Plan your reading journey

What is so special about ‘Eves’ and special ‘Days’? It gives us a legit opportunity to bring changes to our lives. Today on New Year’s Eve, we are standing at the end of quite an adventurous decade.

Irrespective of how we rate our last ten years, we all are looking forward to a more optimistic and rewarding future; and Contemporology has plan for its readers to pursue that future.

Since the flow of any change is from within, it is crucial we continue to invest in ourselves. And what is a better food for our minds than good books? So here is a short and simple guide to planning your annual reading journey –

What is your intention?

Your intentions define your course of action. So simplify your intentions and clearly state it, preferably in writing. This will act as a compass every time you feel lost.

For example, do you want to read more, less, maintain the volume? What is the purpose of your reading? Are you reading for leisure or for academic purposes or a personal mission? Define it all; it is the first and the most important step.

A few examples to define your intent

Learning vs. Numbers

It is not about the number of books you read, it is about how much were you able to learn and implement in your life. So don’t be in a hurry to read X number of books this New Year. Just enjoy the journey!

Space your books

If you bite more than you can chew, you are most likely going to have indigestion. Similarly, reading multiple books simultaneously and reading without reflecting is going to make reading a non-sensical exercise and a complete waste of your time. Therefore it is important to give yourself a break after every book you read.

Protip: How long should be the break? Long enough for you to feel the want to read again.

Connect with people who are open to new ideas

Connect with people who are willing to discuss your reading experience is an important part of learning, as it lets you develop your thoughts. You need not necessarily create or join a book club, you can even talk to your non-reading family and friends, who are open minded and willing to listen.

Protip – While discussing, be open to other people’s opinions (even criticism) and be respectful.

Choose the right social media feed

Surround yourself with people with similar goals. But if you can’t find your tribe of people, follow book bloggers, vloggers, podcasts and websites that gives you updates on new books. This will help you maintain an exciting ‘to-read book list’!

Protip: You can also find inspiration from your favourite person’s reading list. It could be a famous person, your best friend or just someone you look up to.

Life is too short to read bad books

My friend V, a very good reader, once abandoned a book midway. I was shocked to see her do that. Upon enquiry she responded with “Life is too short to read bad books”. It cracked me up then, but I later realized that she was right.

There is, however, a fine line between abandoning a bad book and quitting.

Those were fairly easy guidelines, right? Here are just a few things we must avoid to maintain a healthy reading habit –

Don’t pre-plan the entire year’s book list

Every book influences you in an unpredictable way, therefore it is wiser to keep your options open. Just follow your heart and pick the next book.

Don’t make unrealistic reading goals

It is especially important for budding readers to start small and slow; and avoid choosing too heavy or too many books.

Don’t read books just because they were gifted to you

Read with a purpose and choose book that you are interested in; instead of forcing yourself to read something just because it was gifted to you.

Avoid Tsundoku at all costs

Tsundako is a phenomenon wherein the so called reader buys plenty of books without reading them. Truth be told, every reader has a bunch of untouched new books he/she has been intending to read for ages. When this tendency goes unattended, it becomes a bad habit.

Buy one book at a time and invest in the next book only when you are ready for it.

Good luck for an exciting reading journey and a happy new year!

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