art & literature

Seven Tips to Read Far and Wide and More in the New Year

Sheena Joseph | Dec 07 2021
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Readers love the beginning of a new year because it is an opportunity for them to set new bookish goals and chase them with energy. For some, the inspiration to read more lasts only for the first two weeks of the year. Others finish their goal of reading a hundred books by April and set more challenging goals. Then, there are others who are fully aware that setting a big goal is simply futile. 

You can set any reading goal you like and challenge yourself. You can also not fulfill them for any number of reasons because you are not accountable to anyone. Reading a hundred books a year or even 52 books a year is not easy for anyone with a full-time job or the possibility of unplanned events in life. And there will be a few of those in a year. You simply cannot plan every hour of a year and stick to it for the sake of reading. 

On that note, you should read everything that you want because you love it, not because your mind is tied down by a goal you set at the beginning of a year. However, having a few reading suggestions to nudge your mind in different directions will help you expand your reading horizons. These will make sure that you read more, far, and wider than you have before. 

1) Reading Journal

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Every reader needs a journal because you are very much likely to have wonderful thoughts. It will also help you to keep track of what you read and what you want to read. Among the hundred bookstagram posts you see in a day, how many do you remember? Your journal doesn’t have to be a fancy one. The best place to start is with a simple notebook, especially because you are not restricted by a template or design. You also don’t have to make it look pretty with washi tapes and paint. And you definitely don’t have to share it on social media. You can use the reading journal to record how many hours or minutes you read in a day. This will prompt a sense of accomplishment. 

2) Read Every Day

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This is one of the simplest tips most readers ignore, especially mood readers. If you are hoping to make some changes and read more in 2022, you have to read every day. It can be for an hour or five minutes but you have to pick up a book and spend some time with it. You will be surprised to see how quickly the hours add up and along with that, books too. An average reader takes about three hours to read 100 pages and an average-sized book has around 300 pages. Even if it is a big book with around 500 pages, you will get through at least two books in a month. However, there is no need to get hung up on the number of books or pages you read.

3) Read Shorter Contents

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Some people will tell you that unless you read a 300-page long book with prose, it doesn’t count as the actual reading. They are wrong and you don’t need to prove that to them. What you can do is choose shorter forms of content like essays, poetry, and graphic novels and power through them. The only thing that matters when it comes to reading is that the content leaves you a little wiser, happier, and thoughtful than before. 

Do a little research on how many magazines are available online on subjects you are interested in. Even the longest essay will take 15 minutes to read and you will have known a story without reading 300 pages. And yes, those stories matter too. The same applies to poetry, short stories, comics, and graphic novels.

4) Audiobooks are Real Reading 

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If you feel too tired to read after a long day of work, no one is going to blame you. If your eyes don't have the energy to focus on the tiny fonts printed on a book, that only indicates that you are a normal human being with physical limitations. Fortunately, technology has come with ways to deal with this. Open your world to audiobooks. There has been a spike in the number of people listening to books and apps like Audible, Scribd, and a number of free apps on Google Play Store are proof of this wonderful change in the world.

5) Try a new genre or geographical region

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The world is realising the importance of diversity more and more every single day. Opening your eyes to a new culture can enrich your mind and it will be a notable accomplishment for the reader in you. It is normal for you to not know where to start. Luckily, readers from various cultures have taken the initiative to share their books. For example, if you are thinking about exploring stories of the Caribbean, look up bookstagrammers from the region who focus on local books. You can also find similar information from articles published on literary websites and bookish blogs.

6) Set a Small Challenge for yourself

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If you vow to read 52 books a year and start right away with a list of 52 books, there is a chance that you may feel restricted and not enjoy the process. However, challenges are good for keeping you centred and ensuring that you read a certain amount of books because you will feel motivated. 

The trick is to have a small goal, like reading 12 books related to the subject of your choice. If you wish to read books translated from Hindi, make a list of 12 such books. Sticking to a list of 12 books is much more relaxing because you only have to read one book from a particular challenge in a month. This leaves room for plenty of spontaneous reading.

7) Be a Mood Reader

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There is nothing disappointing about quitting a book you are not enjoying. Reading is a subjective experience and it is absolutely normal for you to not resonate with somebody's writing. It does not make sense that you keep reading it for the sake of finishing it. This is a waste of time and your energy. You are also likely to want to read a fantasy thriller one day and a light romance novel the next day. Pick up different books as per your mood because reading a book you don't enjoy is simply torture to your brain. 

Doing what your heart desires will keep you moving fast and happy. And the goal of reading is to nurture your mind and feel happy.