This article's beginning is mainly me talking about my experience with reading, so if you would like to jump to the practical stuff, feel free to click here.
Personal experience with reading
In this article, I am going to be talking about books. I love reading. I really do. It is has become my go to activity. Whenever I am a bit frustrated(which happens often) I start reading to calm my mind. If I am getting bored I no longer tend towards YouTube. I tend towards reading. My go to series of choice is of course the one and only Sherlock Holmes. I love that series. I have read through all of its glorious 1800 or so pages twice and have heard it all on audible over 6 times. My favourite story is 'The Return of Sherlock Holmes' and it won't be an exaggeration to say that I feel the same sudden flood of joy, amazement, and incredulity which had submerged Dr. Watson's mind. I didn't love reading from the start. In fact, I was quite annoyed at the thought of reading because I associated books with boring school work in which I had zero interest. But still there was something intriguing about the fact of owning a book. I couldn't quite put my finger on it but now I can. It was probably signaling. The possession of books indicates knowledge. I used to gather a lot of books but never read the. Back then, my world of entertainment only used to comprise of cartoons and then one day, I saw sitting on a bookshelf, was a Ben 10 book. Just for some background, Ben 10 was one of my favourite cartoons of all time(and still is!). So I naturally got it and then I read the first book that I wasn't forced to. Here is that book
Admittedly, It is a bit weather-beaten. This book is actually quite nice. As a child, I read it a bunch of times. After this there was a 'great hiatus' in my reading. Then after some years, according to my school, I was "old enough" to access the library and the only books there worth reading were the Goosebumps series and the works of HG Wells. I took a special interest in the latter. There were 2 books there. "The Time Machine" and the most requested book of all "The War of the Worlds". But, when these were finished I again stopped reading. Then on a frosty December morning, I finally got about to getting an Audible subscription. And here me out, it ain't an exaggeration to say that Audible is one of the best if not the best subscription that I have ever got(And I have a lot of subscriptions). The first book that I got on Audible was 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear Now, when one gets the itch for reading, it doesn't go away that easily. But I don't like to spend a lot of time doing stuff. I want to be as efficient as I can be. Therefore, now I am started speed-reading
I have come across speed-reading before but I was never totally sold on it. Especially because of the whole scammy stuff. But I rediscovered in [[Timothy Ferriss]]' book, [[Book: The Four Hour Work Week]]. In it, Tim introduces speed reading in an approachable and incremental way. I will quote the methodology here...
- Two Minutes: Use a pen or finger to trace under each line as you read as fast as possible. Reading is a series of jumping snapshots (called saccades), and using a visual guide prevents regression.
- Three Minutes: Begin each line focusing on the third word in from the first word, and end each line focusing on the third word in from the last word. This makes use of peripheral vision that is otherwise wasted on margins. For example, even when the highlighted words in the next line are your beginning and ending focal points, the entire sentence is “read,” just with less eye movement: “Once upon a time, an information addict decided to detox.” Move in from both sides further and further as it gets easier.
- Two Minutes: Once comfortable indenting three or four words from both sides, attempt to take only two snapshots—also known as fixations—per line on the first and last indented words.
- Three Minutes: Practice reading too fast for comprehension but with good technique (the above three techniques) for five pages prior to reading at a comfortable speed.
These are the quantitative benefits that I have experienced to reading. Knowledge This one is a fairly obvious one. You get to learn a lot from books. Take 'Atomic Habits' for example. It is one of the books which has single-pagedly changed my life for the good. I am grateful for this book. Empathy This one may not be that obvious at first sight. Empathy? Yes, it reading can improve your empathy. Vocabulary I am utterly galvanised by Dr. Shashi Tharoor and inspired by him. His usage of his vast vocabulary is mesmerising. So naturally, I want to learn to speak like him and for that, I need a better vocabulary. Therefore I have begun to take fiction more seriously as it is mostly in fiction that the authors show there considerable literary talents. Improves emotional intelligence In 2009, a group of researchers measured the effects of yoga, humor, and reading on the stress levels of students in demanding health science programs in the United States. The study found that 30 minutes of reading lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of psychological distress just as effectively as yoga and humor did. The authors concluded, “Since time constraints are one of the most frequently cited reasons for high stress levels reported by health science students, 30 minutes of one of these techniques can be easily incorporated into their schedule without diverting a large amount of time from their studies.”1
Books to read list
- The Courage to be Disliked
- The Courage to be Happy
- Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
- The Elephant in the Brain
- Talking to Strangers
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
- The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection - by the way you should really browse other sites. Sherlock Holmes is totally free to download