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Basically, I made a New Year’s resolve to keep reading books on a regular basis, and I’ve completed 15 books since the start of the year. You can find the books on my Goodreads page or in the books section of this website.
Reading a book requires a conscious effort on our part; it is not like watching a movie or playing a video game. You must sit down and read word for word, visualise, and use your intelligence, among other things. Basically, it takes effort. I remember having difficulty concentrating and absorbing information when I first started reading. And there were times when I was just plain bored. But, over time, I overcame these obstacles, and I’ll explain how in the following tips, which I hope you’ll find useful.
More than one book at a time
At first, I would choose a book and then sit for an entire day to finish it; as a result, the same book would become tedious and heavy. I wasn’t able to absorb all of the information in the book, and I wasn’t enjoying it. I was barely finishing the book just to finish it. But now I have more than three books in currently reading at any given time. And all of these books are of different genres, so I can switch if one becomes boring after a while and focus on a different idea or concept before moving on to the next one. This way, I’m not bored, and I can enjoy and read more without exerting much effort.
Try different medium
Listening is sometimes more effective than reading. So I have an audible subscription and listen to books on it. I also have hardcopies of books and occasionally read from my mobile eBook reader. So I recommend that you try all of these different ways of reading books and see which one works best for you. So a hard book is best for me when I’m reading at home or having a quick read before bed. Audible is ideal for reading novels and biographies. However, I will never recommend audio books for self-help or productivity books because these books require your full attention and taking notes in audiobooks is a pain. When I’m travelling or stuck in traffic, I use a mobile eBook reader.
When I read, I make a point of marking important points and quotes that I like. I believe there are two advantages to doing this. The first is that you can look it up in the future when and if you need it. Two, you subconsciously train your mind to remember this information so that it can analyse and apply it in real life (I will talk more about this in some other article in detail)
I regularly share my book-related lessons and quotes on Instagram and LinkedIn, and there are two advantages to doing so. I get to meet new people who share my interests in books and ideas, and I get to revisit what I’ve learned from books. You can also try this, and while you’re at it, add me as a friend on Instagram and Facebook.
Read in bursts
I used to sit and read for 3-4 hours every day, which was a bad idea for me. When you read continuously, much of the information is lost, which is counterproductive when reading important documentation or self-help books, where you want to retain as much information as possible. My best strategy is to read for 20-25 minutes, then take a short break of 10-15 minutes to do other things before returning to reading.
Skimming & Quitting
I used to make the mistake of forcing myself to read a book even when I wasn’t enjoying it because I felt guilty because I had paid for it and now I’m not enjoying it, but slowly I realized it’s okay if I don’t enjoy it; I can quit and start with another book. Also, I no longer read all books word for word; instead, I skim a lot. For example, when I am reading a novel and the author is wasting words describing a scene and I already have an idea, I take the overview and skim rather than reading word for word. However, I do not recommend doing so with self-help books.
Take a Bird eye view
Before I start reading a book, I quickly go over the entire book to get a sense of what I will learn from it and what topic is where. This view helps me in planning, such as how I will read the book and which sections I will skip, and so on.
So those are my tips that I follow, and they have helped me to read more and stand out in my social circle, and I now have a lot more things and ideas to talk about. I hope some of this is useful to you, and I wish you the best of luck on your reading journey.