Wholistique
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Wholistique

5 Tips To Become an Avid Reader

(It’s time to meet your yearly reading target!)

I own over 250 books that sit in the mini library that I have built in the corner of my room.

The first time I picked up a book, I was a curious six-year-old. My father was a voracious reader and ensured that I cultivated the habit as well. My teachers always told my mother that they were tired of confiscating the books that I secretly read during classes. Back in college, I’d spend every free hour browsing through the books at Landmark, making a list of which ones to read that month.

As a reader, I can give you 5 quick tips to kickstart your journey and meet your reading target this year!

1. Don’t read what sounds smart, read what interests you.

One thing that I have noticed is that most people who start reading, assume that they must only read books on management, spirituality, self-development, etc. as these are the ones that add value to their lives.

False.

There are two problems with this approach

a) You fail to acknowledge that you can always learn something new from any book, irrespective of whether it is fiction or non-fiction. It is your mindset that counts.

b) If you read a particular genre only for the sake of adding value and not because it interests you, you will not be able to complete the book due to boredom. This will lead you to believe that you are incapable of cultivating a reading habit.

2. It’s time to watch those YT Book Reviews!

I have never bought a book without watching a book review. Even if I am at the bookstore, I make a note of the title, watch the review and then buy it.

While the book cover only gives you a summary of the book, the YouTube book review is from the point of view of a person who has already read the book. They will be able to give you a better idea of what to expect from the book and this will help you decide if it is the kind of book you are looking for.

This also creates a sense of curiosity/suspense which will push you to read and complete the book.

3. Have you heard of Book Fairs & Events?

I think reading is an expensive hobby if you are someone who wants to hold on to the books you read. I have always treasured my books and developed a sense of attachment to them which makes it difficult for me to be a member of a library. I am old school in the sense that I need to be able to hold and smell the book I am reading, soft copies are not for me.

However, I found a loophole — Book fairs and lockbox events.

It is very easy to find events where second-hand books are being sold for less than rupees 100. I once attended a “BooksByWeight” event where 1Kg of the books cost 100 rupees. I bought 10 books for 10 rupees each.

These events help you gather a large supply of books which means that, at any given point, you’ll have an unread book on your shelf that you can pick up. Additionally, you can talk to people at these events and ask for book recommendations!

4. Start by targeting your emotions (Trust me, it works)

When you travel, you get to see things you have never seen before. This novelty excites you. A romantic relationship has the power to make you happy and feel things you have never felt before.

The truth is, the only thing that keeps humans coming back for more is an intense feeling/emotion. While I do encourage reading books that give you knowledge and insight into specific fields, I think reading a book you can emotionally connect to is the key to developing a habit.

Here is a tip you can use — If you are interested in a specific field, say, Oncology, you can always pick a book such as “The Last Lecture” which is an autobiography of a man fighting Pancreatic Cancer. This will give you knowledge about the disease, but also has the power to make you feel.

5. A book club of TWO

While most people would recommend joining a book club where you can discuss the book with multiple people, I think you should share the journey of reading a specific book only with one person. Sharing this experience makes it special and unique to the two of you and it keeps you motivated to complete the book as it is now a bonding activity.

It also creates a sense of excitement. For example, if you reach the next chapter before the other person, you’re curious to know how he/she would react to this plot twist. Similarly, if you’re falling behind, you try to read quicker to reach the plot twist that the other person is talking about.

ADDITIONAL TIP: Explore, Explore & Explore.

When people ask me what I read, I don’t know what to say.

Over the last 16 years, I’ve read Young Adult, Romance, Thriller, Crime, Autobiographies, Management and Leadership, and Historical books. Once you explore, you’ll know what you like. If you like a particular book, you can always Google other books that fall under the same theme.

If you like what you read, share it with your friends and family! :)

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