READING 101: How to Become a Reader

People often tell me that they are not readers and that they cannot finish a single book. Once they ‘fail’ at completing one book, they give up on reading and write themselves off as readers.

This leads them to believe that they are not readers by nature and that reading is something they could never do. This is a mistaken belief and I would like to challenge this misconception.

If you want to become a reader but feel discouraged, I implore you to give reading another chance. I would like to put forward a perspective, which you may not have thought of before. It might just change your mindset towards reading.

Think of it this way…

When you sit down to watch TV, you flick through many channels first. You watch a few minutes of each show until you find something that grabs your attention, and interests you enough to watch the full episode or movie. In the same way, you can apply this concept to books.

Just because you started reading a book, it doesn’t mean you have to finish it. If you are not enjoying the book and it feels more like a chore than a hobby, toss the book aside and try another one!

Everyone has their own preference when it comes to books, and there are plenty of genres out there to satisfy each person’s particular taste. Go out and find your genre! Find your favourite author! Try different books until you find what you fall in love with!

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Different strokes for different folks!

Often we choose books based on recommendations given to us by friends, celebrities or bestselling lists. It doesn’t necessarily mean that if someone else enjoyed a book, that you will too.

It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you if you don’t enjoy the books, which thousands of people have. I have read a number of bestsellers, which I hated!

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Read outside the box!

Don’t be afraid to be unique with the type of books you read. There’s nothing wrong with reading a book by a lesser known author. There’s also nothing wrong with bypassing some of the classics. Not all classics are for everyone.

Again, you got to keep trying until you find the ones that you can relate you. It doesn’t mean you are not smart or cultured if you haven’t enjoyed every classic ever written.

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Don’t force it!

As a beginner reader, you need to keep the momentum going once you start to read. If you force yourself to read something that you do not enjoy, your reading pace with slow down and you will eventually give up.

Rather move onto another book to keep the momentum going until you find the book, which engages you from beginning to end.

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Guilt-free reading!

Don’t ever feel guilty about not finishing a book. You wouldn’t feel guilty for flicking the TV channel away from a movie that bores you. You wouldn’t feel guilty for quitting a series mid-way because the episodes grew dull and no longer entertained you.

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Walk before you run!

If you are still feeling intimidated by reading, I have one more suggestion for you. Start with smaller books. Perhaps try short stories, blogs and magazines before diving into novels. Also try light reads like romance and mystery novels, before attempting literary fiction and classics.

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I hope that you are now feeling ready to give reading a second chance. I really do believe that reading is for everyone. Anyone can be a reader, with the right book in hand. The literary world is an amazing place to be and it would be a pity for anyone to miss out on it.

I strongly recommend you keep trying if you haven’t yet found yourself in love with books.

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5 thoughts on “READING 101: How to Become a Reader

  1. I once read an article that pointed out the impossibility of living long enough to read all the good books there are. It was kind of depressing at first, but it definitely freed me from the notion that I HAD TO finish any book I started. Why waste precious reading time on something that doesn’t move you or hold your interest? I am mostly drawn to characters over setting or even plot, so if I find myself with a book full of characters I find unsympathetic … I just don’t care what happens to them … I give it away and start another one.

    A work acquaintance once came to me and said he’d noticed that I always had a book on my desk. His son was having trouble with reading and he wanted to know how he could get the boy to read more and maybe learn to like it. I gave him pretty much the same advice you offer here. Find him books about whatever on earth interests him. They’re out there! Does he like sports, animals, outer space? Get him books on subjects he cares about and he’s more likely to read them. Dad moved on to a better job at another firm, but I hope my advice helped!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your message Stephanie. I couldn’t agree more. I always say, “Life is too short to waste on books you don’t enjoy because there are too many good ones out there to miss out on!” I also hope the dad kept trying with his son 🙂

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