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What to do if I am not a reader?

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Joined: 12 Sep 2017
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What to do if I am not a reader?  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2020, 03:19
Reading is not just a good habit but it’s a necessity if we want to excel in any professional domain. For many of us, the question arises as to what to do if I have never read in my life? Or what to do if I have read only a few top charted books?

First, it’s imperative to ascertain the need to read. Unless that need is identified, the brain never accepts the process of reading. The need could be born out of professional requirements or personal goals, yet that need is peremptory.

Reading needs patience and trick at the same time. We need to trick our minds into developing the habit to read. New habits cannot be born out of force or compulsion, rather the only way to grow a new habit is to develop interest. So, the next pertinent question is how to develop that interest when I have never been into the habit of reading? Or how do I trick my mind into developing the habit of reading?

The only way to develop interest and habit is by doing it real time. First, we must pick a book/article that belongs to our area of interest. For instance, some may be interested in politics or some might have penchant towards sports or business. Keeping in mind our personal disposition, we may pick up a book such as an autobiography/biography of a political leader or biography or a sports star or a management book respectively. Since the first book that we start with is a key decider to our newly found habit, it is essential to pick the genre that we are most comfortable with. It could be fiction, self-help, management, history, science, technology, psychology, philosophy, to name a few.

The next step comes with the choice of the author to be read. Remember, our goal here is to enhance our reading calibre. This can happen only when we focus on reading sophisticated writing styles than just juicy content. Try to pick up books that have received international acclaim than a domestic one. Starting with a renowned book has its advantages. One, it of course has something in it since it is renowned and so we can trust that style of writing. Two, this book can definitely be used for any discussion purposes, whether personal or professional. We tend to feel more confident if we can refer to books that we have read. Once the book is shortlisted, it’s suggestive to give the book the attention of at least thirty minutes for three consecutive days. Now here, you may not be able to read too much initially, yet you must keep going on. Supposedly you just read two to three paragraphs in a sitting of thirty minutes, even that is alright. Eventually, on the fourth day picking up the book shall happen naturally. Sometimes at this stage you may have the temptation to switch the book. It is alright to evaluate your options but just make sure that you do not keep switching. Lastly, we have to make sure to finish the book in a set deadline, which of course may have soft boundaries but not so soft that it loses its significance altogether.

The completion of the first book(even for those who haven’t picked it up for a long time) is a definite accomplishment. From there we must not only explore other books of the genre(s) of our choice, but also we must read genres that we may not be so comfortable with, such as history, science for instance. Exploring other genres is the second step and a giant leap in this journey toward becoming a reader.

Exams such as GMAT and GRE require us to solve reading comprehension and argument based questions. We may not realise this but once we develop the habit of active reading, our comprehension capacity increases manifold and the time taken to read and understand a text decreases. It is very much possible to achieve hundred percent accuracy in reading comprehension, but this idea seems completely alien to us only because we have never developed our comfort in reading. The moment the reading comprehension flashes on our screens, the first feeling that we experience is of discomfort, which is a testimony to the fact that we are not doing what needs to be done.

Reading as a process grooms us in ways that we may not even notice. After a conscious effort made into reading, we wouldn’t even realise when we start noticing books around us, picking them and discussing with friends around.

P.S. “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” – Harper Lee

Sonal Darra,
GMAT Verbal Expert
GMAT Club Bot
What to do if I am not a reader?   [#permalink] 14 Apr 2020, 03:19

What to do if I am not a reader?

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