Reading daily can have a positive impact on your life. More then half of the people once finished their schooling will ever pick up and read a book again. Reading is usually boring and uninteresting when we are in school. This can turn many adults off from reading once they graduate. Finding what you like to read and what your interested in is important when trying to get back into reading.
Benefits of reading:
Improves brain connectivity
Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
Contributes to a longer life
Improves vocabulary and comprehension
As you can see – listed above are some great positives that reading can do for you. Reading is something that can be relaxing where you can learn from the greatest minds in the world or just get hooked on a unique fiction series. I personally only read non-fiction books, something that can help me improve or learn about anything from money management, self-improvement, exercise, nutrition, and goal setting.
It took me a long time to get into the positive habit of reading daily. I adopted this habit over years and years of reading and now it just happens on autopilot each day. Start with easier more basic reads – books around 200 pages or less that are easy to understand. Picking up big book can be very intimidating. Even to this day if I get a book that’s over 400 pages it seems like a big read. I've managed to read books over 600 pages. Remember it will take some time but you will get to the end 1 page at a time. Creating that daily habit of reading during the same time for the same duration can help you lock it in.
Reading what you enjoy is key. If you don’t enjoy it and can’t get through it stop reading it. This is why most people in school either don't read their assigned books or hate it. In the end you are probably wasting your time if you don't enjoy what you are reading. Find the niche of books you like to read and stay in that realm. For me as stated earlier it’s anything related to personal development and finance. I enjoy learning about new things and ways people have succeeded in the past. If you really like fiction series like Harry Potter then read them.
The time frame you want to read differs for everyone. I try and read between 40-60 minutes a day usually early in the morning. This way I won’t have any excuses if things come up during the day – which they will. If you can't commit to reading each day then I'd suggest no less than 3 times a week. Even if you can dedicate 10 minutes each time, I believe it can be a huge game-changer in your life.
Speed = WPM
Reading speed is a big factor when considering how much you can read in your given time frame. The average person reads at about 250 WPM – words per minute. This is a basically reading at a fast pace down the page reading out every word in your head. This is how we're taught to read initially as a kid. Pronouncing the words in our heads as we go along. As we grow up many adults tend to read in this way which tends to be somewhat time consuming and slow. This way is completely fine and there is nothing wrong with it but it will have a huge cap on your reading speed if you continue. If you are fine with reading at this pace and want to get maximum enjoyment out of reading then keep at it.
If you want to read faster, you will need to stop sounding out each word in your head and scan the lines at a much faster pace. This is where speed reading comes in and how some people can read over 800 or even 1000 WPM. I’m not saying more is necessarily better but if you want to get through books at a faster rate with the time you’ve allotted to read you will need to up your reading speed - WPM. There are many posts and courses on speed reading, so I’ll let you get into that one on your own. It is a skill that takes practice like anything else and will take time to grasp and improve your speed.
Where to Buy Books
Nowadays there are a huge number of options where to purchase books. My go to places to purchase books in Canada are Indigo/Chapters or Amazon. I buy my books new but usually look for deals they offer. You can usually find some promos on various books throughout the year. I wouldn’t recommend buying them in the store because they tend to be marked up 25-40% from the online price. I will walk into Indigo browse some of their top books and new titles. I will then go on my phone while in the store and see the prices discounted 30% or more. Amazon has really been stepping up recently and their prices usually even beat Indigo even though some of the books are still shipped from Indigo, figure that out.
If you want to save some cash and don’t like the idea of spending $10-40 dollars on a new book every time you want to read something you can buy used books from Amazon or other second hand stores. I have not done this myself, but I know the prices can be extremely low – 70% off new prices. You can also go to your local library where you can borrow them for free. I personally like buying the books and keeping them so I can write in them highlight key information. I can later refer or reread a book to gain even more knowledge from it or a new perspective. They also serve as a form of motivation/inspiration for me in building up my bookshelf and collection over time.
Maybe you're not interested in physical books to read at all. They are too big and bulky, and you travel constantly for work. Well in this case then I recommend getting an e-reader. Amazon makes a great product called Kindle Paperwhite. It’s about $150 which is around the cost of 5 books at 30 bucks a piece. Mind you, you will still need to purchase or rent books onto this device. Even an iPad or a tablet will work as an e-reader for you if you already have one of those.
Here are 10 great books to get you started reading daily:
The Magic of thinking Big by David Schwartz
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Rich Dad Poop Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris
Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The One Thing by Gary W. Keller & Jay Papasan
Deep Work by Cal Newport
Are you too busy to read? I understand life moves fast and many of us are strapped to find 10 minutes in a day to ourselves. Well if you can’t dedicate some time here and there to open a book then a least start listening to audio books. These may not be an exact replacement for reading but they will help you learn and expand your mind. There are great apps now like www.audible.ca where you sign up for a monthly subscription and can listen to however many books you want. If you commute to work or school, take advantage of the opportunity by using that time to listen to audio books. I listened to so many audio books in my car when I used to commute 40 minutes per way to work each day. You can turn your once stressful drive to and from work into a portable university.
Another possible option for listening to audio books is to talk to your local library about programs/apps they may have. We have a local program here where if you have a library card you can login to their specific app and (borrow) audio books digitally right from your phone/device. This is an amazing free option where you can get free books instantly. The only downside to this was they didn’t have a huge selection of books from a store or an online subscription site like audible. Also they only have a set number of digital copies. So they may only have 4 copies of a popular new book but it may be borrowed and on hold for 8 weeks. With this you can put yourself on a waiting list and it will borrow it automatically once available. If you can combine both audio books and reading to your schedule throughout each day you will be a wealth of knowledge in no time. Even if you want to listen to books that aren’t geared towards learning it will help you try something new and gain a new experience.
Thanks for reading this post and hopefully now you understand how reading daily can greatly benefit you in life.