Reading used to be a struggle for me. To be honest for a number of years I barely read at all. I never thought I would ever be writing a post on how to read a book every week never mind actually doing it.
Maybe this was because I was still in high school and was turned off the idea completely. Back then all I cared about was video games and going out. If it wasn’t related to those two things I had little time for it.
High school was over two years ago now and a lot has changed.
These days I go out less and read more. The funny thing is I currently live a more exciting an fulfilling life.
“How is this possible? Books are so boring!”
I once thought so too.
Our minds have been altered by the internet and social media. It is difficult for so many of us to sit still and focus on one task.
We have become so used to instant messages and pop-ups the thought of a book is completely alien.
In our modern day, reading a book is a small act of rebellion.
There are no swords or shields needed however.
The only requirement is the patience to see the book through and the trust to get engrossed into another world.
If you are ready to embark upon an adventure of unlimited potential then great.
If you are still not convinced, there is more where that came from.
Reasons for Reading
There are a whole host of reasons why you should be reading.
Reading is one of the few ways you can make yourself smarter. It is near impossible to raise your IQ a significant degree but you can use your intellect to it’s maximum capacity.
Reading is a fantastic way to do that. With reading you will improve your comprehension, vocabulary, critical thinking, ability to reason and argue.
Each book read is an expansion of the total knowledge available to you.
These benefits are only scratching the surface. The science behind the benefits of reading could be talked about for hours.
With reading you will become more interesting. Those who read a lot never run out of things to say. Their mind is constantly overflowing with ideas and different paths of conversation to go down.
In turn, this will gain you more friends and help you socially. There are book worms who prefer not to interact with others but if you are sociable, the tools will be there to use.
Even if you don’t want to gain more or better quality friends, reading more will help you with negotiation in the business world.
You can read either fiction or non-fiction. Fiction is literature created from imagination. Non-fiction is the opposite.
This is literature based on factual information. Both serve a purpose and can be used to benefit you greatly.
Fiction can enhance your creativity. Novels by J.R.R. Tolkien such as The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings will have your imagination running wild with the magic of storytelling.
Like with anything, the more challenging books you read the better you will become.
No one is expecting you to start reading medieval literature right away. Begin reading at a suitable level for your ability.
Very soon you will improve and find yourself picking up more and more difficult books.
If you simply want to read for enjoyment that is fine as well.
Many get enjoyment from the challenge of stretching themselves intellectually however.
Reading will expand your mind in all directions. With the right books your imagination will begin to run wild.
Life will become more enjoyable as your perception of reality changes for the better.
Of course there are good books and there are bad books.
With more experience you will begin to recognize the difference between the two.
It is tempting to read books that go along with our already held beliefs.
Try and read books that goes against them when you can. Doing so will either confirm your previous belief or cause you to change your line of thinking.
You may find you are often forced to stop and take a moment to think. This is something seriously lacking in today’s age.
Here is a great video on the topic:
How to Read a Book Every Week
This is something I am attempting to do currently.
It is something I first heard from Joshua Becker over at Becoming Minimalist.
Here are some tips to read a book a week:
Treat it as part of your schedule.
When I view reading as something I “might” do when I am free then I rarely make time for it.
On the other hand when I plan time to read I end up reading a lot more.
Cut the option of not reading by printing it into your daily routine with a scorching hot brand.
Consistency over quantity.
When people hear about reading a book a week they automatically assume the book must be read in one go.
The length of books vary considerably. Take Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand for example, a whopping 1168 pages (and worth every one by the way).
Let’ say the average book is around 280 pages.
If you read 40 pages every day your goal for the week would be achieved. This could be done in around an hour.
Can you think of a better way to spend 60 minutes? I’m going to stop you before you say Netflix or ESPN.
The whole 40 pages doesn’t even need read in one sitting.
Any spare minute could be spent with book in hand. Whether that is 5 minutes after waking up, 15 minutes on the bus or 10 minutes during lunch it all counts.
Libraries are an underused resource.
Some of you out there may be thinking “I can’t afford to buy all these books!” The reality is you don’t have to.
There are one if not multiple libraries in every town or city. Inside there are thousands of books which are free to take out.
There are also book swap facilities. “Take a book leave a book,” does not even require a library card to use.
If you find a book particularly resonating you can go ahead and buy it to keep. This way you are only purchasing books you actually like and will read again.
Track your progress
It can be easy to forget progress is being made if it is not being kept track of. This can be done by keeping a list of all the books you have read thus far.
A “books to be read” list can even be made. The satisfaction as you cross each title off and move further down the page is a great feeling.
Fair warning – once you get started you may not want to stop adding titles. I am not be held responsible for your never ending and forever growing list of books to read.
The hope is this challenge will ignite you with a passion for books for the rest of your life. View this as a sort of stepping stone or rite of passage.
Honestly you can look at it any way you want. The most important thing is you begin reading.
Don’t forget why we read
When setting yourself a target such as this one it can be easy to fall into bad habits. Skimming pages and not taking the information in defeats the purpose of it all.
Reading a book a week may be the goal but each finely crafted sentence inside is the real treasure. By not immersing yourself fully you are missing out on all the rewards.
So if you can, use the book to it’s full potential. Highlight and take notes on paragraphs or sentences that truly stood out to you. It would be a shame to lose them forever.
You Now Know How to Read a Book Every Week
What is the final step? After finishing reading this post start reading a book. It’s that simple really.
Let me know how you get on. I would love to hear some real life stories.
If you are really stuck here are some books I have recently read and would recommend:
Read deeply, read for enjoyment, read with a purpose.
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” – Sir Isaac Newton
By reading what others have spent time in thought over we are all standing on the shoulders of giants.
Thanks for reading,
P.S Leave a comment down below to let me know what you think.