5 min read
This is a summary of my YouTube Video, you can watch the whole piece linked at the bottom of the blog post.
Although I've been reading only for the past 3 years, I can already see the benefits of reading, a significant improvement in how I read, and I can see why every teacher you ever had and even your parents suggest you should read, even if they do it for the wrong reasons.
The Importance Of Reading
Reading stimulates your mind by reducing stress, gives you knowledge, expands your vocabulary, and improves your memory. These are all self-explanatory reasons, if don't see value in any of that, then keep reading.
But If you do see value in those reasons, then you recognize that reading is important and that you should probably do it. But maybe you don't know how, or you don't feel motivated to start right away.
Knowing How To Start
There are dozens of articles online about how you should approach this, Some people say you need to be motivated to start, IE: Teachers and parents telling you that you have to read or else until you get used to reading and continue to do it.
And other say that you get motivated to do IE: You are interested in a particular subject, could be sports, music, movies, etc, and you start reading things related to the subject that you are interested and because you like the subject, that gives you momentum and you get used to reading it and continue to do it.
There's a difference between reading because you were told to do it, by teachers, parents, even classmates or friends, and reading because you are genuinely interested in learning something. I suggest you think about what type of person you are, and which way works best for you.
I learned by bypassing motivation, I was never interested in reading and my grades were not the best either. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20's that I started to change my mind about reading. I attended film school, and that's when I truly began to enjoy reading. Reading about film, Reading classic scripts and breaking down the scripts.
I truly immersed myself in it, reading the scripts and then watching the films right away, comparing notes and breakdown and dialogue lines. It was hard work, but I enjoyed it.
I didn't read my first book until I studied George Orwell, science fiction is one of my favourite film genres, and a writing teacher suggested it. 1984 is the first book that I read 100% from top to bottom.
And looking back I never had to wait to feel motivated to actually read a screenplay, Or read 1984, I just wanted to do it.
Another mistake I see online is that avid readers suggest to beginners to start with "classics", classics in this context means complicated books.
Consider that you don't like reading, or you have attention deficits or concentration problems, do you truly think you will just sit there and read Shakespeare? Really?
Don't wait to feel like reading a book to start, and don't try to start with complicated reads either. Find what you like and go from there.
Resources & Personal Preference
The traditional way to read a book was to buy it, read it, and when you're done, shelve it. If you are a university student, for example, you can use use the university library and rent-free books.
If you are not a student, you can register at your local public library and rent books as well.
That is what I used to do, I lived in Vancouver for close to 10 years, and I used to go to VPL (Vancouver Public library), and rent books for free. It's a great free resource, but not as convenient as you may think, as you normally have a set amount of days to finish it and return the book.
And if you can, listen to audiobooks as well. While you're commuting, or going to the gym, or washing the dishes, etc.
Not everyone has access to the same resources, and not everyone enjoys the same ways of learning. You can mix and match, it's up to you.
Some people want really peaceful and quiet indoor areas, some others don’t mind reading in sunny outdoor areas. Try different things until you arrive at your personal preference. But to get there, you will want to reduce the friction.
Reducing The Friction
It wasn't until I moved to Japan, that I realized I needed to reduce the friction regarding my reading habits, I quickly realized that I didn't want to carry any physical books with me, and that reading from a computer or tablet does not feel great.
Sometimes even if you want to buy paperbacks, your preferential language might not be available. Finding English books In Japan is not as simple as it sounds, and even something like the iPad Pro, which I mentioned is one of the best tools for travelling creatives in a previous video, does not feel good to use a reading solution.
So I went ahead and picked up a Kindle Paperwhite, and to my surprise, it feels exactly like reading a book.
The E-ink display looks like paper, 300 PPI for sharp text, built-in back-light for high brightness situations and even a dark mode for when you are in bed reading and hoping you don't drop it on your face, although, you've done that before, admit it.
Overall is the best tool for reading, and am glad I can fit all my books inside the Kindle Paper-white, and more. But this tool is useless if you don't have the intention to read, or if don't feel like developing your reading habits.
My Reading Preference
I like to mix reading with a kindle, and listening to audiobooks, it's my favourite way of reducing friction and keeping me engaged in reading.
I enjoy listening to audiobooks or Podcasts while exploring and doing street photography
It's okay to skip pages, or chapters, or even books. Reading should not be a chore or something that you force yourself to do. Keep that in mind.
You can watch the Full YouTube video here: