Frasier Gonzalez, The Enigmatic Frasier

A Common Sense Approach - Reading for Pleasure, Honing Your Reading Skills

This is the first of a series of articles that I’ve grouped as part of my common-sense approach to becoming a literary buff and a highly-refined individual with the capacity to engage and become a better self through practice and consistency.

We often shy away from the greatest of all activities in the world: Reading! 

Reading is probably the most important of all activities any human being can engage in. Not only does it open your mind to ideas, knowledge and endless possibilities of engaging your mind, it also allows you to explore worlds you couldn’t possibly explore otherwise.  Not to mention the most important benefit of becoming a scholar, a thoroughly enlightened individual who with the magic of books can achieve a level of understanding beyond what you thought possible.

Not everyone wants to pick up a book on a daily basis and read it. It’s a habit that needs to be worked on daily. 

With a little common sense and repeatable acts, we can learn to read for enjoyment.

So here are some basics on building good reading habits. Keep in mind that it’ll take some time to get your body adjusted to wanting to read and to yearn being in front of a book. Like anything else a little practice will get you there. 

Always read when you’re most awake!  Funny, right? That you would want to remain awake while you’re reading a great thriller, a real page-turner. Well, the truth is that our mind is more likely to retain what it reads when it is rested and alert. This happens during different parts of the day for most of us. Avid readers can usually read almost any time of the day, because their mind is awakened when it starts to read. But getting there is the challenge. So, pick a time what works best for you. Morning persons are better suited to squeeze in 30 or 45 minutes of reading after taking a shower or right when they wake up.

Consistency is key!  If possible, try to build the habit of reading at the same time every day. You don’t have to read a lot, but just enough to entice your brain to want to read more the next day at the same time. The key here is consistency.  If possible, set a timer and challenge yourself to read for total of 30-45 minutes every day at the same time. You’ll see how quickly your body adjusts and your brain is asking for more at the same time every day.

Create the right environment for reading.  Get a reading light, one that is soothing and easy to access from your reading point. So, when you’re ready to read you can easily reach over and turn it on. There are different lighting moods for different types of books (I’ll explain in another article). But for now, get a reading light that works for your favorite reading spot. Always read in the same spot and with the same light every time you read. Your body will always want to do this. It’s the same as when you come home from a long day at work and all you want to do is sit in your favorite chair and have your favorite drink. Reading will become part of that same sensation.

Start with an easy book!  Don’t dive into Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and how it affects the universe. Sure, you’ll get there one day, but honestly, it’s better to start with a light and funny book. One that is going to get you to the last page quicker. Getting to the last page is always rewarding! And no, don’t just jump to the last page and read it. Read the book!

Avoid speed reading!  I know there are a lot of advocates of speed reading out there. And I have nothing against speed reading, but honestly, it’s a skill that needs to be honed and it isn’t for every book. So, don’t try any crazy method of getting through a book faster. That isn’t the point. The point is to read for enjoyment and to want to stay in the book as long as you can. 

Finally, just learn to enjoy it. Wanting to read is a way to relax your body, and to reward yourself for everything you do on a daily basis. So, treat reading with respect and as a reward for yourself. Just like you enjoy a cup of coffee, wine or your favorite juice, you should enjoy reading every day.

The magic of books brings you endless possibilities for enjoyment. 

Read, read, and read more often!


1 comment:

  1. This is so timely for me! I was an avid reader as a child, read thousands of books. After about age 20 I let the habit go. I have been trying to re-incorporate it and this is helpful to me.