blogging gobbledygook and such

Have you ever reasoned with yourself that you don’t read as much as you wished to because you just simply don’t have the time?

Are you saying that bookworms have more time than you, then? Fellow bookworms can assure you that they do not have one second more in a day than what you already have.

Not having time to read is a lousy excuse for not reading, because time is what you make of it. If you don’t prioritise reading in your life, then you’ll find no time for it.

You may argue that reading the papers every day should certainly be enough to be counted as reading. Personally, reading books can never be replaced by reading the papers because they’re just totally different genres. What you get out of reading books is nothing like what you get out of reading newspapers. For starters, you don’t read every single article in the papers. Neither do you do much critical thinking about an issue, because the facts are presented to you point blank. Reading books exercises your mind’s eye to push the borders of your imagination, to imagine the unimaginable. Reading books also helps you to discern what’s written in between the lines, instead of being spoonfed all the facts. Reading books makes you really appreciate the genuine craft of a writer, who can shape the way you view the world without covert political agendas.

So, how do you start cultivating a reading habit?

Problem #1
It takes you too long to finish a book
Solution: Look for a shorter book to read. Even though you rather read that tome of a book by J. R. R. Tolkien, let’s be realistic – you’d quit it before you even finish reading the first chapter of the first book in Lord of the Rings. A shorter book makes reading more bearable and not another chore you’ve added to your list in between going to the gym and cleaning the bathroom.

Some Short Books to Start With:
1. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint Exupéry (children fable)
2. Animal Farm – George Orwell (adult fable)
3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (children)
4. More Tales of the Unexpected – Roald Dahl (short stories)
5. The Music of Dolphins – Karen Hesse (children)

Problem #2
You like to read in one long sitting, but you don’t have that time; just many 10-minute breaks
Solution: Change your mindset. If you really want to read and you don’t have the luxury of sitting on the couch for an hour, then read in 10-minute bursts.

Situations Where You Can Sneak in a Read:
1. While waiting in a queue
2. Waiting to pick somebody up
3. In the toilet
4. On the bed before sleep
5. Waiting for the computer to load
6. While exercising on the gym bike / treadmill
7. Stuck in a traffic jam – a real bad one, that is
8. In between tv shows and advertisements

Problem #3
You don’t like to read, and don’t particularly want to set a time for it
Solution: Even if you’re not a bookworm person, there is always a book that you can like. Start with children’s fiction because it’s fun and simple. If you don’t fancy it, get a bookworm friend to recommend something to you with your situation and preference in mind. Don’t pressure yourself to complete the book as fast as possible, but at the same time don’t keep putting off reading.

If you find yourself having more excuses not to read, there is nothing in the world that can convince you to read at this moment in time then. It’s obviously not something you enjoy, and you shouldn’t force yourself to just because people are recommending the benefits of reading. You may not like reading now, but you could in the future, provided you aren’t too scarred by the experience of pushy bookworms. 😉 It would be nice, though, if you give it a try at least once each time you are encouraged to read, just to make sure if this is an activity you’re just naturally averse to, or if the pleasure of reading is something you’ve never discovered, until now.

Comments on: "World Book Day today – time to cultivate a reading habit?" (11)

  1. timethief said:

    The more I struggle with my vision the more valuable the experience reading has become to me. I’m a bookworm too but I think this is a really good post. It points out how accessible books are, how we can find the time to read them and how enjoyable reading really is. Well done. 🙂

    sulz: thank you, that was exactly the message! am wearing glasses, and the lenses prescription power are higher than most, so going blind is definitely one of self’s fears… imagine all the chick lit would miss out if blind!

  2. I always find time to read. and another short book which is a part of a series I recommend is Lyra’s Oxford by Phillip Pullman 🙂 Oh, and sneak in time while your lecturer is going out for a “few minutes” or rambling endlessly! Because they take their time for their own lunch without telling students the truth and their don’t restraint themselves while they talk.

    sulz: good on you. 🙂 am looking forward to borrowing the his dark materials trilogy, have heard nothing but rave reviews for that. you have naughty lecturers, heh.

  3. I love to read. Though not those elaborate literature during high school. Maybe that was because I had problem understanding and concentrating on What shall art thou? (or what?) :p Or it could be literature books in our syllabus were boring.

    If the books were cheaper, surely more people would buy them.

    sulz: noticed you like reading non-fiction stuff. 😉 classic literature can be pretty boring sometimes, but not all; it’s just a matter of choosing the right ones. as a student, the library should be your best friend. as a working adult, there are always book rental stores and warehouse sales in malaysia, or be really good friends with bookworms! you should also look out for promotions in newspapers and bookstores so if you do buy them you won’t spend a bomb.

  4. Which library offers the new books and cheap membership?

    sulz: libraries in malaysia are useless! they either have membership fees that are not worth it or old, lousy books. book rental stores are your next best bet – latest books for 3 months’ rent for about rm7 per book. a little pricey, but better than buying it at rm30+ and only reading it once. another good place to source books is book warehouse sales. and another good place to get books is secondhand bookstores. go to amcorp mall, there’s a pay less books bookstore there and a couple of other secondhand bookshop. the flea market every sunday there is also very good.

  5. Hmmm the only book you listed that I have read is Animal Farm, but it is a very good book. Sadly I do not read much anymore. I used to read with fervor. But my eyes have had several laser treatments to stop bleeding and they no longer like the print books are printed with. Reading books tire my eyes and make me sleepy. LOL – most of my favorite books are thick and fat. I was always into Sci-Fi and Fantasy/Horror books. I also like doom and gloom books like “Alas Babylon” and “On the Beach”. My favorite book (and surprisingly it is not Sci-Fi) is fairly long and it is also my favorite movie, “Gone With the Wind”. I like Stephen King books, especially “The Stand” and “Christine”. “Christine” sucked as a movie but “The Stand” made an excellent mini-series. I have read Robin Hood and more than one version of the King Arthur myth. I have read Tolkiens “The Hobbit” and the “LOTR” series. Joeseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” and his book “The Secret Sharer” were great average length classics. Huxley’s “Brave New World” has foreboding similarities to modern cultural directions. If you are strong in your religious beliefs, Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” series (back to the long winded books) makes for thought provoking reading. Frank Herbert’s “Dune” also is thought provoking. One of my favorite guilty pleasures is Alan Dean Foster’s “With Friends Like These”; and hey, it is average length. I also enjoyed L Ron Hubbard’s book “Battlefield Earth”, but the movie was a bit of a stinker. CJ Cheryyh wrote some great Sci-Fi Fantasy books including another one of my favorites her “Books of Morgaine” series. Anne McCaffery’s “Chronicles of Pern” series are also excellent reading. Jules Verne and HG Wells were writing Sci Fi books that were way ahead of the curve for their time periods and they were almost prophetic with some of their works. There are just too many great books to read and not enough time to read even a fraction of them. 😥
    One suggestion I can make is never read Norse Mythology while listening to sad tear-jerker music. 😉

    sulz: okay, so your condition definitely does not encourage a reading habit, but there’s always large-print books and audio books if you have the dosh. 😉 have read gone with the wind – that was the hardest book to read for self! and love to read mythology too; even photocopied a mickey mouse children’s book to mythology. 😛

  6. Yeah, seriously, I’m a bookwrom, and the way I get through most books is by snatching odd moments in the day. It can actually be pretty interesting though, sometimes having to stop in the middle of a chapter is a real incentive to keep reading more later.

    sulz: yes, those moments can hardly wait for! makes self put off bed time longer, or sometimes toilet breaks become longer because of that. 😛

  7. I love reading books… Right now trying to read thru “Zen and the Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance”… I think I’d understand this book only if I read it twice or thrice. Anyways, the situations? i.e.,

    Situations Where You Can Sneak in a Read:
    1. While waiting in a queue
    2. Waiting to pick somebody up
    3. In the toilet
    4. On the bed before sleep
    5. Waiting for the computer to load
    6. While exercising on the gym bike / treadmill
    7. Stuck in a traffic jam – a real bad one, that is
    8. In between tv shows and advertisements

    I’ve done all, though the treadmill reading totally zonked my eyes.

    Try the Kite Runner, or some of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s works, or Orhan Pamuk, and while you’re at it, do read Freakonomics… 🙂 Missed ya

    sulz: maybe the gym bike is better for the eyes. 🙂 am planning to read marquez and the kite runner as soon as can grab them from library. but haven’t been anywhere, what’s there to miss? 😉 unless you’ve been somewhere… have you?

  8. I rent books from Central Market. Yeah, I went to Amcorp Mall recently last month – so many rental & 2nd hand bookshops! The flea market is quite bz too. Hehe, many uncles selling records of Elvis & Bee Gees.

    sulz: haha, yes – think they’re one gang all there every weekend! didn’t know central market got book rental store, hmm…

  9. It’s facing Watsons & McD’s. From RM2 (super old till cannot really see the cover) – RM30 (new ones) but I only rent the cheap ones hehe.

    I used to rent from a bookshop in Kota Raya 10 yrs ago (ahah) but the service sucked big time – arrogant, not helpful, etc. I think SS2 also has some rental bookshops but not sure cheap or not.

    sulz: yes, there is one in ss2 know of – normal rates, it’s just the deposit that’s pricey, but the rental’s reasonable.

  10. have been off blogging for some time… really sporadic. it’s ok. shall be back with a vengeance… sometime soon, hopefully. 🙂

    sulz: but you’re still updating quite regularly, unlike your other doctor friend!

  11. What’s a book? 😉

    sulz: the one where the real harry potter came from.

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