I love to read. Love it. But I have several friends, family members and colleagues who absolutely do not share my passion. And, while that is certainly ok, I would like to clear up some common misconceptions about reading that I’ve heard. Maybe you’ll find this list reassuring, particularly if you are one that finds the task of reading to be overwhelming.
A Person Must Read for Long Periods of Time in One Setting
Absolutely not true. There is no set rule for “length of time that makes reading count”. Reading, even if done in short bursts or in fits and starts, is beneficial. If you’ve never read much before, or if the idea of reading is a bit daunting, start out by reading only a few minutes a day. Short articles and books, if written well, can provide good information or nourishment to your mind and soul. Carry reading material with you every where you go, and take advantage of time waiting for your tires to be changed or for doctor’s appointments. Read during your work break. Read for 5 minutes before sleep. All these small amounts of time add up.
Reading is Too Expensive
We live in a day and age where reading has never been more affordable. Besides the obvious choice of making wise use of a free public library, there are many different options. Kindle (from Amazon) has free downloadable e-reader apps for your phone, computer or tablet. Once you have that set up, it is very easy to download material and begin reading. Many books are available for Kindle at greatly reduced prices–sometimes you can even pick one up for free! The site Ebook Friendly provides a list of 10 sites where you can read books for free without needing an e-book reader. Check out Feedly.com as a source for reading online content from different bloggers and authors who post their writings on the internet. Prefer ink and paper books? Try out the Book Trading communities of BookMooch and BooksFreeSwap.
I Don’t Know What to Read
What are you interested in? I guarantee there is a book written about it. What kind of stories did you like when you were a child? I imagine you would like those same types of stories today. What movies have you seen lately? Some of them have probably originated from a book, and I would be willing to bet that the book is better than the movie. Content is wide open–there truly is something for everyone. A good place to start is GoodReads. You can also check out What Should I Read Next? and this Quiz from Boston.com. And, don’t forget your friends and co-workers. One of my projects for 2015 is to read one book suggested to me from 20 different friends. I’ve already asked for and have received well over 20 suggestions (Some friends gave me more than one book to sample). My goal is to read each of them and report back to them what I thought about their suggested book. I’m looking forward to the wide variety of subjects and fiction works that have been suggested.
And don’t be afraid to try new things. I once thought I would despise C.S. Lewis’ fiction works, because I simply do not enjoy fantasy. I was wrong–I did enjoy them, and went on to read some of George MacDonald’s works.
Reading is too Hard
There are great advantages to pushing yourself to read challenging material. But, if all you ever attempt to read is stuff that makes your head swim, you will eventually give up and quit reading altogether. Don’t let this happen. Not every reading experience needs to be academic in nature. Try reading light-hearted fiction. Sample what I call “Mindless Reading”–books that are simple read for the pure enjoyment of reading. Or, try reading Young Adult fiction or even children’s books. There are some absolutely fantastic children’s books that will surprise you by how much you will delight in and learn from them. All of these are beneficial and will increase your appetite for reading. And check out this article HERE on tips for improving your reading skills. We are never too old to work on this.
It’s Not Worth It
So not true. Completely false. Reading is very much worth the time, effort and investment put into it. Through reading, we gain knowledge, find enjoyment, see the world through different lens, “meet” people who are like us, “meet” people who are different than us, and grow in all areas of our life.
“I am a part of everything that I have read.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt