Are you looking to read more but find yourself easily distracted by social media or streaming platforms and just about everything else? Well, the good news is you can cultivate a great reading culture whether you are a newbie or an avid reader.

As an avid reader myself, I still find it challenging to concentrate and read a book to completion but as the saying goes, anything you set your mind to do, you will do it.

Learning the art of reading is pretty simple and I would like to share a few pointers that will propel you to be the reader you desire to be.

1. Start with a genre that will capture your interest.

Rather than running for a genre that does not captivate your interest at all, go for what gravitates towards you. If you are into fiction go for it, if it’s motivational books or autobiographies then start with those and for sure you will find the reading journey much easier.

2. Set your mind to complete a book.

To be honest, I have come across individuals who come from the school of thought that believe if you don’t like the book you are reading, then you don’t have to finish it. But I beg to differ. I believe you need to work at your reading muscle and plow through the book till the end. I encourage you not to throw in the towel. Push through the discomfort of reading a book that may seem ‘boring’ at the moment but you will be surprised how easy it becomes with time.

3. Schedule time to read.

The time that you select is all dependent on when your brain is most alert. If morning hours work well for you, then aim to read a chapter or two. For some, they prefer evening hours even as they wind down their day with a good read. The bottom line is to read at your most favorite time but aspire to read a chapter or two. As a disclaimer though, for new readers, I would advise you to avoid reading just before you sleep or in your warm blankets because you will probably wake up to find yourself on the same chapter that you were reading the night before!

4. Quantify the amount of reading done per day.

To grow your reading quota, decide on the amount of reading you would like to achieve per day or week. For example, you can decide that every day I will read for an hour, or I will read a chapter a day or five chapters per week. The concept behind all this is to train your brain to learn how to concentrate and grow your reading consumption.

5. Get a reading partner.

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9. This rings true in all spheres of life including your reading journey. Having a person who will keep you accountable even as you embark on becoming an avid reader will help you commit to finishing a book, probably discuss key pointers that stood out for you or get to exchange books that you have a similar interest in increasing your chances of reading more books.

There is a quote that says; “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader” and I would like to highlight the fact that we are all leaders in our different spheres of influence and this is why I feel strongly that we need to adopt the reading culture in our lives.  There are so many tips I can highlight when it comes to reading however, I encourage everyone to read a minimum of 5 books per year and slowly grow the habit of reading. It’s time we became a reading nation!

-Njeery R

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