Why you should become a reader:
Picture waking up on a Sunday morning, drinking your coffee, and basking in the first morning rays of sun that are beaming through your window while you are immersed in your favorite book. That is my idea of a perfect morning. Peaceful, quiet, serene, and I’m lost in an entire other world or somebody else’s life in an amazing book. Are you convinced that you should start reading again yet? If you are skip down to the How to Start, if not, keep reading.
What is your favorite movie? I’m going to go with an easy one that is pretty common and most people know Pride and Prejudice, did you enjoy the 2 hours you spent watching that movie? Now imagine being able to stretch that experience out to a whole morning or a whole afternoon. You can stop and put the book down for a minute when you want to reflect on how Elizabeth is a much better sister than I am because I would rebuke Lydia much harsher than Elizabeth did. You can become part of the story as you are reading it more than just watching the movie and being shown exactly what each character looks like, sounds like, and moves. When you read, you create this images yourself. Convinced yet?
How about this, we are being bombarded by fake news, exaggerated news, or news that is 100% true but is obviously just trying to get a rise out of a certain group of people. Why do you think they are so successful at creating this absurd news using sound bites and memes that get thousands or millions of views and shares? We don’t read! As a society we seem to have fallen in love with the media, the television, and Hollywood. I firmly believe we would be in a much better state as a country if instead of the media, we fell in love with books! It is much more difficult to confuse a person on how the economy works who is familiar with the writings of Milton Friedman, Marx, Keynes, or Mill. If nothing else, they will know how to think critically on the current information they are given instead of letting the news reporter get them riled up about their latest prediction. Being an avid reader will help you to be a critical thinker and be able to decipher between fake news and real news.
Children will do as you do, not as you say. This is one of the biggest motivators for me to read every night instead of watching TV or browsing Facebook (full disclosure, I sometimes indulge in those things when my kids aren’t watching). However, in the evenings, after the kids go to bed I try to make it appoint to read for another hour until they are asleep. I also read first thing in the morning (this is when I try to do my serious reading), so to my kids they see that reading is important and reading is fun. If you want to raise intelligent children, teach them to love reading, and be their example.
Reading will help you advance in your career. As you move up on the career ladder, you will inevitably need to read more and understand what you are reading. You may even need to explain it to your coworkers, an outside investor, or your boss. Perhaps Dr. Seuss explained this best: “The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”.
How To Start
Turn Off the TV, I wrote a blog earlier on How to turn off the TV, if you want some tips. If you make a conscious effort to keep the TV off, it will make it easier to fill the time with a good book.
Start Small. If it has been a few years since you have done some serious reading, don’t start with with works of Aristotle. Save that for a few months or even a year down the road when you are used to reading the more advanced works of literature.
Listen to Audible instead of the radio. This was actually a very simple change that I made that helped me fall in love with the written word again. I listen to Audible when I am in the car or at home doing mindless tasks. My husband has a long commute for work every day and he listens to the books as well. Then we get to discuss the books in the evening.
Start with a genre you love. Check out Goodreads for a list of recommended books in a genre that you find interesting.
Start or join a bookclub. Bookclub night with friends is an awesome bonding experience and it will help keep you on track to get a book finished. Gather up a group of your friends, coordinate with some wine and cheese and let the fun begin! You can also find local book clubs to join online!
If you don’t like the book, you don’t have to finish it, within reason. I would be cautious not make a habit of getting 100 pages into a book and then moving onto the next one, the most exciting part might be yet to come, and often the best authors have a long build up. That being said, if you aren’t interested in a book, feel free to put it down and find a book you love, especially in the beginning.
Utilize your local library. Books can get expensive, my husband can attest to that, so it’s helpful to use your library, especially in the beginning when you are just learning what types of books you like. Also check out deals on used book sites or find a local used book store to get some great deals as well!
Just Start. Don’t try to make everything perfect, just start. It will be worth it!