How to read when you hate reading!

From lousy reader to voracious reader.

Photo by César Viteri on Unsplash

If you know me personally, you know that I am Voracious Reader! Reading nearly 50 books per year. But what you don’t know is that I was not a reader 3 years back. I developed my reading habit slowly and steadily!

Here I share the practices I deployed to build, improve and retain my reading habit!

Tip #0 (Most Important)

Why do you want to read? What is the purpose of your reading? Is it for entertainment or motivation? Do you want to learn specific skills or are you improving your vocabulary?

It is very important to understand this as your reading style and speed will depend on this. Reading a non-fiction book is an uphill task and time-consuming compared to easy read, attention-grabbing fiction books.

Having a clear vision of your reading purpose is the first step in building reading as a habit.

Once you learn to read, you’ll be forever free. — Frederick Douglass

Tip #1

If you haven’t read book ever, you would want to take it slow. Don’t keep over-ambitious goals just because someone wrote it in a blog or said in an interview. It is easy to say, ‘Yeah, I will read a book per week’.

To break into the habit of reading, start with ONE PAGE PER DAY! It takes only 60 secs for an average reader to complete a page. Start with one page and slow and steady increase the pages! Consistency is the key ingredient.

Reading is important! If you know how to read then the whole world opens to you. — Barack Obama

Tip #2

Before I read a book, I find a quick video or summary about the book and go through it. The basic idea here is to understand the concept of the book, principles and thoughts behind the book.

This is important as you get an overview of the content in the book. So you can now make an informed decision on if it is worth your time. The video helps in figuring out if the book is appealing to you in the quickest way possible.

If you don’t feel like reading the book, you end up savings weeks trying to read something you won’t get

You can find magic everywhere. Sit back and Relax. All you need is a book. — Dr. Seuss

Tip #3

Habit Bunching? Habit bunching is when you pair an existing habit with the habit you are working on.

I used to always read a newspaper while having my morning tea. So, one fine day I kept my book on the dining table a night before. So, at the time of Tea, I can grab the book and read. I did something similar while daily commute in Metro.

By bunching such habits it will be easier to work on the new habit and the enjoyability of existing habit might rub on the new habit and making it more enjoyable.

Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.― John Green

Tip #4

Try reading the book and listening to audiobooks simultaneously!

Reading only involves eyes (one sensory organ) but when you listen to books while reading, two senses(ears and eyes) work on the same stuff. This increases the efficiency and retention dramatically.

Audiobooks also cut down distractions and improves focus. Since you are competing with other voice, you cannot miss on a word or a paragraph. You need to match the speed.

This also helps in increasing reading speed. (I started from 1x and I now read at 2.2x! 😃)

Try Audible or you can also find most of the audiobooks for free! (Secret online sources!😄 contact me if you need them)

Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.―Lemony Snicket

If you are looking for best books to start from, check here, here, here, here, here and here.

I have never seen a leader without a library. Most successful and happy people are voracious readers. Bill gates read almost 52 books a year, Mark Zuckerberg loves reading about cultures and people and how they interact. Warren Buffet reads almost 4–6 hrs daily, Oprah Winfrey had started a book club in 1996.

If world’s richest self-made millionaires and leaders have time to immerse themselves in a book, perhaps this is a habit worth copying.

What book are you reading on next?

I cannot remember the books I have read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me. — Ralph Waldo Emerson