By Zubayer Rahman Sayem
Most people agree that book publishing is here to stay, while newspaper readership continues to decline. According to journalism.org, in 2018 newspaper readership was 28.6 million for weekday and 30.8 million for Sunday (about a 9% drop from the previous year).
Days after purchasing a valued Sunday newspaper, I still hadn’t read a word in it. Although I couldn’t find time to read the newspaper, I was reading no less than two books simultaneously. I sat down stunned, and really thought about it. In the end I came up with some interesting gems that helped me see the future more clearly.
- a) I get most of my news from the web and TV. That’s not news but it is one thing to read about some survey and quite another to realize its accuracy in your own life.
- b) The way I take in news has changed in that I quite often see an item on TV and then go online to do some more research. The info I will get online often beats any newspaper article that I could read.
- c) On the few occasions that I will pick up a newspaper, I will flip through the pages hardly finding anything of interest to read. The web allows you to read only that which interests me, so I’ve become “spoilt” and very choosy over what I read. In other words, the web has created niche readers and the age of the mass-market newspaper is truly lessened.
- d) One of the books I am currently reading is a biography of a well-known worldwide brand that leans heavily on how it has always been marketed. Marketing has always been a subject of great interest to me and is my strength as an online ghost writer.
Often you will see some news item on TV, or somebody will tell you about something of interest. You will then go to the web to seek more information and your search will most likely start at your favorite search engine. Then if your interest on the topic is further piqued, chances are that you will find a detailed book to satisfy your hunger for information on the subject at hand.
Usually what will tend to interest you will be closely related to your area of expertise/interest.
What all this means is that book publishing is going to increase moderately in the years to come and it is going to be fueled by the massive amount of free information available on the World Wide Web.
3 Ways to Get the Reading Habit
Og Mandino was giving a speech many years ago about how to be successful. In that speech, he said that although most people had gone to school for upwards of 12 years, they had never been taught how to be successful; they had not had a class on positive mental attitudes, how to set goals, how to handle achievement, or anything else of this nature. However, that schooling was not wasted, he said, because school did teach us the most critical skill of all: how to read.
Benefits of Having a Reading Habit
Reading, in my opinion, is the first tool of success. By that I mean that you must be able to read effectively in order to learn all the other things you need to be successful. Why is that? Because most people do not personally know a very successful person well. Study after study has shown that only 1 in 20 people are truly successful, so chances are that you do not necessarily know a friend in that group. This means that you cannot be personally taught by a successful person on how to be successful; if you want to learn from them, you must get the information some other way. That way is by reading.
Reading is also an excellent tool for improving the mind and spirit. By reading good books, inspirational books, you can improve the mind by exercising the powers of visualization and belief. Unlike videos, reading forces you to “see” the pictures yourself, which exercises this creative talent. You can improve your spirit by letting the words of others excite your imagination and belief in yourself. These are powerful tools in your path towards success.
Method 1: Scheduling a Reading Time
When I was first starting, I was told to set aside time for reading. It did not have to be long – 30 minutes is an excellent starting time. One of the best times for this scheduled reading is just before you go to bed. That way, the words you read can simmer in your mind while you sleep. But that is not the only time you can set. Many people have suggested reading for 30 minutes at the beginning of the day so you can think about and analyze what you read as you go through the day.
In addition to starting with a short period, you need to make that reading a daily routine. Keep a diary of your reading, just notating when you read. You can include any quick thoughts about what you read, but do not make this a big thing. Daily, consistent, short reading times are more effective than some major effort. Remember, we are not trying to create a massive change; we are trying to establish a habit.
Method 2: Carry a Book
Carry a book with you wherever you go. Keep the book in your briefcase, in your purse, in the pocket of your jacket, in your backpack. Just make sure that it readily available. That way, when you have a some spare time, like in a waiting room, standing in line, or waiting in your car for a friend, you can pick the book up and read a page or two (do not read while waiting at a stop light, please). Make sure the book can be read just a page or two at a time, so keep it simple. As an example, you might read Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield; each of the stories is a page or so, but the lessons are invaluable.
Method 3: Start with Good Books
Many people do not get the reading habit because they start with the wrong type of book. They pick a book on a hobby or that is part of their work or some other specific subject. The reason this does not work is while the information may be useful, the writing is often not the best. Instead, pick a book that is well written. Let the skill of the author be your guiding factor, not the subject matter. You can get specific information later; initially, you are trying to get the reading habit. Pick books that are easily read over informative.
Find someone who reads a lot – at work, a friend, or a fellow student. They will probably know of some books that are well written, and they can make recommendations. You can also look at web sites that are focused on reading for their recommendations.
When someone recommends a book to you, make a commitment to read that book. In other words, be accountable to them. This is not like a school assignment, but if you have told someone you will do something you are more likely to do it. You will have some feeling of obligation towards that person, and that feeling will inspire you to do the task. Who knows? This could be a beginning of a reading group for you.
Reading is a key habit – for a lifetime. Talk to anyone who has been successful, and they will mention reading as a significant component to their success. Reading lets you find those clues to success, even from people you have not met.