Reading has always been something I have loved since I was a boy. One of my favorite things in my early schooling years was going to the library. In this place, I was surrounded by ideas and opportunities just waiting to be taken in. To this day, I love walking into a library or bookstore. The smell and feel of the books and the image of endless options seem to always draw me into a local library or bookstore. If you have been in my office, you’ll know that I either love reading or like to make people think I do. Reading has brought me so much joy.
One of the hardest things to do is to get started. With so many excellent options, it can seem like one could begin with the wrong book. But don’t think too hard! What do you enjoy? Are there TV shows or movies that you often gravitate towards? Is there a current topic or issue of old that you are curious about? Have you been curious about a particular historical event or figure? Use these things to guide you in your choice. You can’t go wrong. Whether you’re starting with a science fiction series or a biography of someone long gone, do the hard work of making the selection and getting into the pages.
Tools to Help
Going to the local library is something I haven’t done in a long time. I used to purchase hard copies of all the books I chose to read. Now, I use a Kindle Paperwhite to house my collection. I like this for two reasons. One is that it takes up less shelf space. The other, more importantly, is I have a way to search and organize my highlights and notes. I keep all that in a database I’ve created in Notion in conjunction with my highlights and notes. I have found the discipline of keeping my database updated has helped me interact with the material at a much higher level.
Others use a notebook to write down their thoughts and keep the book’s quotes and concepts. This method is another excellent way to interact with the text and begin to work out the ideas in a critical way. The drawback is that this method is not searchable. Another process may need to be put in place to help you refer to your notes in the future.
Whatever you do, have a plan for how you can interact with the text. Detailed notes and interactions will not be needed for every genre that you consume. But it is helpful to have a plan as you dive into your next book that you want to think through critically.
You’ve Got This!
There is so much to learn from reading. Let me encourage you to read broadly. Don’t limit yourself to one field or one viewpoint. Reading provides all of us the opportunity to enter someone else’s mind and see them tell their story from their point of view. This is one of the things that excites me about reading. Each book is as if I have sat down with the author to hear their perspective on numerous topics.
Once you have chosen the reading material and have begun to read it, don’t stop there. Stick with it! Even if you can only read a few moments, be disciplined to take in the text. Don’t be afraid to think critically while you read. Let your imagination create the world the author is describing or interact with the viewpoint causing you to bristle. Be an active thinker as you read.
In the end, the joy of reading becomes more significant as you stay disciplined to the practice. Let me encourage you just to get started. You got this! If you need help, feel free to reach out.
For those of you who are regular readers, I’d love to hear about your favorite books and how you keep track of your highlights and notes!
I’d love to hear from you! Comment below or message me.
Thanks for reading!