A few days ago a friend had waggishly advised me to go and read Tales by moonlight if I was looking for a story on her Twitter TL.
A few hours later, another friend posted on her Facebook page that she read a CEO is required to read roughly about 30 to 60 books a year and challenged book lovers to make suggestions that could put her in the right direction. I quickly suggested amazon audible which has helped me read at least a book each week for the past 10 months.
We can all agree that nothing beats the good old print. However, with the amount of information available to us in a digital world characterized by shallow skimming rather than deep diving, one can hardly find the time to settle down and read a book. But the importance of reading books cannot be overemphasized. As a matter of fact, it has become even more essential considering the amount of misinformation on news and social media sites.
Well, part of my reason for setting up this site is to encourage and promote a reading culture. So I decided to do a little media research using a combination of qualitative and quantitative content analysis to come up with some tips that could increase your reading rate. Thank me later!
1. Make a decision to read more. I assume you read because you are reading this..lol..now start with making that commitment to read more and challenge yourself to do it diligently. There are plenty of distractions out there but they can be ignored and time spent on them used for reading. Studies have shown that reading is more neurobiologically demanding than processing images or speech, it helps better in developing your brain unlike watching TV which is largely passive and not intellectually demanding. You can make the task even more exciting by co-opting a friend to make it a contest, but read, it is the most retentive method of acquiring knowledge.
2. Always carry a book along. It’s an agelong method that remains evergreen. I learned this in my secondary school from a friend who was a year my junior. The boy always had a book on him, in his bag if we are going home for the weekend, in his back pocket if we are strolling to campus 2 where we usually go to waste time. I have read that Stephen King the best-selling thriller author who credited his amazing success to reading usually takes a book along to watch baseball games. So there are hidden minutes everywhere and in most activities we partake in, steal some of that for reading because they sum up to a lot.
3. Create a quiet corner. Find a quiet corner in your home and make it your library. Distractions are normal and can’t be eradicated completely but you can reduce them by doing this. Remove the TV and mute your phone, you can create the enabling sound depending on your choice. Some play classical music from Mozart or Beethoven while I prefer natural sounds like chirping birds on a calm spring morning. There are many sites that provide lovely noise. My favourite is https://www.noisli.com/ but there are others like http://rainycafe.com/ and https://simplynoise.com/
4. Quit boring books. Yes, you have to learn to quit boring books. I mean it’s a task you gave yourself and not some punishment that must be carried out. I enjoy reading books on the topics I find interesting like philosophy, politics, and thrillers. You will hardly find me reading Silhouette Romance. So read what interests you and if you find a book boring midway, drop it and pick up another.
5. Use audiobooks. Like I mentioned earlier amazon audible has helped me read many books. I also discovered the wonderful Blinkist, an app that summaries many bestselling books. It gives you the juice. Oftentimes I just relax in my backyard at night sipping a cup of tea and listen away. Sometimes when I’m on transit at the airport I just find a quiet corner and play my audiobook. I no longer worry about long layovers since I started using audiobooks. You can listen to a book that will take the whole day to read in a few hours. If you need to take notes by all means press pause and jot down the points.
6. Learn to speed read. Though we naturally skim through books by reading the summary and table of contents to know the interesting chapters we should dwell on but if you learn the right technique and practice regularly the speed reading will surely reduce the time spent on a book by a half and you will still get a good grasp of the entire message. The video below will show some speed reading techniques.