If you’re asking the question “how can I cultivate the habit of reading”, then you probably know the value of reading, and simply just want to know how to go about it.
Well, I didn’t like reading, and I doubt I do now. However, I have been able to cultivate the habit of reading nonetheless and now have read a few dozen books. So, I’ll be sharing my process with you.
I hope this piece shows you how to cultivate the habit of reading as well.
My story starts on the last day of December 2016.
HOW I GOT ADDICTED TO READING – How To Make Reading A Habit
It was on new year’s eve. I had just successfully downloaded an audiobook from Librivox.org
I had always desired financial freedom and I also had a strong respect and likeness for science, so my pick was the science of getting rich by Wallace D. Wattles. It was the perfect book for my kind of person (at least that’s what the title suggested).
I laid down and played the audiobook. It ran for exactly 2hrs, 8mins, and 9s. It played from 2016 to 2017 as it stretched past midnight into the new year. Relaxed, I listened as the reader gently voiced out the content of the book.
The knowledge from the book flowed like a river: gently and steadily the words carved out the author’s idea in my mind. It was as though he was speaking to me directly.
In silence as I laid on that bed on that January morning, I thought deeply upon what the author had said. He had dished out his experiences to me – all his errors and secrets. Each word tasted like honey to my mind’s palate and I enjoyed it.
Each chapter sank into my soul; they weren’t forced on me. In fact, I was the one craving it. It was like when a hen finds corn seeds scattered on the field – I couldn’t help relishing on the pages.
Later that January, I went on to download more audiobooks like the colors of space and Venus in furs. I greatly enjoyed them both. The amazing thing was that, although they were just books, I could remember the characters as though I had witnessed the events myself.
In the book the colors of space, for instance, I could picture myself in the alien spaceship traveling the nebula, visiting strange planets, and meeting strange creatures. And while listening to the book Venus in furs, I could see myself as that young man who fell madly in love with this beautiful lady – I could see myself in her arms, I could picture the kisses and even the pain, tears, sweat, and blood. It was like nothing I have ever experienced – the memories of those books were both real and surreal.A movie may tell and show you what happened, but a book translates you to the place and time Click To Tweet
The pattern continued, and I couldn’t stop. I explored more online libraries and came across numerous books rich in wisdom and experience.
Soon, my personality, beliefs, manners, vision, and values began to warp. I could not be the same person. I have lived the lives of multiple individuals within the stories I’ve read. I have been to places within and without the planet. I have had more than a human experience.
The thing is, the mind cannot differentiate between what is real and what is not. All the mind does is absorb information. And unlike movies, books trigger a deeper connection with the reality the author tries to portray or paint.
I can’t recall how many books I’ve read since then, but it has been a lot. As time went by and my appetite increased I switched over to reading the texts myself since the voices of the readers were affecting my perception of the story.
I made this shift because it had the advantage of enabling my mind mimic the voices of the characters in the books
I could hear the voices of grown men and the slurry speech of drunk boys. I listened to the high pitched voices of beautiful damsels and the melodious voices of divas. I flew past entire galaxies, created and destroyed universes at will, and lived a million years over and over again.
I could fly and breathe underwater. Everything was possible, even the past and future were accessible.
THE SECRET TO READING MORE AND ENJOYING IT
The secret to reading and enjoying it is having a hunger and thirst for it. It is in having a craving for knowledge and experience
Once you satisfy one of your ignorance with knowledge, you would seek to satisfy even another ignorance. Or you would desire to soak-in my experiences
Like they say, “the more I know, the more I realize I know nothing”"the more I know, the more I realize I know nothing" – Socrates Click To Tweet
Apart from the fun part, learning is very crucial for survival. Yet, unfortunately, books are like drugs: the people who need them most never really desire them.
Like I said I don’t really like reading, I just like its result/effect
“whoso neglects learning in his youth, loses the past and is dead for the future.”Euripides
This isn’t just about fairy tales: Eye-opening and life-changing ideas can be gotten from books.
You also get to live the life of a thousand people: you get to see their mistakes and secrets, learn from their successes and basically improve your life.
Okay, I’ll stop here.
…I think this is enough, because if you’ve read this far, surely opening a new book shouldn’t be much of a challenge to you.
My advice is
- If you aren’t enjoying the book, then dump it. Read what you enjoy reading – at least, for now. You’re still developing the habit, right?.
- Read with the intent to gain knowledge or experience – Let it be your little adventure
- Take notes, and try summarizing what you’ve read.
- Also, try starting with easy reads (i.e. books written in simple English or French, or whatever language you speak).
Developing a habit takes time. But, with constant practice, your stamina would increase, and then you can go long hours reading.
I’m an artist, writer, and thinker. I also love reading and playing chess.