In a former life I was an avid reader. It was kind of a part of the job. I did it for all sorts of reasons. For some reason the last few years have been a bit fallow for me on the reading front. Recently I decided to make a point of reading more as part of a new boring routine. Getting back into reading regularly made me think about the value of reading and who we can incorporate it into our day.
- READ. I know is a pretty obvious thing to say but just get down to reading. I promise you will be the richer for it. I’m not suggesting you kick off by reading any Dostoevsky but find something you enjoy reading, something that suits you. If you read regularly you will develop your own taste for what works for you. Once you get to that stage then you can move onto something that will stretch and challenge you. Reading expands your mind, informs you, fosters your imagination and it improves your written and spoken communication. What’s not to like?
- TAKE NOTES. I admit I’m not a Kindle kind of guy. I have tried but, when it comes to books, I am definitely an analogue guy. I can see the enormous benefits of a Kindle just not quite got there myself. I say this because for me taking notes in the margins is one of the joys of reading, particularly non-fiction, I have yet to to make a single note in any Dan Brown book. Notes help me to reinforce the message of a chapter or section. There are books I return to and review the notes to see if I have taken any action on that particular lesson or if what struck as profound on first reading is still valid. Whether you make notes in the margin, a notebook or on your Kindle always go back and review them. I usually do it when I have finished reading a book.
- SET ASIDE time to read. Most people’s excuse for not reading is they don’t have the time. If you don’t see reading as important then that’s likely to be the case. Make reading an important part of your day. Doesn’t have to be a long time. Set yourself a target. Reading is a part of my morning routine. I read a chapter a day of my current book. It’s amazing how quickly you can get through a book when you decide to make time for it. Add in the times when I read at opportune times and I can polish off a book in a week to ten days. Imagine doing that for a whole year. Imagine how much better informed you will be.
- SPEED READ. One of the best things I ever did was learn to speed read. I meet many people who say you can’t possibly read that quick you must miss loads. Yes, there are times when I miss the the odd sentence or paragraph but less frequent than you would imagine. There are plenty of techniques you can use to speed up your reading. Pop along to YouTube and search for How to Speed Read, trust me you will find hundreds of videos.
- RESEARCH. Stuck for something to read? Have a look around at what people are reading. Ask your friends or colleagues. I often ask on Twitter and LinkedIn for advice on what to read next. Doesn’t always mean I discover a gem of a book but most of the time it does. Many blogs compile list of the best books to read on a particular subject. While this is great and my primary source of new reading material don’t limit yourself to this. Browse an online book store or, even better, get along to a book shop. Find a few books that take your fancy and sit down and skim through a few pages.
Here is my recent reading list.
Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod – a book that has energised my life. Inspiring and lots of practical advice
Thanks for reading this blog, you see you can read. Happy reading. Do comment below and suggest any books you have read recently. It’s good to share. I don’t just read non fiction I always have a novel on the go I read this last thing at night to relax and switch off. Reading not just informative but therapeutic.@gordon4video