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Why I am starting to read again (and how you can too)


When I was about six or seven I noticed all the kids in my school, especially the cool kids, were all obsessed with the Goosebumps series. Naturally, that weekend I had my parents buy me a few of the books from the series. They were shocked and extremely encouraging. My fascination with books grew from there. Whenever I think about my obsession with reading my mind instantly brings up two instances. The first is when I lied to my teachers about not having my gym clothes so I could stay back and finish a book I was reading and the second was when I was in high school and skipped class just to read a book I had ordered. (This was during the beginning of the Amazon days and the book I had ordered wasn’t available in any bookstore in my city.)

After high school my reading started to decline. The days of staying up late finishing a book were long gone. I didn’t stop reading though. I actually started reading more. The only thing was that I was reading more news articles than books. I was reading to keep up with news (mostly tech news) than for meaning. Oddly enough, I didn’t stop buying books though. I just never read them. Or I’d start to read them and stop halfway through.

Last week I made myself a promise to start reading again. I purchased a bunch of books through iBooks and told myself I was going to force myself to finish at least one book every two weeks. I needed to start over again though. I wanted to first learn to read faster, remember what I read, and understand the symbolism in books. I came on here for advise and picked up How to Read Literature Like a Professor. (This book is terrific and I’ve managed to make sense of a lot of movies I’ve watched recently. If you haven’t read this book yet, please do yourself a favour and purchase it.)

Here is what I’ve learned from this past week:

  • Don’t focus on speed reading. A book is different from a new story. Speed reading helps me when I’m reading news articles, but when I’m reading a book I want to savour it and understand what the author is trying to say. I can’t do that if I’m speed reading.
  • It’s hard nowadays to focus on reading. Nicholas Carr’s Is Google Making Us Stupid is a good essay which touches on this. Here is what I’ve done to help me focus. I read on my iPad and turn on DND. I do the same with my iPhone. I go somewhere quiet and get myself ready. The same way I dim the lights and relax before watching a movie. To help me remember what I’ve read I stop after each chapter and really think about what I read. Sure, I take more time finishing a book this way, but it’s well worth it.
  • I started with books that I’ve always wanted to read.
  • I set a specific time for myself to get my reading done. When I wake up I get started on all my school work/readings. For some reason this just works for me. I then get on with the rest of my life and at night I dedicate at least an hour to reading. Getting into this routine has helped me.

We all live in a connected world and we’re all busy with life and errands and our minds are more preoccupied than ever. Reading is a way to escape, even if it’s just for an hour, our lives. To find a correlation between the characters and settings we read about. To find meaning in our journey, just like in Ulysses. (Sorry, I had to.)

Now forgive my poor writing and grammar. I’ve already purchased a few books to help me with both.

in your inbox everyday at 10am CST.

No fluff or "pie in the sky inspiration." Just real stories.

in your inbox everyday at 10am CST.

No fluff or "pie in the sky inspiration." Just real stories.