Monday, December 26, 2005

Getting back into reading

For 2005, my three new year resolutions were to learn French, to learn the guitar, and to read as many books as possible.

Well, I didn't get started on French (though I did go to France once). On the guitar front, I almost bought one - actually went as far as the shop, and then....somehow never followed up.

But I did read a lot of books - more than a dozen.

And along the way, I found a few tricks that got me back into my reading habit. Here's what works for me:

Get the cable out of your bedroom:

Well, ideally you should get the TV itself out - but that can be too traumatic !

I've found that just getting the cable out is enough. You can still watch the DVD movie or show when you feel like it, but you are protected from the mindless channel surfing that sucks out your time and brain cells at the same time.

Get a bed-side lamp:

Imagine this, you're finally relaxed after a long day and you are actually in the mood for a good read.

But you are already in bed when you get the urge.

Are you going to get out of bed to turn on the lights ? and who is going to turn the lights back off when you are done ? No, no, no - laziness always wins and you surrender. Get a good lamp and you will find yourself reading at the best time - when you are finally done with the day and ready for something soothing.

Get some book-marks:

OK, this will sound trivial but it can really make a difference. Once you start a book, you sometimes don't get the time to get back to it for a few days. Then, when you get back, you spend some time looking thru it looking for the place where you left off. At times, you get so irritated looking that you just give up.

A simple bookmark will ensure that when you are in the mood to read, you can dive right in.

Don't fall into the one-book-at-a-time trap:

I used to do that a lot. Would start a book and then not buy another one, or start another one till I was done reading it.

That never did work - I would linger on with some books for months, waiting to finish them before I could start a new one. But then I figured if I can be watching multiple shows, if I read multiple courses at school, why not read multiple books in parallel.

Books have moods. Sometimes you want to read one thing and sometime you feel like another. Go with the flow. Think of books as your remote control. I now generally have 2 or 3 books on my side-table (all bookmarked of course!) and I just select one and start reading as the mood takes me.


Of course, with all of these tips the basic ingredient is that you must love reading in the first place but simply haven't gotten round to it. Still, with so many books on so many subjects, you are bound to find something you like.

Now if only I could figure out how to get started with a guitar.....

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