Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Focused Reader

If you can read, you are part of an elite group - just 50% of the world's population. The ability to read is a great gift.

Until I started this blog, I never realized how important books have been in my life. I've always thought of reading as a leisure activity, something that I would do "when I get to it". But reading is so valuable that I've made the choice to incorporate it into my daily life. It's not easy. I have to make a real effort. My goal is two hours a day, and sometimes I hit it. Most days, I don't. But attempting to reach a goal is far better than never trying in the first place.

Throughout the life of my blog, I've met others with similar goals. One person slipped me a note in the middle of a meeting, and I had to stifle a laugh when I realized it was a book recommendation. It has amazed me how much this blog has allowed me to connect with fellow ardent readers.

But I have also noticed that the majority of people don't put reading at the top of their daily list of priorities. I can't tell you how many people tell me they just can't find the time. I get it. I have two kids. And obviously, feeding and clothing your children (and doing the work that supports that) takes priority. But as limited as our days may seem, if you try, you can find time for reading.

Start off slowly by giving yourself 30 minutes to read each day. Remember that reading is a gift you give to youself. Take a book with you everywhere you go, and you'll find time. Sitting in the doctor's office? That's a perfect opportunity. Eating alone at lunch time? Whip that thing out. Make it easy for yourself by having a book on hand whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Remember that your level of reading and comprehension will change and grow as you challenge yourself. Once you get started, I'll bet you won't be able to stop. And that's okay. Just keep going. Some people read slower and some people can hammer out a few in a week. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Take time to understand what you are reading. Only then will reading be beneficial.

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