adapt to the electronic mode – use an E-book reader or your mobile phone.
I don’t have time to read, I’m usually too busy with work related stress and other household chores. It’s a matter or 15-20 minutes daily. I am sure morning just after waking up or before going to sleep, it will not be such a difficulty to squeeze 20 minutes daily. Better still, carry a book or your e-reader with you always. All of us have ample idle time either while commuting or waiting for something or someone.
I don’t know what to read, every book looks so fat and boring. You needn’t start with the booker prize winner or the Nobel winning literature. Look at the the best sellers of any decent book store of online platform, you’ll come across many such lists and just start with anything, I repeat anything.
I am not feeling motivated to complete a book and I feel quite lonely. You can beat this by having a reading buddy with whom you discuss and plan your reading list. Or take a reading challenge for a month and post it on social media. One good way to connect with fellow readers is through Goodreads.com which is a social media of sorts for the bibliophiles.
Whatever your inhibition has been, please pick up something to read, I am sure you have those unfinished books at home. This festive season, get wealthy by getting addicted to something that can never cause harm to you! Do drop a line about your favorite book that you read recently in the comments section, that will help others to start their reading list.
Featured image by Gerhard Gellinger from Pixabay and cartoons by the Author!