"If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book"
Studies have shown that reading improves brain connectivity. It increases one’s vocabulary and comprehension and empowers one to empathize with others. Reading transports the reader to many fantastical and fictitious lands, it helps one imagine. Books like “The Brief History of Time- Stephen Hawking”, “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind- Yuval Noah Harari”, etc. have taught us about the history of the universe. Classics like “Little Women- Louisa May Alcott” and “Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte” have painted beautiful pictures of the medieval era. And of course, series like “Harry Potter- J.K. Rowling” and “The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins” have provided us with nail-biting suspense and entertainment.
I used to be an avid reader- the “couldn’t go without a book for a day” kind. But when the pandemic started, I lost my habit. Infact, such is the case with many students my age. All of us are dealing with online classes, tests and not being able to leave our homes for long periods of time. With all that’s going on, it has been a little tough for us to get time to just ‘chill’.
Most of us resorted to watching movies and TV shows for recreation, including myself. Surrounded by study material and heavy words all day, spending my recreational time with more words (books) didn’t seem very enticing. But reading is one way by which I could watch a series of events inside my mind, by imagining the story that the book narrates, and giving it my own special touch. I decided to restart. I got up one day and peered into my bookshelf, looking for something new to read. When I didn’t find anything that I hadn’t already read, I thought of finding an eBook. Then again, reading an eBook would end up increasing my screen time further. This is where RelayRead came in. Despite this, I just couldn’t find the time to read. But here’s how I overcame that.
- Give yourself a headstart - Read newspaper headlines and short stories for starters. This will help you get in the groove.
- Find the right book - Choose a book that you enjoy. Spend some time scrolling through a book library, see if you can rent a book. If you like a specific genre, like mysteries or classics, start with that. If you read something you like, making time for reading will become effortless.
- Start small - You don’t have to read many chapters a day. Start with maybe a few minutes of your spare time, even if it is for as less as ten minutes. Slowly, you will get used to using your free time to read and you’ll start liking it.
- Read first thing in the morning, and/or before bed - If you’re finding it difficult to make time to read during a regular but hectic day, set an alarm for 30 minutes earlier than usual, or sleep 30 minutes late. This way, neither will you have to compromise with work, nor with reading.
- Set goals - Set a weekly or even a daily time or page limit or set a goal of reading one book every fortnight. This way, you will have something to work towards.
- Set reminders - If we have technology at our disposal, we might as well use it. Just like you set reminders for tasks, set a few to remind you to read.
- Replace TV shows and movies with books - TV shows and movies are also a great way to spend your free time. But don’t do that all the time.It’ll increase your screen time. Try and read physical books so that your eyes get some rest, experiment with book libraries or book exchange platforms. Divide your entertainment time up, half and half between reading and watching.
- Don’t make excuses - This is the biggest obstacle- an excuse. At first, reading might seem boring. But as you get deeper into the book, trust me, you will not be able to put it down.
Reading daily is one of the best habits one could possess. No matter how busy you might get, take some time out of your schedule to read. Reading for even a few minutes a day will clear your mind, keeping you fresh and ready to take everything else head on. After all, books (and dogs) are our best friends. Happy reading!
Shreya, Young Reader and RelayRead Member