Reading is the way of the learned.

We are shallow because we don’t read. I go to the hospital on occasion — the long corridor is filled with people staring into the cosmos. It is only I who have brought a book or a magazine. In Japanese cities, in Korea — in the buses and trains, young and old are reading, or if they are not holding books and magazines, they are glued to their iPhones where so much information is now available.

In these countries and in Western cities, the bookshops are still full, but not so much anymore because the new communications technologies are now available to their masa. How I wish my tiny bookshop or any Filipino bookshop for that matter would be filled with people. I’ll make an exception here: BookSale branches are always full because their books are very cheap. But I would still ask: what kind of books do Filipinos buy?

– F. Sionil Jose, The Philippine Star

***

My utter fluctuating habit in reading (I hope not to the point of disinterest) because of my short attention span was called to attention when I read this particular part from Mr. Jose’s article. Though I’m still glad I regularly read short snippets every time I have the moment to stop, flip a page (or click a link) and read away, it’s really bothering how reading has become repulsive to some.

Reading now: House Rules by Jodi Picoult in the morning, and Arena Homme + in the night.

I still think reading is the habit of the learned. And I am in a battle to fight disinterest in reading. And so should you! So here are some tips that I got from friends and the ever-helpful interwebs to help cultivate in us a habit of reading:

  • Set a realistic goal. Like, when to finish a certain book for a certain amount of time. This is an important first step if you are training yourself for a lifestyle of reading. It gives you some kind of sense of direction.
  • Pick up that book/magazine/e-book/any reading material.Because It all starts with one thing.
  • Keep focused. The problem with everything being so fast, is that we lose our focus along the way.
  • Keep the phone, the iPad, or anything that may distract you from reading. Reading requires a lot of focus. Take it from the almost self-diagnosed ADHD blogger writing this post.
  • If you have excellent focus or if it helps you to, then you may use music. Personally, I am in inconsistent conflict with this.
  • Read snippets, like a chapter, or an article, everyday. This will train your attention span.
  • Set a definite time of the day for reading. Like for me – I have my mornings and before bedtime. It is a habit that needs to be formed, so one needs a consistent time of doing it.
  • Have your corner for reading. The setting you are in must be conducive for focus and flow. My conducive setting is while on the way to the office. There is something with a ride that makes me  read.
  • Have someone to read with. It does not necessarily mean that you need to be physically with each other, but knowing that someone is doing the same thing with you makes it more fun. You can even put up a book club if you like.
  • Do not be disheartened if you cannot read as fast as somebody can. It doesn’t matter how fast you finished, but how much learning you incurred in doing so. 
  • Lastly, make sure you enjoy what you are doing/reading. After all, reading, and learning for that matter, should be fun.

There you go, some tips that I picked up from several reading endeavors. As you can see, mostly of my tips are on how to focus while reading. I think it is the most difficult part, and therefore should be trained – especially for people like me. It can get frustrating (I attest to this) but the good thing is, we can always train ourselves. There are a number of ways to get into reading. All we have to do is to pick up that book and flip through the pages.

Go now and read away, kids! And feel free to share your reading/focus/book/whatnot tips below. Who knows it can help a fellow reader.

P.S. I remembered The Traveling Reader while doing this post! Check out her blog as well for book recommendations and reading tips!

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2 responses to “Reading is the way of the learned.

  1. Since elementary, My parents as well as relatives taught me to read three stories a day and sometimes at least 3 novels in a month… and each month the number of the books the I am reading keeps progressing.. I didnt got the track of how many novels, stories and books that I’ve read but I do know for a fact that reading is the greatest way to learn :D

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