Good reading habits go a long way in shaping the character and knowledge of the reader. It helps him understand the happenings around the world and also the finer nuances of author’s point of view without spending too much time. In this article, we try to understand how to cultivate good reading habits and its implication on students who are appearing for competitive exams.
5 Tips for Cultivating Good Reading Habit
1) Start the habit of reading
As always with any habit, we have to first start the activity at some level. For reading, the starting could be any reading material which you enjoy. It could be newspaper, a magazine or a book whose topic interests you. Research says that typically it takes a minimum of 66 days to convert any regular activity into a habit. So, if you feel that things are not working out, please be patient and try new material.
2) Understand your daily routine
Some people are early risers and some are nocturnal. Irrespective of what your nature is, it is always suggestible to start reading during times when you feel energized. This really helps you to grasp the content with less effort. There are times when you feel not comfortable sitting for long duration of time. In such a case, start with any material and read in small chunks of 10-15 minutes. This should get you motivated and more focused.
3) Eat Books, Sleep Books and Drink Books
Start thinking about reading a book whenever you find time. The goal should always be to read 2~3 books simultaneously toggling between them depending on your mood. When you feel fresh, try non fiction stuff and start reading fiction material when tired out. Having an easy to carry e-book reader like Kindle will always come in handy and help you manage the reading time.
4) Tackling money and time constraints
Reading habit comes with cost of money and time. Planning properly reduce the money outflow as well as time wastage. There are various websites like Amazon and Junglee which offer used books at a marginal cost to that of original price. In metros and other cities, you find streets where old books are sold on pavement and in shops. You can always find a good bargain if your negotiation skills are good. Many classics are available online in websites like Archive.org and project Gutenburg. These should help you kickstart the reading habit at marginal cost. Keep an open mind on finding new ways to read the books at low cost.
5) Keep a track record
Setting a reading goal and having a record of list of your past reading activities will definitely boost the morale. This acts as oxygen for reading habit and motivates you to try different material and complete it in a given time frame. www.goodreads.com is an excellent website for keeping track of the books you read or intend to read. This has an exhaustive list of millions of books with user and critic reviews and key quotes from the book. You can also use Amazon watchlist for keeping a track of books which you intend to read.
1) News Papers: The Hindu, New York Times, Guardian
2) Economic Newspaper: Businessline, Economic Times, Financial Times
3) Magazines: India Today, Outlook, Forbes, Entrepreneur
4) Books to start with: Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, The Alchemist by Paul Coelho, Who says Elephants cant dance by Louis V. Gerstner, The One Thing by Gary Keller