Throughout my time in school, I hated reading and dreaded writing. I especially disliked writing about the things I was forced to read. Ironic, I know. I felt as if it was being forced down my throat and I was doing everything in my power to spit it out, I’m sure some of you can relate.
It was so bad for me that I am positive if you were to tell my 5 years ago self I would be reading and writing for fun, I would certainly laugh in your face and never talk to you again (no hard feelings).
But as I matured and started getting older, I became curious about how to make money without going to school and getting a degree. So as any 16-year-old kid would do, I looked it up on YouTube. I generally got good advice from the dozens of videos I watched, but in almost all the videos it would recommend reading a specific book on the subject.
That book was Rich Dad Poor Dad By Robert Kiyosaki. I bought the book and forced myself to read it.
I finished the book in 2 days, I was hooked.
Now three years later, I have read hundreds of books, and I won’t be slowing down anytime soon. I now consider myself a bookworm, because I spend hours every day devouring books.
I want to give 4 actionable tips on how you can become an active reader even if you grew up avoiding it at all costs.
Tip 1: Read what you love until you love to read — Naval
What are your favorite things to do? What are you interested in? For this example let’s say you are interested in history, more specifically you are interested in World War II. There are thousands of amazing books on World War II!
Soon, you will begin to expand the array of books you read. You will start to get interested in more things. Maybe you start by reading about the renaissance era. Then you get interested in Leonardo Da Vinci, Then you want to read about creativity and how the mind works. Reading should be getting sucked into never-ending rabbit holes.
Tip 2: Make time for it
Some of you may be telling yourself “I just don’t have time for reading.” I want to make it clear that that is a very limiting belief. I am sure if you checked your phone’s screen time app, you would see how much time you really have in your day.
If you want to start reading you have to make it a priority. Set a dedicated time for you to just sit down with any book of your choice and devour it!
As author Greg McKeown says in his book Essentialism “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”
I find a lot of truth in that. If you don’t set blocked out, protected time for reading you will always think you won’t have time for it.
Tip 3: Find a reading buddy
More often than never it is easier to do something you said you are going to do if (1) you told someone you would or (2) you are planning on doing that thing with someone.
So how do we apply this to read more? Well, there are several ways to do so. You can join a book club (online or in person). You can tell someone to hold you accountable for reading at least one book next month. And to take that a step further have them make sure you summarize the book to them at the end of the month.
Tip 4: Don’t be afraid to stop reading a book you don’t enjoy
I find that I enjoy and exceed in reading more books when I don’t force myself to finish every book I start.
I used to think that once I start a book I have to finish it, even if I start to gouge my eyes out.
A simple rule I would follow is if you have read at least 10% of the book and don’t seem to be interested still, then close the book and move on to the next.
I hope this gives you a little boost in motivation to start reading consistently and enjoy doing so.
Just remember to read what piques your interest and then do get sucked into one rabbit hole after another.