One of my favourite authors of recent times has been John Piper. In one of his books (I don’t remember which), he talks about the habit of reading. To be more specific he addresses a challenge that many people who do not habitually read face.
Reading is a skill that can be developed
Many people often say that it is difficult to read because they do not have the habit of reading like some others do. Piper’s response is that reading can be thought of like driving. If you have never driven before, you could look at an accomplished driver and say that it is easier for the said other person because she/he is used to driving. However, that does not mean that you cannot develop the skill of driving yourself. The same is true of reading. Many people try reading for a day or two and then give up because it is not easy. Imagine if they gave up after the second day of driving because they are not able to navigate traffic on Bangalore Outer Ring Road! Learning a skill takes time.
Read 15 minutes each day
At a friend’s house a few weeks back there was a discussion on making time for reading. One of my friends, who is a voracious reader, mentioned that he reads for 15 minutes each day. And by being regular at it, he has been able to read a huge number of books over the past many years.
So, if you are looking to start the habit of reading and if you’re thinking that it doesn’t come naturally to you, challenge yourself to read 15 minutes everyday.
It doesn’t have to be easy
As a final thought, on one of Ali Abdaal’s videos he talks about what he learnt from the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. People with a fixed mindset often think that if something is difficult they are doing it wrong. You can think of many people who try reading for a day or two, find it difficult, and give up. They think, “I’m not a reader” or they may think that it is not coming naturally to them as it does to others who read regularly. According to the book Mindset, that is a wrong mindset to have. Think about exercising in the gym. If you don’t feel the strain on your muscles while doing weights, you’re probably not going to develop muscles. Resistance is good. And is the only way to grow.
So, as we enter a new week from Monday, perhaps this could be a challenge to someone who wants to develop the habit of reading: challenge yourself to read 15 minutes everyday!