If you are active on Twitter, you may have stumbled upon posts by people celebrating the completion of tons of books in a calendar year.
The fact that someone managed to read over fifty or even a hundred books in a year is undeniably impressive. However, it can be disheartening if you once regarded yourself as a bibliophile, but abandoned books due to stifling life demands.
Truth be told, today’s world is not built to accommodate a healthy and consistent reading culture. In a country with a stifling economy like Nigeria, the average person is preoccupied with how to make enough money to feed and survive. Twenty-four hours often prove inadequate for work demands, making it harder for one to set and smash meaningful reading goals.
The availability of e-books and free online libraries solve the problem for some, but it is not enough for others.
It may be harder to open a book these days, but books are as invaluable as ever. From novels to autobiographies, and from self-help books to historical accounts, books offer an unparalleled level of insight and mental stimulation.
While there are readers who consume book after book with little planning, today’s world demands that aspiring bibliophiles adhere to structure.
You may already have a mental note to read more books in 2023. Here are a few practical tips that can be of immense value to you.
Lower the Bar
That’s right. You should be realistic in the process of cultivating or rekindling your reading habit. If you read two books in 2022, you cannot possibly smash fifty in 2023. You have to set the bar low and build gradually.
A sparse reading list eases pressure and enables you to appreciate each book more. Bibliophiles who consume vast amount of books run the risk of not appreciating them as much as those who take their time. They may assimilate fast, but assimilation and appreciation are two different things.
Remember, you are trying to reach your reading goals. Goals tailored to your needs and realities, not that of others. Everyone is different. You do not need to consume a hundred books yearly to be a bibliophile or to boast of a healthy reading culture.
Focus on Interests
You will find it easier to read books on areas you are interested in. If autobiographies are your cup of tea, invest heavily in them. Range is important for a robust reading culture, but that is not a process you rush.
You are likely to complete books on areas you are interested in, faster. The idea is to build momentum and confidence to potentially transfer to other types of books. Focus on your interests.
Join a Book Club or Get an Accountability Partner
If your schedule accommodates it, you should consider joining a book club with like minds. Book clubs involve periodic meetings where members discuss and dissect the book of their focus, which they must compete within a typically short deadline. By implication, joining a book club may help you reach your reading goals while improving your general reading speed.
Alternatively, you can seek out an accountability partner to put you on your toes as you [re]build your reading habits. Ideally, this should be a friend or family member who shares your reading interests.
Strictly Adhere to Your Routine
Routines can be boring, but they create a sense of certainty. They also create subconscious dispositions. If you make the conscious effort to go to bed at a particular time each night, your body will catch up eventually.
To organically achieve your reading goals for 2023, you have to lay the foundation of routine. If you have set out a two-hour duration on certain days of the week to read, strive to show up.
As much as possible, limit distractions while you read. Distractions eat into your routine and slow down your reading speed. Embrace each reading session wholeheartedly. Live in the moment. Social media is not going anywhere. It is filled with a lot of noise, anyway.