How do you read?

Happy Self-Love Sunday!

This summer I’ve resolved to read as many books as I possibly can. I’ve decided to go back to my old habit of just sitting around and reading for hours on end. I love going to bookstores and discovering new books from poets I follow on Twitter so I have boxes full of books that I’ve bought but haven’t had time to read.

There are a few things I need every time I read.

I need:

  1. A pen
  2. A highlighter
  3. Sticky Notes
  4. An open Mind
  5. Alertness
  6. A good book

If I can, I’ll add:

  1. A candle to adjust the ambiance
  2. A snack to stain the pages
  3. Complete silence in case I want to read aloud

I love to add thoughts and poems between the pages of my favorite books followed by the date of when I wrote them. Most times, I’ll read the same book multiple times over the course of years and write on the pages as new thoughts and ideas come to my mind. So as you can guess, most of my books are filled with a rainbow of markings as well as miscellaneous stains and the pages are often bent in multiple directions.

A lot of people don’t read on a daily basis (myself included) but here are 5 benefits to reading every day:

  1. Mental Stimulation
    1. This is important because it slows down mental decay by keeping your brain active
  2. Stress Reduction
    1. If you dedicate time to read every day then you are dedicating time to self-improvement and self-care. Forgetting about all the thing that are stressing you and just taking a break. Slip into another time period, galaxy or dimension and allow yourself to learn and feel.
  3. Vocabulary Expansion
    1. If you’re anything like me, you love learning new words. Grab a pen and your cell-phone and underline every word you don’t know and write the definition on the page before moving on.
  4. Knowledge
    1. Whether your book is teaching you about life in a place you’ve never visited or the truth behind cosmetic surgeries, you never know when you might use the knowledge you gain from reading.
  5. Improved Focus and Concentration
    1. Unlike scrolling down a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram feed, sitting down to read requires a longer period of concentration that most people aren’t accustomed to. Making reading a daily habit can have a substantial effect on your concentration levels.

If reading is boring to you, here are some ways to spice it up:

  1. Download the audio-book version of a book you already own and read along as you listen to someone reading it. This may help you especially if you’re an auditory learner (someone who learns best from hearing)
  2. Grab a highlighter or a pack of highlighters and highlight everything that catches your attention. This may help if you’re a kinesthetic learner (like myself) and you learn best from a hands-on experience.
  3. Designate a specific time to read. It may be right before bed or as soon as you wake up in the morning. Picking a time and making reading a habit will, eventually, make reading a part of your daily life.
  4. Figure out what types of books you like to read. If novels aren’t your cup of tea try short mysteries or manga. Do you like science fiction or books of poetry? Message me, I have some suggestions.
  5. Read books with your friends. Find a book that you and your friends would enjoy. Group discussions about the book could motivate you to finish it. You also get to hear their different interpretations of the text.

This summer, take time to breathe. I’m working 5 days a week but this is the very first summer I’ve had, since starting college, when I’m not taking summer classes. I find myself with extra time but I don’t want to spend the time just sitting around.  I’m going to the gym, reading books and writing. Find peace in your daily life by actually doing the things that you enjoy. Make time for yourself. It’s imperative for your mental-health.

Write a comment or tweet me and tell me what you need when you read, I’d love to know. Happy Self-Love Sunday, again! Have a great week! See you on Free-Thinking Friday!

2 thoughts on “How do you read?

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