What a strange title!
Reading a book is easy! Assuming you know how to read, you open the thing, and you start mentally pronouncing the words inside. After a while, you reach the end.
Alternatively, if you have a Kindle, you scroll and swipe instead of turning the pages.
It’s the essential thing to do honestly… or is it?
Lately, I’ve been noticing some weird things going on. I see people reading a page and then stopping, talking while reading, listening to audiobooks and reading while having lunch or on the bus.
See, all these things are perfectly fine. I’ve done all of them. BUT!
Since the internet came along and made books available everywhere, I feel we’ve abandoned the intimate experience of actually reading.
The Art Of Reading: Time. Environment. Mood.
Yes, it’s art! In this world where everything happens fast and erratically, the ability to properly indulge yourself with a good book is rare.
It’s more important than ever to do just that. Follow my (tried and tested) methods and see yourself falling in love with reading again
You have to set at least an hour where you’ll sit down and focus. Of course, it shouldn’t be forced or anything, but instead of half-reading, half-watching a movie, commit!
Focus on the reading material. Immerse yourself in the world and ideas the writer took time and effort to present you. You’re looking into someone’s soul and mind.
You get to see things they only reveal in the book you’re holding. They deserve your attention!
And, once you finish your hour?
Sit there for a few moments and let your mind calm down. If the book you’re reading is any good, you’ll feel relaxed, intrigued and motivated!
You can’t read when there’s chaos around you or when your mind is occupied with 100 different things!
Find a quiet place. Ideally, you want to create a reader’s nook in your house.
In my place, I have a comfortable chair, a small table, and a bright reading lamp. It’s right next to my library, so it’s like a small, cozy room!
My friend has her corner right under a window. Being close to the “turbulent,” outside the world while reading in peace, creates a contrast that makes reading that more enjoyable.
However, you can go beyond that:
Decorate your space, make it inviting.
Add a few paintings.
Alternatively, you may take a minimalistic approach. Dedicate a part of your house for reading.
In my old apartment, I used to have a spare room that was empty. So, I took a chair, put it in the middle, and started reading. It was a transcendent experience.
No matter what you choose, remember: You must have plenty of light!
The last (but most important) element.
When you’re out all day, working, taking care of errands, having a social life, by the time you return home, all you want to do is watch some Netflix and go to bed.
You want to chill and at this point feels like a chore, but it doesn’t have to!
1) Grab a drink and some snacks
I like whiskey or wine alongside some cheese and crackers. Pretty basic stuff, I know!
However, the act of pouring me a drink and cutting the cheese creates a ritual that immediately gets me in the mood.
After a couple of sips, I am relaxed and ready to dive in my favorite book, comfortable, and free of any obligations. It’s like meditation!
When I was reading the Lord Of The Rings, I always enjoyed classical music. The 100+ pages when the fellowship was in Moria is filled with notes of Wagner from the “Rings of Nibelungs.”
It doesn’t have to be very loud but enough, so it blends with the material you’re enjoying.
Some other choices are:
Soundtracks from movies.
Everything will work honestly (even heavy metal!). Just put on your favorite songs, and they will enhance your experience!
3) Read with company
You don’t have to read the same book at the same time but being able to talk about an incident or what message the writer tries to communicate is invaluable.
You’ll see writing from a fresh perspective, plus you’ll feed off from each other’s passion about reading.
Yup, you read that right!
Honestly, this should be #1.
Writing will fundamentally change the way you read books and the level of appreciation you have for writers.
This is how it works.
Writing a few hundred words per day, perhaps a journal or even a short story, will make it easier to absorb and understand ideas in the written form.
You’ll notice the little things, the nuances that make a good book great!
Also, most importantly, writing structures your mind and helps you get rid of the “garbage.” You will become thirsty of new knowledge and exciting information!
If you follow the above, you’ll find yourself yearning for more hours to read. Most importantly, you’ll start reading with a purpose.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” – George RR Martin
Make those few hours of peace and quite count. Enjoy the process. The experience of reading should be as fun as the reading itself.
Of course, a good book never waits for perfect conditions. It wants to be read anywhere, anytime. So, keep that in mind.
About the Author
George Kourakos is an ad-man by day, a writer by night. He is a mathematician with a creative side. Working full time as a copywriter, George wants to explore his creative side by writing about his favorite topics.