Why read books?

Someone might say: books make you smarter, books show that you are not a redneck, blah blah blah... No. It's all nonsense. The concrete, practical benefit of reading is in three points:

  • The book allows you to learn history. Yes, fiction is entertainment, it is the same way to experience new emotions, ask yourself philosophical questions or puzzle over a logic puzzle, like, for example, watching a movie or beating a game. Books give emotions.
  • All the informative articles on the Internet (yes, this one too), all the interesting lectures and podcasts are based on - bam! - on books. Books provide knowledge.
  • Scientists studying the workings of the brain proved that reading develops it. By reading, you learn new things, build new neural connections, interpret information (a separate brain process: interpreting a text, a sign system, into images), expanding your vocabulary, and as a result, your brain remains flexible longer, resists the aging process, does not stagnate, works to the fullest. Books help you stay smart and make you smarter.
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Why is it difficult for us to read?

The difference is in one thing, and, alas, it is the key one: films, games, even lectures (instead of books on the basis of which these lectures are based) are perceived by the brain easier.

Look, what's the trick: you read in the book "Kolya saw a beautiful sunset." And your brain needs to: read it, learn it, raise the meaning of each word from the vocabulary, remember who Kolya is in this story, and, finally, give you a picture, an image of this very sunset.

All this happens in a matter of seconds, but the brain spends resources on it. And the brain is a lazy brute that really doesn't like to waste resources. It is much easier for him to perceive a film or a game where all the visual and sound images have already been created by a kind uncle director, and nothing needs to be invented.

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And why, you might ask, is the same nonsense with non-fiction? There, I don’t need to imagine any sunsets, just take it and assimilate the information. But for some reason, it’s still easier for me to listen to a lecture or a podcast.

There are two reasons.

First: the lecture again affects three or four channels of perception: auditory + verbal (if this is a podcast, and you don’t see the lecturer, you just listen), or auditory + verbal + visual. Therefore, it is easier to perceive.

Second: the connection in the brain “education = someone tells me something”. We all studied at schools and universities, and there we received knowledge from other people's lips, rarely anyone opened textbooks just to read something. And the brain simply has not formed the habit of extracting information from the text.

Due to this peculiarity in the work of the brain, you may get the feeling that when you watch a movie you are relaxing, but when you read you are not. Because while reading, the brain really does more work than while watching.

And therefore, between reading and any other alternative (movie, series, social networks, YouTube), the brain automatically chooses what is easier. Exception: if your “brain muscles” are so pumped up by the practice of reading that they no longer consider it an effort. But for this you need - yes, yes - to understand how to read more. Vicious circle.

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And what to do?

In a good way, the number of books read is not so important. The quality is more important. What book did you read, what did it leave in your head after itself. Sometimes it's better to read one book in a year, but one that will change your whole life, than to complete the book challenge for a hundred books on LiveLib.

But before thinking about quality, you need to work a little on quantity. Pump up the brain muscles, make reading a habit so that it is not perceived by the brain as an effort, so that it becomes equally easy for you to read a book and watch a series of "Doctor House".

Therefore, here I will talk about how to read more, how to increase the number of books read - so that a habit, craving, love for reading is developed. And only then you yourself will be able to think about the quality - everything is very individual here.

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Let's go!

1. Set aside time for reading. If reading is the same exercises as some kind of cardio for the body, then you also need to allocate time for it, like for training in the gym.

How much time to allocate? Honestly, a very small amount is enough. Literally 10-20 minutes. But every day. Best of all, on a timer, so that there is less temptation to be distracted. Seriously, you can go twenty minutes without checking Twitter, right?

Over time, you yourself will likely want to read more (especially if you follow some of the other tips on this list).

It is possible to allocate not time, but pages. For example, if you read 20 pages of a paper book a day, then you will read an average (400 pages) book in 20 days. Eighteen books a year. Not bad, right?

2. Set aside a place for reading.

We live in a world of advanced, cunning marketers who ate the dog on audience retention, all entertainment sites are tailored for us to spend more time there (hello, recommendation system!), All series are built in such a way that we want to start the next series.

Against the background of all this (remember the ease of assimilation of already chewed visual-auditory images), the book is simply lost. And you need to find a place where to insert it consciously.

For example, put a book/reader near the bed to read before bed. Put a book in the closet, seriously, it can really help you read more! Take a book with you to read in line at the doctor, download audiobooks to listen to in training, read on public transport. Give yourself more reading opportunities.

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3. Find a way to read that is comfortable for you.

E-book? Book on phone? Printed book, audiobook? Anything that will be convenient specifically for you will do, and it is best if you have all this at the same time: in different situations, different methods are more convenient.

For example, reading a book on a phone is emotionally easier because the phone screen is always smaller than the page of a printed book, and you get the feeling that you are reading in small portions.

In fact, it is we who read - not books, but in general, reading as a process - we do very, very, very much. In a day, leafing through Twitter, we can read the volume of characters equal to the average book. Just in small portions, so the brain does not get tired. When you read a book on your phone, you use this "rule of small portions" and you yourself do not notice how you read more.

The good thing about an e-book is that you can download an infinite number of books into it, and at the same time it does not give you the temptation to be distracted, like a phone that constantly vibrates one alert after another.

A printed book is good because it stimulates other channels of perception, mainly tactile and olfactory: touching the paper, its smell, fine motor skills (turning pages). Plus it's not that bad for the eyes.

An audio book is good when there is no possibility to read directly with the eyes, for example, on the road or in training.

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4. If you are a gambler, use this. Set a goal to read so many books a year. Every day, while reading, try to beat the previous record. Take on a literary challenge with the obligation to report back to your teammates at the end. Make a list of books so that you can check the “read” box with a feeling of deep inner satisfaction.

5. The list of books you want to read is good. Firstly, it inspires: wow, how much more interesting things I have to read! Secondly, it will not let you get confused (one book has ended - here is a whole list of what to read next). Thirdly, it reminds you of reading, so it's better to keep it somewhere in front of your eyes. You can call it a death note and feel like a book killer.

Where to find book recommendations: LiveLib, ReadRate, Bookmate, MyBook, Fantlab.

6. Bloggers can recommend another interesting book. Yes, there are a whole galaxy of bloggers on YouTube who run channels about books. There you can be inspired to read, perhaps hear more interesting tips on how to read more, plus they often make tops and ratings of their favorite books, tell what they read, what they plan to read, shoot book purchases.

You can start with the channels "LitObzor" (similar to BadComedian, only from literature), bookspace (talks about fantasy and writes books herself) and Lyudmila Lichi (capable of inspiring reading absolutely any book and has a broad book outlook).

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or don't come back - your right. By tormenting an uninteresting book, you are wasting time that could have been spent on a dozen interesting ones.

8. Read what you are really interested in and want. You want to return to a book when it is interesting, and if you quietly hate every line you read, then why be surprised that you were puzzled by the question “how to read more”?

You don't owe anyone anything. Should not read exclusively classics and serious literature, for example. If Tolstoy and Dostoevsky bore you, close them and read Harry Potter. Novels are not given - read a collection of short stories. The novel is too short a form - take on the literary cycle. Everything to make you comfortable and interesting.

9. Read several books in parallel, do not follow the principle of "do not start a new one until I finish the first one." You can get tired of this book, its world, atmosphere, plot, still read the book - not as quickly as watching a movie. It is better if you have 2-3 books for different moods, well-being and situations (if you want to laugh, be sad, think, get carried away with history and kill time).

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10. Read the way you like. No one obliges you to read everything from cover to cover. You can skip a boring chapter, an uninteresting line in a book, or even read one chapter that is interesting to you personally, and not read the rest at all. No rules, just fun.

11. Nonfiction and sci-fi can be read in brief. These books are needed purely for information, as opposed to fiction, where the goal is to experience emotions, enjoy history.

12. If you are kinesthetic and the atmosphere is important to you, then use this as a life hack on how to read more. Printed book, quality edition, clear font, good thick paper, beautiful cover, warm light from a table lamp, pleasant music in the background and a good story. Classic.

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13. A reading diary and a quote book are often suitable for such people. You can arrange it beautifully, write by hand. The advantage of a reading diary: it makes reading more conscious, you remember what you read better, you learn to analyze it and express your thoughts.

14. Buy a subscription to some online library (MyBook, Bookmate) so that the awareness of the money spent motivates you to read more.

15. Socialize! Find someone to talk to about what you read. For example, arrange with someone to exchange opinions about the book, or discuss it while reading in the process. Or post reviews on LiveLib or on the VK/channel page in Telegram. This will discipline you, you will both read more and talk about books, maybe even make new friends.

16. The most radical method: temporarily give up other entertainment altogether. Do not watch a movie - instead you can read a book, this is also a story. Do not play games - the book also tells a story (and then there are interactive books and visual novels!). Do not watch YouTube - instead, you can read a book. Don't play games on your phone, read a book instead. The toughest, but perhaps the most effective method.

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In fact, the secret of bookworms who read a hundred books a year or more is not in willpower or additional the twenty-fifth hour of the day that the universe has given them. It's just that a book is really more interesting for them than any other entertainment, it is books that give them emotions that nothing else gives. I was like that in my childhood, now I have been tempted by the possibilities of the Internet, and sometimes I want to return to that “book-like” state.

Maybe you can do it? Not necessarily so radical, of course. But to develop a habit, to develop a love of reading, is quite real. Have you read this article, for example? So, read the book.

Good luck!