At first “Self-quarantine” didn’t seem like a bad idea, we all had some Netflix shows to catch up with, we were looking forward to getting some rest and it all seemed like a break we deserved. But, almost after three weeks into this, we are probably starting to go a little crazy and developing cabin fever. From the looks of it, we might be in this much longer than expected.
It may seem like we are caught up in this perpetual cycle of work-from-home and work-at-home, but if we try to change our perspective, this period can actually be a blessing in disguise. It’s a crucial choice to make: Either be a magnet of sad and dull thoughts or turn the tables around and embark on a journey of self-improvement. And I feel the best way to sane-tize your mind is through reading.
This habit will not only expand your knowledge but also – update your vocabulary, improve your focus, enhance your imagination, reduce stress, and even help you deal with Dysthymia and Depression. There’s literally nothing to lose and everything to gain. At times finding the motivation to read can be a task. To help you out with that, through personal experience, I have collected a few tips and tricks that encouraged me to read when my motivation went for a stroll.
1️⃣ Give it time: Not every book you read is going to be a page-turner from the start. The best example I can give is: watching a series; the first few episodes are most likely to be a drag. But you give it time, right?! The same applies to a book. Allow the author to introduce their world to you; let the book grow on you.
2️⃣ Bring back bedtime storytime: Remember how much we loved bedtime stories? There is a reason behind it. According to research conducted by Neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis – Reading before bed helps reduce stress by more than 60%; it’s even better than drinking coffee, going for a walk, or listening to music. Moral of the story? Stop switching between the same three apps until you are dead tired, and sleep consumes you; instead, read a little. It will help you relax and sleep better.
3️⃣ Stop with unrealistic goals: An unrealistic goal will require an unrealistic plan which will end up consuming a lot of your time and energy. Your inability to execute that plan will lead to disappointment. In time, failure will become your weapon of excuse. Stop this crime from happening by setting smaller and achievable goals – this will give you a sense of accomplishment, and that feeling of achievement will encourage you to read more. Exercise like such can be implemented anywhere, and it will work in your favor.
4️⃣ Keep a track: This is my personal favorite practice. Tracking your progress helps you declutter your thoughts and plan your activity accordingly. Use our in-house BookWritten app to track your reading journey. Other features include – the ability to create a database for all the books you have hoarded (guilty as charged 😝) or/and want to read and you can also set a reading goal for yourself.
5️⃣ Trial and error: “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” – Haruki Murakami. Think of reading as an escape from your stressful life. The minute it feels like a chore, you should drop it. Don’t read books because it’s one of the bestsellers or because everyone is reading them, read solely because it interests you. Life is simply just too short. Anything done forcefully never yielded a good result. Just like music – try different genres, find your jam, and it will be a piece of cake post that.
6️⃣ Any format is A-okay: People who say only physical books count as reading deserve to be locked in the Prison of Azkaban. Audiobooks, e-books, and physical copies – ALL COUNT as reading. Audiobooks are the best if you have a lot of chores to finish and don’t have much time to sit and read. To help us get through difficult times, Scribd has blessed us with a one-month free membership on ALL BOOKS without asking for any credit/debit card details. Go check out their profile, you should be able to get the link there. Thank us later.
7️⃣ Join a community/group: There are loads of groups available online where you can find like-minded people. This will help you a lot if you want to become a voracious reader and discipline your reading habits. Another suggestion is to follow some popular bookish hashtag(s) and some bibliophile accounts on Instagram. Via these Bookstagram and Booktuber accounts, I have found some fantastic gems which I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. It’s one of the best things the social media world has done for readers. You can also join our exclusive BookWritten community on Facebook.
8️⃣ Let the books out: If you like reading physical copies, always keep two or three books outside on a shelf, on your nightstand, or somewhere near you instead of putting it inside a drawer. That way, it will be in your subconscious mind, and your guilt will push you to pursue to pick up the book. Once you are done reading those, replace them with other books.
9️⃣ Read read read: It is like me telling you to breathe breathe breathe. For every one hour spent aimlessly scrolling through the internet, read for 20 mins and, with time, witness the change in your reading habits. It does not matter what you read; just read. Use apps like Google Books or Amazon Kindle to read free samples, this will help you understand the author’s style of writing, and you can evaluate if the book is worth reading.
So what are you waiting for? Start reading. I hope this was helpful. Happy reading, folks!
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I have no shelf control when it comes to book hoarding. Cracking lame puns is my thing (clearly). Animals over humans any day. I can read while walking, what’s your superpower?