About a year ago, the famous 86-year-old author, Ruskin Bond said, “India could soon have more writers than readers.”
So the question remains: how to read a book?
If you are reading 20 books in a year, you are still reading much more than an average person. An average person according to studies reads about 15-16 books in 365 and a quarter days. This raises several questions. Where are we heading towards? Can this be a sign of a dearth of expertise and quality reading? Worth a thought, I guess.
Nevertheless, one can never deny the joy one can derive from finishing a book.
Reading a book is special and finishing a book is even more. But, with a staggering amount of books written year after year, an average human can never keep up with the pace. So, how can one read all of them? What can one do to sound knowledgeable?
Open your mind to different genres
While being broad-minded, on the contrary, it is equally imperative that you learn to read selectively. By selective, I mean that one should learn to skim and scan a book. This process would help one to later pick out the essence of the book that requires 75% of one’s total attention. This way you not only learn to read books quickly but also learn to store the information better with its size being drastically reduced. This further helps you to sound well-read, while having a conversation.
Make it a habit
Tell yourself that you would not go to bed alone. It is imperative that we make tiny steps to atleast read a page or two everyday. Reading regularly, has several benefits. It reduces stress and enhances your communication.
Consequences of a routine
The more you read, the faster you read. It is said that, as a beginner, you read a book word by word. But, once the letters get familiar, you read a few words together and you slowly elevate yourself to reading sentence after sentence. In the last stage belong the voracious readers who read page after page. This is a technique, where expert readers would be able to get the gist of the facts supplied on the page at a glance.
Keep your notebook beside you
At times only reading may not be enough. Keep a blank notebook by your side. Jot down important ideas, notes, or quotes as you read a book. Writing down what you read once is equivalent to reading the content 10 times. This helps you keep track of what goes into your mind and helps you understand what your mind comprehends.
Be hungry for information
When you decide to read a book, do not debate whether it will be worth spending time on the book or not. No knowledge goes to the trash. Every book has a lesson to teach; even a bad book has a lesson to teach. Allow all the information that you process to fight. Allow the contradictions to fight and the result of the war will help you build your opinion.
An ideal environment
For most people, during the initial reading stages, a distraction and noise-free zone can help. The silence around you will help you concentrate better on the content your reading and assimilating. Maybe for a start, you can look for a remote location at home where there is television. Furthermore, try keeping your phone or any other gadget away that can cause hindrance during your reading time.
Take breaks and read quotations
When you do not feel like reading a book, give your mind regular breaks with quotations and aphorisms. Quotations and aphorisms that have been compiled in the past help you understand complex issues better. These literary writings are some of the smallest forms of writing, which when you start defining can run to pages.
To give you an example, a famous aphorism that has kept me hooked is, “An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate.” Such is the power of an aphorism.
To conclude, books are special, and maybe there are going to be more writers than readers. But, be a reader or writer, books have built us, the world around us, and the universe beyond us. In this digital age, when books are available to you one click away, I think there is no better way of celebrating them than by picking up one today and starting to read. Reading, after all, can be that rabbit hole to take you into your wonderland. You may never know until you give it a try. So, what is your next read?
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