I recently finished Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith, which took me months to finish even though it wasn’t that long. This was backed up by my Goodreads account where I record the books I’ve read since high school. It says here that I read Windfall from April until July. Yikes.
It wasn’t like this a few years ago. I was the type of person who could finish 300-page books in three days, then immediately move on to the next novel—even social media and homework didn’t faze my streak one bit. This was also why I would accomplish my yearly Reading Challenge from 2011 to 2012. I didn’t reach my goals in the next two to three years but I used to read more than 20 books.
My motivation to read went downhill when I started working in 2015. For the first time, I chose to sleep over reading, and I slowly disconnected from that habit as months and years went by—leaving a backlog of unread books and E-books. Now, I’m lucky to even read five within the year and that needs to change.
According to Desk Time, reading books can improve one’s focus, especially if they’re doing “deep reading” to understand the story and other details. A study also found that those who spend more time looking at their screens tend to only read the first page in full and will lose interest in the subsequent sentences.
Another benefit is that it helps reduce stress. The Telegraphcited a research study that concluded “the human mind has to concentrate on reading and the distraction of being taken into a literary world eases the tensions in muscles and the heart.” You also can’t deny that this is a relaxing activity to do wherever you go.
The points I just mentioned show that reading can help in productivity, too. It’s not just something I should do to entertain myself, I should also see it as a way to keep my brain going without straining it. This is especially useful for those who write for leisure and/or work as books will help broaden vocabulary and you can find inspiration within the pages.
For 2018, I set my Reading Challenge to 10 books but so far, I’ve only gone through three. I still have six months before the year ends and I’ve already started Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. Only this time, I’ll make sure it won’t take months to finish this.
How about you? Did you stop reading often and trying to get back in the swing of things, too? Feel free to share some tips and also your progress!
Art by Marian Hukom
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