Steps to encourage reading
1. Always have a book around
Don't go anywhere without reading material. Always have something
like a magazine or short stories book in your briefcase or bag to read.
Keep a book(s) by your bed. Having things available makes it easier for
you to steal otherwise lost moments.
2. Set a reading goal
Encourage the reading habit in your children from a tender age.
Picture by Saman Sri Wedage
Determine how much time you want to spend reading, or how many books
you want to read over time. Your goal might be a book a month, one per
week, or it might be to read 30 minutes a day. Start out with something
attainable but still a stretch. As your habit builds, you might set
higher goals. Setting a goal is the first step towards reading more.
3. Keep a log
Keep a list of the books you have read, or keep track of how much
time you read each day. You might keep these lists in your journal,
computer or your day planner. It doesn't matter where you keep it, just
4. Keep a list
Make a list of things you want to read in the future. Ask your
friends and colleagues what they are reading. Watch for recommendations
in the newspaper and magazines. Once you start looking for good books,
you'll find them everywhere. This is a great way to keep your enthusiasm
up. By knowing what great stuff you want to read, you will reinforce
your reading habit.
5. Turn off the television
Many people say they just don't have enough time. Television is one
of our major time consumers. Make your television watching more
conscious and less habitual. There is nothing wrong with watching
television shows you really enjoy. Where the time gets lost is turning
it on, and scanning to find "something to watch." Those are the times to
turn it off and pick up your book!
6. Listen when you can't read
Use your commute and other time spent in the car to listen! There are
great audio versions of all sorts of books. Whether you want to 'read'
fiction, the latest self-help or diet book, it is probably available on
tape. Don't get locked into the idea that you have to read it -
listening to the book still gives you the experience, ideas, and
imagination that reading a book can.
7. Join a reading group or book club
Reading groups typically meet once or twice a month to discuss a book
they have all decided to read. Committing to the group provides a bit
more impetus to finish the book, and gives you a great forum for
discussion and socialization around the book's themes.
8. Visit the library or bookstore
You have your list, right? So you'll have some ideas of what you are
looking for when you walk in. But there is more to be gained by walking
through places where books reside than just to make a transaction. Take
time to browse! Let your eyes find things of interest. Let serendipity
happen. Browsing will feed your mental need to read, and give you plenty
of new things to read.
9. Build your own strategy
Decide when reading fits your schedule. Some people read first thing
in the morning, some before bed. Some decide to read as they eat their
lunch. There is more to your strategy than just timing. Make your own
decisions about reading. It is ok to be reading more than one book at
once. It is ok to stop reading something before you finish if it isn't
holding your interest. It is ok to skim the book, getting what you want
or need, without reading every page. Determine what works best for you,
develop your own beliefs and ideas-then make them work for you.
10. Drop Everything and Read
DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) is my last piece of advice for you.
Do it. Just get started. Make it DEAR time. Now!