Good to see that you are interested in reading. Many people get on this journey with various experiences. Some are new, some are retrying again after previous failed attempts while others are in it to move a level higher. Irrespective of what class you fall into, the truth is you have made one of the best decisions ever. I can feel that burning desire and excitement but I must warn that this more often than not it only ends up as what is called ‘the honeymoon drive’ where ae a short while, interest fade away and you return to whence thou came. This is what we must ensure we overcome together this time. Starting as a reader can seem very challenging and a daunting task. Without the necessary guidance and tips, it is often easy to abandon the course. Here are quick tips to help you succeed as a beginner reader and to sustain the tempo as you read.
- Have a Strong WHY:
Your WHY is the reason you want to read or to become better at reading. This WHY must and should be unique for you (i.e. you don’t pick a WHY because your friend or mentor says that is WHY they read) WHY can range from reading for leisure, reading to gain knowledge, reading to research specific information, and so on. With a STRONG WHY you are sure to have the constant motivation, to continually be interested, and to overcome distractions.
2. Prioritize Reading:
It is often easy to see reading as a side activity that should be given attention only when there is time to spare. However, this narrative is wrong and limits your ability to read consistently and become a better reader. To be an active reader you must place reading on your list of TOP PRIORITY tasks.
3. Beware of Procrastination:
Procrastination is you putting aside what priority task which may seem uninteresting for a less priority task that looks more interesting. For example, skipping reading for an online chat with a friend. As you begin your reader journey, you must learn the art of DOING. When it’s to read but you don’t feel like reading, JUST DO IT. The beauty is that after a short while whichever path you choose becomes the habit. (If you learned to JUST DO IT you keep doing it, but if you learned to PROCRASTINATE you keep procrastinating) so, now is the time to decide.
4. Overcome any Limiting Belief:
A large number of individuals struggled with reading at a younger age and this created a situation that they always feast on their past failings and struggles than relishing the power that is available to them now. The narrative is always, I never liked reading, I did poorly in reading class, etc. As you have decided to start reading, purge yourself of any limiting belief that may still hang around. Always remind yourself that every new day that comes is a new you with unlimited potential to succeed on your reading journey.
5. Read What Interest You:
The best way to improve your reading prowess is to become consistent with reading and one way to get consistent is to read books that capture your interest. When this is the case, you will rarely want to stop reading. It is tempting to want to read titles that may seem popular or recommended by people you admire however the main goal should be to read what will keep you glued and focused. Also, keep a TBR (To Be Read) list of books that interest you. This makes it easy to decide on the next title instead of gambling on what next to read.
6. Make Effort to Comprehend What you Read:
Nothing frustrates more than seeing yourself not understanding or getting what you are reading. Comprehension is a major challenge for many readers but to enjoy reading and want to read more, you must learn how to comprehend what you read. We find great motivation when we realize we know what we are doing.
7. Connect With What You Read and Find Insights:
To aid comprehension, creating a connection between what you are reading and yourself is very important. Put life into your reading, animate the entire idea, and make it seem as though you were watching a movie. Connection brings relevance and tells you that what you are reading are not just wide goose stories or accounts that holds not good for you. When you read find insights as well. What are insights? Insights are those thoughts that come from reading sounding very interesting to you and holds a reason for you to take action or to apply an idea. Discovering insights are the hallmark of reading because only through that you can find those WHAT’s that you need to apply for positive growth.
Yes, don’t read a book to the end and then dump it off. You must always seek to apply at least an idea from the book. The best way to approach this is to seek insights that either help you learn new things, unlearn old things that are now obsolete, or that help you connect ideas. Once you discover these insights, ask yourself how can I make this functional for me, what action do I need to take to make this discovery effective? Reading a book without actionable insights that you apply is like planting farmland and never going to harvest the end products.
9. Discuss or Share What You Read:
Tell others about what you read and also listen to them tell you how they feel about it. Write reviews and/or make social media post about it. The interest it generates will be another factor that helps you read more. The experience of these discussions will also help you preserve the central messages of the book you have read. Remember, how it always looks exciting to talk about a movie you have watched? That is how talking about the book you have read is.
10. Join Reading Communities/Groups:
Yes, reading alone does not make you a bad reader but joining a reading community and actively participating in it puts you a step ahead on your reading journey. You have support, there is a primary audience you can discuss with, there are individuals available to help serve as accountability partners, and also there will be tasks or goals that will spur you to keep up.
11. Create a Study Plan:
This is very important as a beginner reader. You should create feasible and flexible reading schedules, have a conducive reading environment/space (everyone can create an inexpensive reading space, that mentally supports their reading). Be sure about what time you read and be sure about where you read. Avoid reading in places that are full of distractions. While there will be times these can’t be constant, it however does help your body system adjust adequately to your reading program.
12. Be Disciplined and Accountable:
Discipline means you go as planned and don’t give cheap excuses not to. Accountability means you tell yourself you did great or bad when either of them occurs and administer the necessary reward or punishment. Great readers are disciplined and accountable because as a beginner reader there are many reasons why you should not read or why you should skip reading for the now.
13. Start Small:
Staring small means that you don’t overburden yourself more than you can cope with. Remember you are just starting and you need to move easy and gradually. There is no need to look at the statistics of others and feeling you should catch up overnight. You will only end up with burnout and kill off your reading zeal. Start with small paged books and less daily or weekly schedules. Remember the saying “Don’t run faster than you have strength”.
Hope you find them useful and succeed in your reading journey.
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