By Ruhaifa Samir – Freelance journalist and staff blogger at yello.pk and perceptions.org.pk
Reading is a habit many people set out to cultivate and no wonder! Books can be extremely satisfying companions; they make you laugh, cry and, most importantly, they open up your minds to ideas and information you had never heard of before. Books are indeed our best friends!
Reading is a great habit to develop. If you’d like to cultivate a lifetime habit of reading, try some of these tips!
1 Set reading goals. An initial burst of enthusiasm for reading will not sustain the habit. You need to set goals for yourself, defining how long you will read every day. You can start with ten minutes a day and gradually increase the time. Or you can decide how many pages you will read every day. Find a quiet place where you can read uninterrupted for the time you have specified.
2 Find a book you love. Reading is highly enjoyable, but not if you are reading a book that is boring or one you can’t understand. Explore topics and genres that interest you and those to which you can relate. Make a list of books you would like to read – then, slowly and gradually go through them.
3 Have reading triggers. Every habit has a trigger – a regularly occurring event that immediately precedes the habit. Every time those triggers come up, read. Common reading triggers have been identified as eating, going to bed, travelling in the car, waiting somewhere (outside the school or in a doctor’s clinic), etc. Choose your triggers and read without fail. Also, always remember to carry a book with you whenever you leave the house. Chances are you might not need the book for nine trips out of the ten you make, but the tenth time you’ll be glad you brought the book along.
4 Have a library/bookshop day. Make a weekly trip to a library or a bookshop (second-hand bookstores are always great!). Browsing through different books is a useful way to spend some time and open up your mind to the variety of literature available for your reading pleasure. More often that not, you will end up buying amazing books that you can’t wait to read!
5 Make it pleasurable. Make your reading pleasurable and fun. Settle with a hot cup of tea/coffee or any other treat. But remember – don’t put too much pressure on yourself to read. Reading is for pleasure, and if you get stressed and push yourself too hard, you might give it up altogether. It might be a great idea to discuss books with your friends or join a book club to help you enjoy the reading experience even more.