Inculcating the Habit of Reading

Nisha PrabhakarNisha Prabhakar
4/29/2024- 24 days ago
Inculcating the Habit of Reading

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it”

– Samuel Johnson

There was a time when people actually had to pick a book to read it. Research meant going through countless books, jotting down important points along with the name of the book, author and the page number, and then painstakingly reading them later to reach a conclusion. There was always a sense of achievement when one finished a book or a reading task.

But these days, I keep hearing everyone complain that children aren’t reading anymore. While I can’t help agreeing, I also have to disagree with the sentiment. Rather than say that children don’t read at all, it is the mode of reading that has changed. While earlier people took time to read entire books, now reading is fast, quick and short. We read mostly for momentary pleasures, short pieces on superficial subjects. We have transitioned to visual effects and unverified information, hopping quickly from one subject to another. As a result, our concentration span has been severely stunted, which makes any reading we do, almost fruitless.

This is where developing the habit of reading in today’s fast-paced world becomes crucial. Whether you are a child or an adult, reading develops a whole new world of knowledge and imagination, and skills such as critical thinking. So is it easy to develop the habit of reading? Is it easy to dig up buried practices to re-learn them?

Here are some tips to help you cultivate the routine focused and concentrated reading effectively:

  1. Read the news daily: Remember your elders reading newspapers every morning? These days, we mostly stay abreast of the latest news by listening to them in online channels. Online or physical papers, make it a habit to read the daily news. This practice not only keeps you informed about current events but also improves your reading skills. Reading news articles exposes you to different writing styles, vocabulary, and a wide range of topics.
  2. Identify your interests: Make a list of subjects that pique your curiosity and explore books, articles, blogs, and other written materials related to those subjects. This is one of the first steps you can take if you are trying to step into the world of books. By delving into subjects that interest you, you will find reading quite exciting. Whether it’s technology, science, literature, or any other field, reading about your interests enhances your understanding and broadens your perspective.
  3. Engage in discussions: Don’t you enjoy discussing on the latest movie you’ve watched, with your friends? Don’t you find those lighter moments truly ecstatic, as you unconsciously strengthen your relationship with your buddies? Just like this, you can also make it a habit to discuss what you have read with like-minded people. This could be done in person, through book clubs, or even online forums and communities. Sharing your thoughts and opinions on what you’ve read helps reinforce your understanding of the material and provides an opportunity to gain new insights from others.
  4. Participate in debates: Engaging in debates related to the topics you have read about challenges your understanding and encourages critical thinking. You could read common books in your book clubs or online communities and conduct debates. This expose the reader to diverse perspectives and help refine their arguments. Researching further to support your viewpoint or to understand opposing viewpoints not only deepens your knowledge but also improves your ability to articulate your thoughts effectively.
  5. Set reading goals: You can set achievable targets, like a certain number of chapter a day, or a certain number of book a week or month. This habit provides structure and motivation to develop a reading habit. Moreover, achieving your reading goals is extremely satisfying, one that’ll encourage you to keep reading.
  6. Create a reading-friendly environment: A good reading environment and ambience is very important to enjoy the habit. If it is possible to set aside a certain time and space for reading, do it. While reading, try not minimise electronic or external interruptions. You can ask your friends and family not to distract you for insignificant things during this time.
  7. Explore different genres: Don’t limit yourself to a particular genre or type of reading material. While there may be certain genres that you really enjoy, it is equally important that you explore areas that may not be appealing to you as well. One of the primary advantages of this is that it broadens your perspectives and horizons, and introduces you to various styles of writing and ideas. And who knows, you may discover a new area of interest!!!

Developing a habit takes time, willpower and consistency. You can start small. Set achievable targets. Gradually increase it. Indulge yourself in your areas of interest, occasionally stepping out of your comfort zone and reading something that you would otherwise hardly place at. With patience and persistence, and soon reading will become an integral part of your daily routine, enriching your life with knowledge, creativity, and a deeper understanding of the world around you.