How do you spend your spare time? We bet it's not reading, and neither is it something very productive. Thanks to advancements in technology and high-speed Internet connection, most of us spend our free time on the phone scrolling Facebook or Instagram feed. But what if you could spend this time reading?
Reading is what many successful and famous people have in common. Once the wealthiest person in the world, Warren Buffet admitted spending 80% of his time at work on studying books and articles. Elon Musk spent most of his childhood reading science fiction novels. Bill Gates used to read one book per week while working at the Microsoft Corporation. They do it because reading is an excellent source of self-education. Among other benefits of reading:
- It stimulates your brain and memory.
- Reading improves focus. You can learn to concentrate while reading, the thing we unlearned with the rise of smartphones.
- Reading helps you sleep better. If you would like to improve your sleep quality, try reading for 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed instead of scrolling TikTok feed.
- If you read, you invest in longer life.
How can one live longer with the help of books? A 2016 study established a correlation between reading and longevity. Yale University researchers gathered data from more than 3600 people in their fifties and compared their physical health indicators. The result of this study during 12 years is the following: the group of people who read more than three and a half hours a week lived better and longer than the others.
We all used to read more before high-speed Internet was introduced. That's why you shouldn't be ashamed of not reading anymore. To finally start reading again, it is important to tackle the things that prevent you from reading effectively:
1. Don't feel overwhelmed by a large book.
Sometimes, we procrastinate to start reading a book because it is big. It feels like it would take a while, so we postpone it. We substitute it with a Netflix show, not realizing that it will take us less time to read the whole book than watch only one season of a TV show. Let's count: on average, a book has 300 pages (which seems a lot), the normal reading speed is 200-300 words per minute. It means that one can finish a whole book in only 5 hours. In this way, you can read 1 book in 5 days (which is even more than Bill Gates, who reads a book per week). If your book is captivating, you will be done in 2 days! You will learn more from and get inspired by a good non-fiction book rather than a popular Netflix show.
2. Don't be afraid to start several books or give up a book.
Don't judge a book by its cover (literally) but also don't be afraid to put off the one you don't like. A book-snob inside you may try to convince you that reading is a noble activity and you should show respect to a book by finishing it. Don't! Your time is limited, and you don't want to spend it reading some rubbish. What is more, by forcing yourself to do so, you turn yourself away from reading. That's why so many people nowadays don't read: they think they hate it. In fact, they'd love it if they started reading what they like! Also, don't be afraid to read several books simultaneously. Nothing is preventing you from watching 3 shows at the same time. Why should you be afraid to do the same with books? Especially if you need to finish that boring textbook and treat yourself to some science fiction.
3. Don't set quantity goals.
Get inspired by other people who read but don't compare your progress to theirs. It just makes no sense. You are different people with varying needs and skills, so one person might read faster, and another one might need to do additional research while reading or simply take more time to enjoy the book. If you have an exam at hand, you may have a strict deadline to follow, but don't be hard on yourself if you didn't manage to finish it before the due date. In this case, you can turn to PaperWritingService or your classmates for help.
4. Create a distraction-free environment.
Reading from your phone or tablet can be convenient because you don't have to carry a paper copy around. However, reading from a device that has access to the Internet means having a whole lot of distractions. A text message from your friend, someone liked your IG photo, a news article popped up, etc. And you are no longer focused and need to re-read the page. What is more, we tend to remember less when we are reading from the screen, not to mention that continuous exposure to the blue light hinders your sleep. The best choice would be a paper book; then you have e-readers, and, for the moments when the first two choices are not available, you can read on your smartphone.
5. Read a book about how to read books.
In 1972, philosopher Mortimer Adler and his co-author Charles Van Doren released a book called How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading. It quickly became a bestseller and is relevant to this day. It was featured in CNN's book of the week in 2018. Another great work on the subject is On Writing, written by Stephen King. It talks about storytelling, writing styles, how books are created, and how to understand them better.