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Read! No more excuses!

Among other joys in life, reading tops the list and i am not the only one saying it. Enough research has been done on finding what makes people special happy and not surprisingly, reading seems to have the best spell. How great!

For proof, let me give you the list of Top 15 Hobbies in the world:
  1. Reading
  2. Fishing
  3. Sewing
  4. Listening to music
  5. Bird watching
  6. Wood working
  7. Collecting (coins, stamps, books, antique jewelry, furniture etc.)
  8. Watching television
  9. Golf
  10. Travelling
  11. Shopping
  12. Cooking
  13. Gardening
  14. Spending time with family and friends, and 
  15. Theater

Read. Read. And read.
For me, reading does not come as a hobby. It's one more way of living life, a big sophisticated but personal show to feel the magic of another world. Reading defines my life up to a great extent. Nurture the passion of reading. Because it is worth. Every. Single. Second. 

Therefore, in order to spread this infectious joy, i am sharing some quick fixes to people who do not like to read as well as for those who do not find enough time anymore to pick a good read.

Set reading as priority

If setting up an alarm is the routine, if taking care of laundry, work and family is the routine then why not reading? It does not ask you to move or to make a conversation or running errands. It just wants you to sit for some time and be quiet. Once you put reading in your Top 3 priorities, i am pretty sure you will get your list 100% checked every time.

Find your taste

Reading does not prompt you to pick any book and start it right away. You may stumble on a bad choice only to wake up with a refreshed oath to not to read ever again.

Instead, you need to hop on a mission. To find your taste. It is much like finding the best cake for a sweet tooth or the most titillating spice for savory lovers. Some like fiction (imaginary stories, non-real) and some prefer non-fiction (real stories). Some like thriller that causes goosebumps or some may find horror more appealing. 

There are plenty of genres or categories in books to browse from - historical, mythical, religious, motivational, cookery, spiritual, travel, self-motivation, learning and much more. The best way to find everything at one place, not Amazon...but a library. Library is the perfect place to start. Take the membership and start on the mission TODAY.

Find time

Before you find your taste, you have to find time. But that does not mean you have to dedicate one hour or piles of hours to read. That's a myth to be told frankly. 

i read when my veggie is getting cooked. i read when i am in the car (not driving, of course). i read at bed time, tea time, free time...basically, i find, discover and even invent time slots to read and that is why i automatically finish few pages every day. And here we have another myth. You don't have to finish a book in a day or week! If a writer can take years to finish writing a book, you too have the freedom of time but make sure it does not end up in years. 

Read a few pages everyday and you are already darted in the direction of the goal.

Finish no matter what!

Keep digging the mine and you are bound to find a diamond. Reading is just like that. You tumble upon some fine pieces of writing that stay with you forever.

In my book club that i used to run for kids when i was in India, there was a theme for every month. The first month theme was - Let's finish a story! It was to encourage kids to finish what they had started. The size and thickness of the book does not matter. Pick a 10 pages book and finish it!

i recall reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. For first few pages, i was tempted to give up on this one. The story was slow and did not have charms to go on but by the habit, i continued. Wish i could find words to describe my feelings afterwards. The book got so much interesting on later pages that i could not leave for a second! i had to finish it! Next day in the newspaper, i saw the book has turned into a movie. No wonder there. The book is so enthralling and engaging despite of slow sluggish start. 

The 20 pages rule

i have read it somewhere that if you wish to evoke interest in a book, read it at least till 20 pages. This is famously called 20 pages rule.

People usually feel the drop in enthusiasm after 5 - 10 pages or so. They feel the urge to close the book but that's the highest time to continue. Sometimes, books have a slow start. The author picks up on low notes and then jumps on to the main theme in later pages and that's where story gets interesting.

You are still in school

Many say - i am not in school so no books. It does not annoy me. In fact, i try to understand the irrelevant logic behind the refusal. But what ticks me off is the sluggish grin that follows afterwards.

Life is a big school. You shout out 'Present, Sir' silently once you have opened eyes. Experiences are our teachers. Colleagues, friends, loved ones, even haters are your classmates. You are learning every single day then how come you can be out of school when you are enrolled into the biggest one and which goes on forever? So never flatter yourself by thinking learning is done! No, it is not. In fact, the real learning begins once you have finished the academic phase.

Books. They are the best exam guides for critical situations. If you don't want to fail, stop making excuses.

Pros and cons

Usually i like what i pick but there have been a few eclipses in my reading history as well. Those books have evoked nothing but disgust and the urge to kill myself than to finish them. i am not undermining any writer. i am just sharing that some books can be quite challenging and hard to finish! 

Still, go on! It only encourages the habit of reading as well as condition a sense of accomplishment of finishing a task. It may also flourish the reason whether or not to pick the same author again but either way, make reading a continuous process.

Read the back blurb

Every book has a gist of its story on its back. That is called Back Blurb. Always read the blurb if you are not sure about a book. Back blurbs gives a fine picture of the story between pages. It helps you with decision. If the back blurb looks enticing, pick the book and if, i did not say leave...if not then move on to another book. Don't be in a rush. Give yourself and the books some time.

Watch book-turned-movies

It might be the last resort if you are still failing to sit and read. Watching movies based upon books, however, can not be counted as you have read that particular book but at least you get a heads up on what's the book is about, its main characters, the plot, the beginning, the end and mainly, you know who's the master mind behind. i meant to say the author if you failed to catch that up.

With books you can feel the magic whereas with books-turned-movies, you can miss out on many details because makers take creativity freedom. The interesting scene you saw in the movie and liked so much may not be the same in the book it is inspired from, the two characters you saw dancing with each other may not have happened on the pages, and can't get the mini details of every scene and character.  

Therefore, it is always, always and once again, always recommended to read books and then you can watch their movies.

Other regular tricks

Join a library
Find a book club
Find a book loving buddy 
Join Book reading challenges
Do taste reading (means read with your friend and find your taste)
Solve puzzles based on books
Take book quizzes
Sit with a child and read children books
Participate in book festivals
Be tech savvy. Read on Kindle and/or mobile
Look if your favorite idol has the reading habit too. This may encourage you to imitate the same habit for genuine reasons


Now that's my list of spreading the joy called reading. Any suggestions you'd like to make? Or, any idea on how to pick up a good book? 

Share. Because it shows you care.


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