We’re almost at the end of February, and while many of us have long since forgotten our New Year’s Resolutions, there is still plenty of time to add to your life. If you aren’t a reader, why not become one? Today. NOW! It’ll change your life in ways you can’t imagine.
We often hear suggestions as to how to “raise a reader”. Great ideas to get the young ones reading: talk about books, read a story before bed, read words everywhere, encourage them to read newspapers and magazines, reward great reading habits (with more books, of course!). So why is it that many adults don’t follow those ideas themselves?
I don’t have time to read.
I prefer to watch movies.
I’ll read when I retire.
These are all common excuses not to read. But when you think about the benefits of reading–stress reduction, entertainment, education etc.–it’s hard to understand why someone wouldn’t do it. Just like incorporating a new habit like eating better or getting exercise into your life, reading has to become a learned behavior as well. You probably shouldn’t start an exercise program by running a marathon. The same can be said for reading—-don’t start with War and Peace or you’re bound to give up.
So, if you really think you don’t have time to read, how can you change your behaviors to incorporate a reading lifestyle? Try a few of these ideas to get started. Then, before you know it, you’ll be going to the library and getting your own library card!
1. Start small. Only read the newspaper or magazines. Pick a favourite…something you’d like to read each week or each month…and get a subscription.
2. Read book reviews in those magazines or newspapers. Does anything sound interesting? Do you see yourself leaning toward biographies or self-help books more than the latest James Patterson thriller? Maybe you’re just a non-fiction reader! (That’s okay, too, you know! There are many great readers out there who never pick up a best-selling novel. )
3. Ask friends for recommendations. Or go to your local bookstore and ask someone for a good read. You can also drop by a library and pick a librarian’s brain for a while. If they’re smart, they’ll ask you what you enjoy reading. (You can say you don’t, of course.) Then, they might ask you what types of things you do in your spare time….hiking, crafting, cooking….and maybe they’ll steer you toward a great memoir. If they can’t determine what you might be interested in, walk around the store (or the library) and just “surf” the shelves. You probably don’t have any trouble doing this on the internet. Try it with real live books. You might stumble upon a favourite section.
Start small, read every day and before you know it, you’ll be the one telling your friends about “that great book”!