Whenever I introduce myself as a literature student or mention that reading is my hobby, people marvel or ask if I may recommend a book.
My favourite question is, “What was the last book you read (Normally, I read three books at a go; one self-help, one romantic fiction, and what I like to call “heavy fiction,” primarily books on slavery, mental health, and the LGBTQ+). Answering these questions is more challenging than it looks, at least not to me.
Anyway, do you want to ‘start your reading culture’? Worry no more because you know what? I’ve got you covered!
For the past seven years, I’ve been an avid reader. I read everything and anything I came across.
How did I start?
In high school, this madam used to pick on me! Anyway, in every English class, I had to answer a question. I failed every question.
I’m one of those people who looks inward, so what did I do? I looked for other English teachers, one good at linguistics and the other at literature, and Aunty wa Vitabu was born.
One of my favourite memories was discussing Betrayal in the City by Francis Imbuga. On campus, I knew I wanted to study something I loved, literature, linguistics, and psychology.
In addition, I discovered fantastic literature lecturers who entertained my thought process while encouraging us to look beyond words.
However, due to the workload, I couldn’t share my thoughts with the world.
After completing school, my body needed a reset to stop viewing books as school demanded and go back to reading for fun. Of late, I have stopped reading. I still crave that feeling. I long to look at words and be transferred to a new world.
I look forward to sharing this journey with you.
Okay, so this is how you do it!
You pick a book and read it from the first word to the last one. Then you choose another one and do the same thing.
Now for real, this is how you create and cultivate a reading culture.
Reading is a habit; treat it as one.
James Clear gives us four ways to cultivate new habits in his book Atomic Habits.
- Make it obvious
- Make it attractive
- Make it easy
- Make it satisfying
Make it obvious
I create reading lists for people; when I check in with them, some of the responses I get are, ‘I still need to start. ‘I’ve been too busy.
You must first sit down and decide when I will begin reading. For example, when dealing with a Doctor who works the night shift, I can’t ask them to wake up at 5 a.m. and read a page, but shifting their reading hours to maybe before sleep makes it easier to read.
What is the antonym for “out of sight, out of mind”? Yes, but take that book and place it somewhere accessible. If using an eBook version, set the app on your home screen.
Make it attractive
Google cute reading pictures. You have to associate reading with something wholesome. You can’t turn down women who enjoy reading and want your body to accommodate them! Consider yourself in that situation…
Remove your limiting beliefs about reading; I’m a slow learner,” “Oh, people around me don’t read, blablabla!” Then look at reading as a fun new thing to do. Get a cute mug to drink from as you read. You’d look great reading on a train, coffee shop, or office. You have to romanticize or fall in love with reading.
Make it easy
If you have no computer background but pick up a book on Java script, you are bound to fail. Pick books that are easy for you to read and understand. Pick topics that interest you. There is no such thing as a boring book; if it doesn’t interest you, put it down and move on; you are not the target audience.
Make it satisfying
If you need to learn how to choose a book, look at the things You love, the genre of movies you enjoy, the people you look up to, and your goals.
I know nothing about computers, so imagine me reading a book about robots when you see something you already like; you just need to review the book and see whether it fits you.
If you commute or prefer music/podcasts, pick audiobooks.
Read with a friend. Sharing your thoughts and progress helps boost your reading confidence and keeps you on your toes.
Remember to look cute while reading!
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