In 2020, I undertook a resolution of sorts to get back to reading for pleasure and personal growth. I began and began and began, every book I touched told me that it was not to be. I just did not have the patience or drive to continue. I would read the first page of David Copperfield, the first paragraph of Jane Eyre and the introduction to The stuff of thought, and found that I was suddenly in YouTube or Instagram or WhatsApp and then pulled myself back to reading. I would read the first page of Anna Karenina, the first paragraph or Wuthering Heights and the introduction to The Biography of Catherine the Great and relapse back to social media. It was a rough start. All I was able to do is start the books. In fact, reading just the first paragraph of a book does not mean real sampling. It does not even qualify as starting the book unless you are at least half a chapter in. So, I was not making any progress whatsoever.
What was the problem I was facing? Nothing more than starting trouble? How can there be so much starting trouble when I was not intimidated by even chunky books when I was a teenager? And how can there be so much starting trouble when I REALLY wanted to get back to the habit? When I was so passionate about it. Was the problem just Instagram?
I tried to find articles/videos dealing with this rough start. I can’t be alone…
Well, it looked like I was. I looked up several articles/videos with titles like “How to read more” and “How I read 100 books this year”, and they did not address the issue I was facing at all. Some of the popular advice given included
- Not finishing books that I wasn’t very passionate about and moving away from books that weren’t working for me.
- Familiarizing myself with Audiobooks.
- Taking a book with me to every place where we may be waiting (like a queue in a government office or suchlike) and setting aside some time to read every day.
These tips did not convert me into a voracious reader. They probably contained potential. You need more than a small matchstick to ignite wood. Type similar questions about “Losing Weight” or “Getting Fit” and you’d receive more advice that you’d know what to do with. But people who already read voraciously are not very helpful about getting into reading. They probably don’t know what is difficult about the hobby. Maybe as a beginner myself, I can help those who are in the same boat.