I look around at my multiple books that I have started yet not completed, the plots twisting with one another… hazy and not quite there. I feel one thing: REGRET.
Why I feel the need to start multiple books before I have finished one is beyond me. I don’t know how to stop but what I do know is how it all started.
Cause: School texts
Yeah, thats right, my school did this to me. Assigning to me books I wasn’t particularly interested in often stood in the way of my leisurely reading. I haven’t chowed through the books I wanted to read this year, due to the 10 other books I will be tested on during exams. And unlike many school students… I don’t spark notes the text until after I have read it completely. I am multitasking my reading to the ultimate core. I am juggling between a book that has been sitting in my shelf for MONTHS and a text that my report card depends on.
WE ALL HAVE THINGS TO DO!
No matter what age, our lives consume us to the point that free time is something we rarely see and even if we do, its filled with pointless Facebook scrolling or a well-deserved nap.
So how do we read faster, more effectively and still fit in our school texts, our homework, our careers, family, social media and other responsibilities?
Read every day, even if its just a few pages.
My parents hate the fact I read at the dinner table. But sometimes its the only time I get to actually sit down and get through a couple of pages. Even if its at night before you sleep, on the toilet, at the dinner table,while you’re on the bus… read something, anything!
This sounds stupid and I assure you it is, but for some reason when I block everything from everywhere, I somehow find I have so much time. My attention span is minimal and social media and my laptop serve as good distractions yet takes up most of my free time. Once I realise I can block these sites from my computer, my schedule suddenly frees up for a few hours of solid reading time.
Trick your family
Ok.. look.. we have all done this before but tricking your family into thinking you’re doing something extremely important can sometimes lay them off your back for a while. No nagging parents, no screaming children. Just you and your lovely hardback book. I usually go with the “I have an assignment” ploy but some other ideas are: having exams, having a presentation, this book is a school text, I have a work meeting etc.
Reading with others or using Audiobooks
Usually when you have a bookclub, your reading almost feels like an obligation. You’re letting people down if these pages aren’t read! Even if its not a bookclub, if you and your partner or friend have a set time to just sit and read, you both will find that you won’t get distracted by switching on your notifications. Using audiobooks often help with the whole effort of turning pages but I have to admit they are really easy to fall asleep to.
For the love of god, finish your book before you start a new one
I am a hypocrite. I preach a life I only aspire to live up to. I have the awful habit of starting a new book every time my mood changes. This will definitely lead to less effective reading and a lot of forgetfulness in terms of plot, characters and heaps of confusion.
Follow these tips if you want to be a better reader than I, and maybe one day will I learn to listen to myself.