In this blog post, we talk about the benefits of reading, how to turn reading into daily activity and 6 strategies that can help you to read more.
7 changes you go through when you read more
The benefits that reading can bring, as a constant and sustained habit in our lives, are so frequently mentioned that, paradoxically, we tend to ignore them. Each of us probably knows what and how much he owes to the books he has read over time, even if he no longer realizes it when he makes the gesture of taking a new book from the library.
But it is a useful exercise in remembering all the gifts of reading in our lives. Let’s discover 7 changes that we can observe in ourselves when we start reading more.
- Your vocabulary will become richer. Enriching vocabulary through reading is a very effective and especially simple method because it does not require any effort. While we enjoy reading a novel we like, we retain new words and meanings in addition to the rules of correct writing.
- John Davison Rockefeller said that “an informed man is a strong man.” And at the same time, I would add, is a person who makes easier connections between various ideas and situations, more confident in her/his opinions, less scared by possible mistakes. One knows that it is not perfect, but always perfectible by accumulating new information to put into practice.
- Psychologists have long observed the ability to read to develop the empathic spirit. When we read, we often identify with the heroes of the novels, we live their experiences and emotions. Maybe I’ve never had the opportunity to travel to exotic places, to experience extreme adventures, to get to know civilizations on the other side of the world, but I did it through books.
- Reading helps us to become part of a cultural dialogue beyond the boundaries of time or space. We can, through books, communicate with the great minds of mankind who lived hundreds or even thousands of years before us and just as easily engage in “conversations” and exchanges of ideas with personalities belonging to other cultures and civilizations, to which we would have no other access.
- Reading helps us become more creative. The more our minds are “fed” with new information and are in contact with various perspectives on things, the more creativity is stimulated. The ability to make connections between the most unexpected ideas and situations, to propose ingenious solutions is more at hand.
- Books are not only faithful friends, who can help us with advice whenever we need, but also places where we can escape when we feel the need to escape reality. How many of us have not chosen to take refuge in reading in moments of sadness or disappointment? And how many did not feel more understood and relieved by going through a book in which it was described as if it were their own life experience?
- Reading is the surest way to define our own personality, to express the original way of being and thinking of each of us.
How to read more?
Countless articles offer revolutionary techniques to increase the pace of reading, guaranteeing that their exact follow-up will help you read even one book a day. In addition to their questionable viability, they ignore the main purpose of reading: combining a relaxing activity with a process of personal development.
Truth is, everyday life significantly restricts our time dedicated to hobbies. Moreover, it takes us away from activities whose unpopularity is constantly growing, such as reading. The latter is no longer considered a way to relax (Why read if there is Netflix?), or good for personal development (Why read when I can accumulate more information from a video on Youtube?).
Under these conditions, presenting the advantages of reading to a person who has never had this passion in order to determine its formation is, in most cases, an impossible mission. But what if the passion for reading was always inside of you, but it is not so strong anymore? What can you do to get back to reading and reading more?
- Read what you like
It is essential to get back on the reading path and to rediscover your passion for reading. A book of a favourite genre or a topic close to your interests is always easier to “digest”.
In this sense, an effective trick is to associate the main genre of movies and series watched with that of books read. Moreover, given the high number of film adaptations today, you can easily identify books that might arouse your interest.
- Change often the places where you read
Even if there are arguments about increasing reading productivity by associating it with a specific place, it is important to stay open to the possibilities. Read at the office, in bed, on the bus, on a bench in the park or on a street corner.
Never limit yourself to one place, for the simple reason that it allows you to reach the highest level of concentration. With a little training, you will be able to read almost anywhere.
- Take advantage of the downtime
Probably the most important way you can set aside more time for reading is to always be ready to read. The daily journey to work, college or school is one of the best times when you can advance a few pages in the book you are reading.
If you have a doctor’s appointment, always take a book with you. If your friends are late, then consume 10 more pages. Are you waiting for the water to boil for tea? Open the book. Do you think that the time you eat can be associated with another activity? Read!
- Restrict your access to technology
We already know all too well that our mobile phone, laptop or tablet are a waste of time. In addition, the first few minutes of reading are the most important. If there are elements that distract you when you start reading, this activity may remain at a level of intent. Read in instalments of at least 20-30 minutes and check social media during breaks between them.
- Ignore people
Even though most of us are aware of the harmful effect of technology on activities such as reading, we forget that it is often just a platform for social interaction.
Your best friend can survive a few hours without a conversation with you. Your group of friends doesn’t have to know what you do every day. The people on the bus aren’t that interesting. If you want to have a productive reading, you have to ignore those around you.
- Take constant breaks
Whether you are reading a physics thesis or Twilight, reading requires a high degree of attention. Recent studies show that people cannot maintain their concentration for so long, and this difficulty is accentuated by the elements around us that constantly distract us.
Therefore, it is important to take short breaks during reading, at reasonable distances. Depending on the interest in the book read, they should be in the range of 20 to 60 minutes.
- Consider reading during the week, not only on the weekends
I will read over the weekend is a statement that rarely proves true. Even if reading is mainly a relaxing activity, falling into the category of hobbies, it must become as natural as going to work, college or school.
Read on weekdays, even if you have a shorter time available and leave open the possibility to browse a few pages on weekends.
- Ignore speed reading tactics
The viability of quick read tactics is limited. Even if there is the possibility through repeated exercises to reach an impressive number of words per minute, these techniques eliminate the pleasure in reading and the structural elements of the book.
Even if the novel you are reading is not so complex, it stands out for its peculiarities. Its details and specific elements are sacrificed through speed reading tactics. In addition, the more you read, the faster your future readings will become.
- Read for the primary benefits, but also for the secondary ones
Books develop your vocabulary, imagination, knowledge. They bring a smile on your face or make you feel “goosebumps”. They wake you up to reality or introduce you to a world far from it. Countless direct benefits of reading are recognized, but sometimes the secondary ones are ignored.
When a Hollywood adaptation appears, you will always be able to argue why the book is better than the movie. You will have an impressive power over your friends, who will please you just so they don’t tell them what’s going on with their favourite character!
- Join a reading club
The social element remains important in reading as well. Even if you don’t have the opportunity to discuss your favourite books with your friends, there are online communities that gather enthusiasts from all over the world.
They give you the opportunity to track the progress of books, set annual goals, consult new authors, discover new interesting readings, and interact with people who have common interests.
6 “strategies” that will help you read a book faster
I have 6 “strategies” for you, which will help you finish the book you are reading or are going to read faster.
They are so simple that you can implement them today, and in a few days, you will already see the results.
- Read 40 pages daily. 40 pages, depending on the book, is the equivalent of 1h – 1h15 ′ to read daily. If you even manage to maintain this daily rhythm, in a week you will read 280 pages. It may not seem like much, but it’s certainly more than half reading a book or not reading at all.
- Read until you finish the chapter. This advice goes on the principle, once you start a thing, take it to the end, no matter how painful it is. Most people are not “finalists”, and before they face the hardship they capitulate. Even if you don’t remember what you read, you form a healthy habit of completing what you started.
- Read at the right time. You are reading in vain if you have more important things to do (whose deadline is pressing you) or if your mental state is not the most appropriate.
- Read a book that is useful to you now. I was talking to a friend on Facebook and he told me that after reading too much, you risk getting stuck in ideas and doing nothing. It’s true, reading must also be a moderate activity to have time to apply what you read. Hence my advice, read a book that is useful to you now and will increase the chance for you to do something practical based on it.
- Read a book that is easy to read. It’s hard to finish a book that is impossible to read. Or a book that everyone recommended to you, but you don’t seem to like it. Don’t force yourself… from the first 50 pages, you can realize that a book is worth reading or not.
- Read in a pleasant atmosphere. The atmosphere plays an important role because it helps you focus and detach yourself from what is happening around you. The atmosphere is specific to you, all you have to do is identify it and then take advantage of it.
FAQ on How to read more
How do you read more and more?
To read more and more you have to like what you are reading, to know when to take a break, and to understand the benefits of reading. Keep a list of the books that you are reading in physical format, e-books and audiobooks.
How many hours a day should you read?
It is recommended that you read 1 – 1.5 hours a day (or 40 pages). It may not seem like much, but it’s certainly more than half reading a book or not reading at all.
Why should you read more?
You should read more because of the incredible benefits of reading. Reading improves your memory, your vocabulary, it helps us become more creative. The more our minds are “fed” with new information and are in contact with various perspectives on things, the more creativity is stimulated.
How can I read more in one day?
A few tricks to read more in one day include to read at the same time, to make a habit out of it, to listen to audiobooks, to learn to take constant breaks and to make time to read during the weekdays too, not only on the weekends.
Is reading too much bad?
Reading too much is not bad, but reading too much can kill your productivity and sometimes disconnect you from reality.
How to Read and Why, by Bloom
Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity, by Tim Challies
Sharon, A. T. (1973). What Do Adults Read? Reading Research Quarterly, 9(2), 148.