How’s GreyB making reading a sustainable habit?

I could go on and give you a list of reasons why you should read books but we both know that you’ve heard them a million times since you were a kid. Haven’t you? 

I, for one, enjoy reading books. But now I keep telling myself ‘There’s not much time’. And after reading Pragya’s email, the same thought rang like a chorus in my ears. How many times have we told ourselves this lie?

What was the email about?

To Novice readers, the email turned out as an orientation to reading books. And to an avid reader collector of TBR books, that I like to call myself, it came as an epiphany. Avantika can back me up here. Who’s Avantika? Well, read on and you’ll know.

Coming back to Pragya’s email,

SUB: Sharing is Caring

Pragya Priyou

Pragya Priyou

Research Analyst

Hello Readers and Readers-to-be,

It was indeed great hearing from you guys in today’s Team Meet session! Since we faced a crunch of time while heading towards the end of the meet, I had to quickly take up the Excuses and the Solutions part. Well, a problem can have innumerable ways of getting solved, few even wiser than the other. All I am trying to do here is help you out by listing a few of the solutions to the problems which we face as novice readers Or when we decide to begin reading.

Do go through them whenever you feel stuck or while making an excuse of the same kind J

  1. I want to read but don’t have time
  • Think of reading as something you do to relax, at the end of a hard day. Finally, when everything’s quiet, you get to read. You might think that never happens! But think, what do you do to relax? Watch TV, scroll through Facebook, or sit still and stare into the void? Well, that’s the timeframe where reading belongs. If you have an hour of TV every day, maybe steal 10 minutes to read a chapter or two.
  • Take a book with you everywhere you could possibly read.
  1. I Don’t Know What to Read
  • The best way to learn what to read is by reading everything you can get your hands-on.
  • If you don’t know where to start, or you find yourself stuck for ideas along the way, find someone who enjoys reading books and ask for recommendations.
  • Read books from the genre of your choice
  • Checkbook reviews from goodreads.com
  1. I get bored of reading a book, things get monotonous after a while.

When you don’t understand or the part you are reading is not interesting, you get easily bored. I too suffer from this situation many times. Or sometimes, the narratives in the books are too descriptive and illustrative, which makes things monotonous.

  • Try reading two books at a time, so you can switch to the next book for a few days when things start to get boring with the first one just to break the monotony.
  • Try skipping a few lines, which you find are gulping down your time and interest.
  1. I Just Never Got Into the Habit
  • Then make it a habit. Make a point of reading literature on a regular basis. Start with a few minutes a day and make a commitment to continue.
  • You can make reading a social experience. Share a poem or a short story with a friend.
  • Join a book club. Being part of a group will give you an incentive to keep reading and the discussions may actually help you gain a better understanding of the literature.
  1. Look at the words, I don’t want to open the dictionary every minute!
  • Try not to be intimidated.
  • Don’t begin the classics or the ones which use archaic/Latin English. Do so only you’re your keen interest lies in Literature.
  • Sometimes simply skip the hefty lines is also fine- There are many more lines which you can understand, waiting for you. You don’t have time to waste on the lines, you don’t understand. This will help you to finish a book and don’t worry you will be able to understand those lines, later, as your level of reading increases.
  • Children’s Books will help – They have a very simple language, it can quickly get you into a habit of reading. (Try Roald Dahl, Harry Potter Series)
  • Do not check the meaning of every word (try to get an idea of the meaning and that is enough, you may Google it later if you wish to).
  1. I can’t finish a book, they have an endless number of Pages!
  • Pick the thin ones! – For instance, books such as The Alchemist are great examples of enlightenment packed in a minimum number of pages.
  1. Books Are Expensive
  • The Internet has opened a whole new arena for readers. (Scribd, amazon-kindle, Wattpad)
  • Public libraries
  • Book Fairs
  • Book Flee markets
  • Borrow books from your friends

Best Regards,

Pragya.

P.S. Reading Books isn’t a skill to have or a medium to show off, rather, it is a virtue one should have in them to gain wisdom as a human. It will help you relax, grow psychologically, make you more empathetic towards things happening around you. If you have any more time left after reading this e-mail, please watch this little boy talking about the same- Watch.

While the email made us all realize how we’ve let other things get in the way of our love for reading books, Avantika defied all odds to bring back her love for books. Let’s read how she did it.

avantika

Avantika

Senior Research Analyst

Good evening everyone,

I think we all can agree that Pragya really did a great job at tackling the excuses we had for not reading books. I wanted to share my own experience. While I still do read books, it is nowhere comparable to the number of books I used to read. Like a lot of us, the access to Netflix, Prime, Audiobooks, Podcasts made me slowly drift away from books, unknowingly. Earlier, a train journey used to be an excuse for scouring through bookstalls to find a novel, and praying to Gods that it lasts you the entire journey. Now, I simply download a few episodes of my favorite series and call it a day.

I was recently in a situation where I, unfortunately, did not carry earphones with me. I had to wait in a long queue (it took four hours) and was bored to the bones. I was getting distracted and irritated by the second. After scrolling through memes and Quora, I eventually decided to download the Kindle app on my phone. Most of my kindle buys are self-help books as I still haven’t developed a liking for this genre. For some strange reason, the app showed that I also owned a copy of “The Three Musketeers”.

I was surprised. It was the first novel I ever read and sparked my love for the classics. I quickly started reading it and ended up reading 5 chapters of it, waiting for my turn. At that point, I honestly wanted the line to move slowly just so that I could read more. It rekindled my love for reading books and reminded me why I had started – not to learn, not to seek wisdom, just to enjoy.

It also made me realize the importance of taking out time for doing the things you love. I always complain about the lack of time to read, paint, or do anything for that matter. I never introspect the whys and hows. Can I once again become the person who could read straight for 8-9 hours? No. But, can I not even dedicate 1 hour of my day to reading? Most definitely, I can. But only if I want to and try to. Will it be difficult? How can I say it unless I try? As Alexandre Dumas said, “The merit of all things lies in their difficulty.”

Kind regards,

Avantika

P.S. – Let me know if any of you has read The Three Musketeers or The Count of Monte Cristo. What do you think of them?

You see, time crunch, not knowing what to read, monotonous reads, etc are all mere excuses. When you want to read, just pick up a book and start. Don’t like it? Hop on to the next best choice.

It doesn’t matter if you are sitting comfortably on a reading chair with a cup of coffee in your hand, or if you are standing in a queue waiting for your turn. Books have the power to transport you into another world and when you pick the right one it’s just a matter of time.

So what are you waiting for? Pick that book up, and don’t stop reading. 🙂

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