"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." — Benjamin Franklin
Having thoughts on reading more? Reading for many has been ruined by summer assignments and school in general. Voluntary reading is often not promoted in schools, which doesn't allow people to see the beauty in it. Modern entertainment can also make books seem quite boring in comparison. The good news is that it is never too late to start reading more, and here is something to read to get started.
Note: Motivation is usually unexpected, so do not get upset if you have trouble getting into it. I got into the habit simply from boredom, and it showed me all the available blocks of time in the day.
The first time I found time to read during a work schedule was during my first job at a hardware store in high school. I was given 15-minute breaks, twice a day. During that time I was able to read on my phone, which allowed me to read one book a week. This is when I first discovered gaps of time that could be used to read or simply spend time off of the phone.
How do you find the time to read?
Well, considering how much time we actually have in the day, there are quite a few options. The day can feel short, but you will realize a few hours is a big gap. For example, I was commuting for 20-30 minutes (each way) during a summer internship. This gives me up to an hour a day to read on the bus, which could be easily wasted on Instagram. Most people are in this situation, but in the case you are not, here are a few more opportunities:
- Workout - some find their reading best while on a stationary bike
- Morning - best after a morning workout, but just as good with a cup of coffee
- Lunch - using a device (e.g., Kindle) makes it less of a mess while eating
- Worktime - if it doesn't bother, audio books is also a good option when you have too much to do
- Bedtime - if you can't fall asleep, this will put you right to bed
But how do you find books you will actually enjoy?
It can be difficult to find books you enjoy, especially considering how many there are now. The best way is to simply go to a bookstore or library and browse what subjects interest you. Read the first couple pages and you can often tell if it is worth your time. Asking store staff or friends can also be beneficial, but I found the best books show up when given time and the drive to find them. If you don't like a book, you do not need to finish it and you can just move onto the next...
Here are a few books that I have been reading/have read recently:
- A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
- The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
- Sherlock Holmes - Volume I by Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl Jung
If you would like to see more on the topic, YouTube has provided a plethora of videos on reading habits. Here is a video that he posted on building a reading habit:
So what are the benefits?
Sure, you can learn some things and look more sophisticated on the bus, but what are the other benefits? Well, reading has had effects on me that are quite noticeable and science has found positive results. The main change that I have noticed is in my focus and attention span. I do not feel that I get distracted or foggy minded as easily, since reading is a task that takes time and more long-term focus. I have also found that I am less tired throughout the day. Instead of staring into a screen on the bus, I am staring at a piece of paper. This is a similar effect and reason I use a typewriter. Although these are not scientific observations, it is important to experiment for yourself.
You will be shocked at the time you can find to read and the benefits will show themselves the more you do so. At the end of the day, your efforts are up to you, but history has shown us the power in reading.