4 ways to get the most out of books
“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn
In recent times, the internet (especially social media) has seen a rise in personal development education and content marketing, leading to a massive growth in the knowledge economy. It’s important that everyone who wants to achieve business growth, intellectual growth and personal development takes advantage of all the resources out there to learn, grow and build their life and business.
You probably want to read more so as to expand your knowledge on a certain topic, or your knowledge in general. Or maybe you want to be able to say “I love reading.”, or “Reading is my hobby.” Whatever your motives are, reading is an essential life skill to develop and it’s one of the most important habits of successful people, and it is also important for the brain.
Good news is, you already are reading. You daily consume a lot of written content on the internet, especially on social media. So it should be easy to get into the habit of reading.
If you want to read more but the task seems like an ordeal for you, we have put together a few tips that can help you start off your journey to becoming a reader, and help you cultivate a reading habit. We hope these are helpful for you.
- Understand that feelings follow actions.
A lot of times you want to do something, especially something that’s tedious such as exercising. And you wait to feel like doing it before you do it. More often than not, you never get into the mood for that activity. Or even if you do, you don’t get into the mood often enough to make that activity a habit. So, instead of waiting to feel like doing it, just do it whether you feel like it or not. Once you start, you get into the mood and your interest grows. So whether you feel like reading or not, just start reading!
- Define your reading goals (read with purpose).
You probably don’t want to read just for the sake of it. You have a reason behind your desire to read. It’s important to identify exactly why you want to read more. I’d advise you write them down.
It should look something like this:
Reading more will help me to…
- Improve on my English
- Become a better writer
- Expand my world view
Having a strong motivation for reading will ensure that you stay on course. See reading as a means to an end. See the person you are becoming as you read more. Don’t lose sight of what reading will help you achieve. Have the end in sight.
- Find content you enjoy
There’s nothing worse than reading something you have no interest in. It’s important that you focus on subjects that you enjoy reading. The more fun an activity is for you, the more likely you are to keep doing it. You should also determine whether you prefer reading books in hard copy or soft copy. Most people choose hard copy over soft copy because, they like to hold and feel a book while reading. If you’re not that conservative, there are so many books online that you could buy or download for free. Medium is a great online platform for readers and writers. You can sign up and read stories from different writers. You can also follow your favourite writers, journals and publications.
- Don’t just read, study
To make the most of your reading, you should highlight your favourite parts, take good notes and take pictures of the pages you love. Most importantly, apply what you learn from your reading and share your knowledge. All these will help you see the results of your “hard work” and motivate you to read more.
Although research suggests that one can form any habit in just 21 days, you need to be consistent. Habits take time to form. Be determined to arrive at your goals. Remove distractions. Lack of time is not an excuse. Utilise waiting times and time spent in commute. Join a book club. Find a reading buddy to keep you accountable. Do everything you can to nurture your new habit. And of course, have fun reading!