“The greatest gift is the passion for reading.
It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites,
it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind.
It is a moral illumination.” — Elizabeth Hardwick
Reading is a passion. Reading is a hobby. Reading is a habit. Reading is a skill. Once you get hooked to reading, the time spent on reading books will become your favourite activity. Like any other skill, reading habit can also be improved. There are no hard and fast rules to improve reading habits. Every reader has his/her own way to improve this habit.
Make yourself Comfortable :Reading improves concentration. Also concentration is needed while reading. So whenever we are reading any books we should make ourselves comfortable in a chair or on our bed so that we can concentrate on the book we are reading. We should cherish the content we are reading and for that to happen it is important that we are choose a comfortable position for ourselves. I personally prefer to lay on an easy-chair or rest my back on a pillow in bed and then read. I am not saying that sitting or laying the most comfortable position as it can vary from person to person. I have friends who stroll while they read. Just make yourself comfortable while reading.
Buy books with pictures : If you are new to reading and find yourself lost in the ocean of words then prefer to buy books which have some pictures or pictorial representation of the story or the content you are reading. Basically the pictures will give you a brief idea about the content of the books. Your natural inquisitive nature will tend to know more about the pictures and as a result you will start reading and as you read you will try to relate the contents to the picture. This will also help you to improve your imagination skill.
Read Regularly : Like any other habit it is important that you should read regularly to improve your reading skill. If you are very disciplined then you can make a routine and allot one hour of time every day for reading books. If you do not have a regular routine schedule then try to read at any moment. Don’t always depend on story books for improving reading habits. If you are very busy or have a hectic schedule, try to read the entire newspaper every morning. This will not only help you to improve your reading skill but will make you aware of the current affairs and increase your vocabulary.
Read aloud : I have personally felt that sometimes when our concentration is low, then after reading a paragraph I realize that I have not understood the meaning of paragraph. When you are improving your reading skill, it means that you are reading fast and also understanding the meaning of the sentences at the same time. You should not revisit the lines to understand the lines. But it do happens that due to low concentration or tough vocabulary, we have to read the paragraph more than once to understand the meaning. In this scenario, I would personally prefer to read the sentences ALOUD. Actually when we read silently, we read faster than usual. But when we read aloud, we pause and read a bit slow. This helps our brain to understand the meaning. Reading aloud does not mean that your neighbours can hear you but you can murmur the sentence in your own.
Buy books : To improve the habit of reading it is important that you should improve your habit of buying books.
Gift Books : Remember that books are one of the finest gifts you can give. Neither do they wear away nor do their value depreciate. With time value of a book increases. When I was a kid, I used to gift my friends books with my pocket money. I used to buy the books a week before the occasion. I used to read the book before wrapping it in gift paper. Now whenever I buy books as gifts, I prefer to buy 2 books so that I can have a copy for myself .
Set Target : When reading books, you can set a target for yourself seeing the number of pages to be read. Gradually you can increase your target and judge your improvement.
Visit Library : Be a member of the local library. Visit atleast once on a week. You will get diversified books in library. This will help you to choose from varied range of topics and you can find out the topic which interests you the most.
Always have a book around : Try to have a book around you always. If you have any waiting time during any work, try to read a few pages from the book. I personally keep a small short story book in my hand bag. When I am in a taxi or flight, I try to complete atleast a story. Reading books while travelling shortens my journey. I don’t feel that I am travelling for a long time. I also read while cooking. Sometimes when we are boiling or frying or making gravy, we have 10-15 min of free time. I try to read the newspaper during this time. Newspaper have articles ranging from 5 lines to 500 lines. Depending upon the time you are free while cooking you can choose what to read.
A good reading habit can become an addiction which will enhance your knowledge, vocabulary, concentration, IQ, analytical skill and once you have mastered this skill you will never complain about loneliness.