For the last 5 years I have consistently read 100+ books. I won’t go into the merits of reading – that’s for another article – but it has been an immensely fulfilling endeavour.
My reading list is varied; I have mixed fiction and nonfiction; I have read books published by authors from 6 of the 7 continents. I have read at least one book from each genre – even though I have a bias for spy, mystery, literary fiction genre. Most importantly I have read books by African writers and I have written reviews about most of the books read.
Books are a means to travel without buying a plane ticket. They make you an interesting conservationist and most importantly they bestow on you empathy and understanding. Something the world needs nowadays with people like Donald Trump in ascendancy.
It is easy to let the quest of living get to you and you deem development of the mind a luxury. But, I don’t think we were born to just wake, eat, work, sleep and die. Don’t allow yourself to succumb to the used and worn excuse of no time. If you review your daily activities there are pockets of minutes you can slot reading into.
Without further ado let me lend you some of my tested and trusted techniques that have worked for me.
1. Plan, Schedule and Act.
It is good to give yourself a specific reading goal. Make it a New Year resolution. Break it into the smallest detail. Don’t go, ‘I will read more this year.’ This way is better; I will finish 2 books a week. This means Sunday to Saturday, week in week out, you have an agenda to consume two books a week. Also give the reading activity a time slot. You can pick the early hours of the day or/and minutes before bedtime. Act on it. You can get help by joining book social media sites like Goodreads.com which have a reading goal you can subscribe to. This can help keep you in check.
2. Steal time
You have to fix a rigid time to read. That’s a good thing. But it is not enough. You need to steal more time. Time spent in traffic can be used. If driving you can subscribe to audiobooks. Time waiting for the meeting to start. Time spent at the airport waiting for that flight. Just carry the book around when spare time crops up grab it. You can invest in a good tab or a kindle device if you don’t want to be hauling books about.
3. Wisely pick a reading list
Reading books you love makes the journey easy. It is easy to forsake a goal when you are not enjoying the ride. You should quickly decipher the kind of books and the authors you like. Read a lot of them to keep the show running and after a while it becomes a habit and you can’t stop doing it. Also be on the lookout for reading list and recommendation. You can also read books shortlisted for book prizes.
4. Take note when it helps you.
Take stock when reading starts making an impact in your life. It starts with the little things like making you attractive to certain people, to increasing your worth in your bosses’ eyes when they know they have a reader in their employ. Reading helps to combat depression, increases comprehension and focus, and increases vocabulary and level of thinking. When it has improved your life it is easy recommend it to people with your life as an example.
5. Enjoy it.
When you do something out of a directive or a command it is easy to wallow in sadness, but when you do something out of freewill, it becomes fun and joy-giving. Enjoy reading. Enjoy being bathed with words smelling like a thousand lilies, stirring your brain and activating the millions of latent cells in it.
Agbonmire Ifeh is an avid reader of books. His best places in the world are book readings and festivals where he can famz with writers. He has his first book coming out soon.