14 Ways to Create a Passion for Reading
March always makes me think there is gonna be more days as February has fewer days. To me, there’s nothing different between two months. Time passes so quickly and I always feel like I’m not reading enough every month. The year 2022 is almost complete in the quarter of the year. The few things I did was reading and crafting like crochet and knitting.
The only thing I realized was that I challenged myself to read more books in 2021 compared to the year before! (I challenged myself to read 4 books in 2021 plus 1 book which I expect to complete at the end of 2020). By the time I’ve posted this blog, it’s nearly the middle of March and I am overwhelmed by the number of books I want to read (including a few books that I have already started in early January 2022). I haven’t decided yet what books to read this year, though. Once decided, I will put the list in my goodreads. So, wish me luck!
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Why I Love Reading
Scientific studies show that reading is good to exercise your brain and making you smarter. Reading a book such as fiction would increase the blood flow and improve connectivity in the brain. While you read, you put yourself into the scenario of the book, then you start to imagine the details like the structure of a building, house, the appearances of the characters, their feelings and so on. Just how I love a classic novel such as Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice or Sense & Sensibility. I create my imagination during the Victorian era, the growth of the railways, the cultivation of plants where gardening became an obsession, the middle classes with their servants, how they dress and so on.
Other than that, reading books is a great way to learn new things. As Jhumpa Lahiri quoted, “That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.” I have planned to travel to certain countries before which unable to fulfil due to the current situation around the globe. So, by reading some books I could travel with my imagination without moving my feet. I am so admiring voracious book readers who could read up to 10, 15 or more every year. Whatever happens in their lives, there’s always time to read. Avid readers like them often look back on their books, reading and keep a note in their journal reading.
I have a time that I desire space to read more. I continue to buy a book online such as Big Bad Wolf, BookXcess, Popular Online or MPH Online and organize them beautifully on my bookshelves. They stack up, but sometimes I never have time to read them, even in one day. The Japanese called this kind of habit “tsundoku”. According to Malay Mail news, a study conducted by the Polish e-commerce company Picodi in 2019, Malaysians are among the biggest consumers of books in the world but are not the most read. The survey was conducted with 7800 people from 41 countries, including Malaysia, during March. It shows that we (Malaysian) spend very little time reading books, but likes to buy online when it comes to books.
Then I realised that habit was such a waste of money. So I adjusted my lifestyle a bit, I developed my motivation, I went back to the pile of books I was collecting and I took the time to read. If you’re a person just like me or the kind of person who just started to have a passion for reading, I have gathered some useful tips for you to enjoy your reading.
1. Make Reading as Part of Your Daily Routine
If you think that reading is important to you, start by making reading part of your daily routine. Regardless of how busy you are, you will find and schedule a time to do it. Start allocating a set amount of time for reading every day and try your best to reduce procrastination. Like me, I prefer to spend time reading in the morning (weekends or holidays) and at night before going to sleep. Sometimes I don’t follow the rules because I will read whenever I have free time for example during lunch hour in the office.
2. Go Back to Old School
I mean, just put your phone away and pick up any book you love. You can read a book before bed. Try to read 5 pages or read for five minutes, then fall asleep. By frequently doing this, it would become a part of your night habit before sleep. If you have children, you can read a bedtime story for them too.
3. Find a Book That Interesting To You
Doesn’t matter what kind of genre you prefer, what matters the most is enjoying what you read. I have a few friends who recommended me books they love, but that book is not necessarily what I have to buy. Don’t force yourself to do what other people love, which is NOT for you, or else you would not find joy in reading. There comes a time when you ought to start reading what you love. Walk into any bookstore near your place, find good books to read that spark your interest and curiosity. I believe you will find some books that you are attracted to.
4. Follow “Bookstagram”
“Bookstagrams” means the bookish who have an account with Instagram. Well, they are a total thing. Be their follower. It’s a dedicated community that posts covers of their latest reads, the books they bought, their reviews and so on. I am pretty sure they will inspire you to cultivate your passion for reading. Example of bookstagrams you can follow are Courtney, Katie Bookstagram, Paula Bookstagram and Yuki.
5. Buy Cheap Books
Most of the time I purchase books from the Big Bad Wolf (BBW) and their partner Book Xcess at Shopee. They sell quite cheap books. Sometimes I go to other sellers like Book n Bob. 90% of my books, I use Shopee to purchase them all.
6. Set a Reading Goal & Keep a List
We all know that setting goals is important, but sometimes we forgot to realize it’s important to help us move through life. Having a reading goal also helps you figure out how much reading you need to do. For example, my reading goal for the year 2022 is to read 7 books. By making how many books I want to read, it allows me to strategize how much time I need to allocate each day for reading. There’s a lot of reading tracker application you can download from Google Play Store. It is not just helping you to track the books you’ve read but also it will be motivating to see how much you have read so far. I use goodreads to track everything. You can try download Reading Habit Tracker from Google Play Store to help you track your reading progress.
If you want to read more books, you need to make it a higher priority. You need to change your lifestyles and daily habits to accommodate more reading. People who are ‘super readers’ show us just how much reading is possible if you are willing and able to give it a high enough priority. Just remember that we all have the same 24 hours. The only thing is we must learn how to maximize every second.
8. Bring Your Book Everywhere
Try carrying a book with you wherever you go. I love carrying my book wherever I go, though I know there is no space time for reading. I just love to carry my book, that’s all and who knows there will be times during the day when I am free or waiting in a queue. So I will use this time to catch up on my reading. Eventually, there’s always an opportunity to read. Whenever you have a moment, you can read. If you prefer digital versions, that would be nice. But I still prefer hard copy because I loved the smell of books and to feel of their weight in my hands.
9. Find a Specific Place
Reading requires focus and concentration. Find a specific and quiet place where you feel comfortable, then you won’t get disrupted by external noises. If I try to read during lunch hour (after I had my lunch), I will spend my time with reading in some corner of the office where there is no one to disrupt with a talking. (It’s true. Sometimes you have to avoid some people with negative behavior such as gossiping, which cause you to waste time).
10. Read Several Genre of Books at a Time
This sounds overload, right, but it will help you to accumulate knowledge on a topic fast. If you are reading fiction books, you can also read different books at the same time. For example, I read 3 books in the same month (romance, classic and a memoir). I have set my goal which book to start for this week, and the second week and so on. This strategy works well for me as I get bored easily, so I like to keep on reading several books with different genres however I can. Spend your time thinking about what kind of book to read. Start out reading books you enjoy.
11. Keep an Open Mind
While you are reading the book, never critique the author through the public or any social media. You may not agree with certain things once you’ve finished, but just keep it to yourself. Ask yourself what the purpose of reading the book is, are you enjoy reading or do you want to read just to be a proofread and critique the author of the book? If you don’t enjoy it, give up that book!
12. Give Up Books or Skip Pages If You Don’t Enjoy
Give up here doesn’t mean give up your passion for reading. I mean, if you don’t enjoy or like certain books, don’t be afraid to quit reading it. You may have selected books that you intend to read, but there may still be some books that you won’t enjoy reading. Just give it up and say to yourself that giving the book you don’t enjoy doesn’t mean you are a quitter. Instead, it frees up your time for other books that you would enjoy. Don’t feel guilty about skipping pages too. It helps you move through boring and waste time reading something that you are not interested in.
13. Join a Book Club
The purpose to join any of the book clubs is to bring the book lovers’ community together to learn and discuss something that matters such as promoting a love of literature (if you are an English learner), encouraging critical thinking and deeper engagement with some books. It’s motivating to read with others and share what you’ve read. If you love community clubs, consider one of the book clubs on social media such as Facebook. There are a lot of online groups, just figure out what is best for you.
14. Reward Yourself
The reward system still works to build good habits and reach your goals faster. Gretchen Rubin’s best-selling book, Better Than Before has explained, “When we give ourselves treats, we feel energized, cared for, and contented, which boosts our self-command — and self-command helps us maintain our healthy habits.” This is why it is important to celebrate your works once you’ve finished reading a book to reward yourself for the effort that you have put in. Moreover, it’s worth reminding yourself of the unique rewards. For example, you can remake yourself as an avid reader of books. There are many ways to reward yourself, such as going to the movies, buying your favorite coffee at your favorite coffee shop, making favorite deserts and so many ways.
Do you have some other ways you love to share? I hope you would find joy in reading.