How to (Finally) Pick Up a Book

To be completely transparent, I was never a reader.

As I kid I accumulated books that laid untouched in my closet (but found much interest in purchasing them when the book fair was in town). Even as I got older, I enjoyed the idea of reading, but cracking open a book was a far thought.

It wasn’t until last year I received a Christmas gift: The Harry Potter series. I found interest in the books after a handful of visits to Universal Orlando, walking through The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and finding a curiosity to understand what it was I was experiencing (Ummm, did you say a dementor? A Horcrux – what?). I kept voicing how I wanted to read instead of watching the movies, so, I was willing to give it a shot.

Meanwhile, a coworker of mine at the time was a super fan of the series, and provided this one simple recommendation that changed my whole trajectory on reading: just read one chapter at a time. That’s it.

Sounds too easy, right?

So I began to read just one chapter a night. One quickly turned into two. Then four. Suddenly I’d wake in the mornings and my instinct was to pick the book back up. Before I knew it, book one was finished, and it didn’t take me but moments to get started on the next. I finished the entire Harry Potter series (which is incomparable to the movies – might I add), and continue to pick up novel after novel. I’m close to about twenty-one books in since beginning of 2019.

Oh, and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting your hands on the series.

So here’s my advice to you if you’re struggling to pick up that book you’ve been eyeing:

Start with one chapter.
Or even a few pages! Make it a priority to swap out the phone at night for a book. Set a timer. Read until your eyes get heavy. Basically, pick a time and stick with it. Creating a routine always helps boost motivation.

Download an app to keep you accountable.
I use Goodreads, where I can document books I’ve read, create a wishlist of books I want to read, and update my progress on the books I’m reading at the moment! I’m currently reading 4 books and really enjoy seeing the percentage gains I make with each when inputting page numbers – another boost of motivation to keep on reading. Oh, and you add your friends to see what they’re reading/have read, too!

Always keep a book with you.
Maybe you’re waiting in your car or sitting in a waiting room at your doctor’s office, what ever the case may be, keep a book on hand! Mindlessly scrolling on social media can put you in a never-ending rabbit hole; ditch the swiping and opt for some page flipping.

And as a side note…

Reading builds your vocabulary.
No joke, I’ve noticed a significant change in my daily vocab. Being able to communicate more effectively is always a confidence booster.

Knowledge is power. Books get our gears turning, imagination flowing, and can compel us to learn more about ourselves, igniting a spark of eagerness to know more – a riveting feeling at best. I hope you find a read that ignites that fire in you!

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” 
Ernest Hemingway

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” 
Oscar Wilde

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” 
Stephen King

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