Editor’s Note: This article is a part of the Holos Project, a four-way partnership (ENGin, The Los Angeles Times Insider, Published Points of View, The Outspoken) established to empower the voices of Ukrainian students across the world through one-on-one journalism mentorship. This article was written by Kira Pysana from Ukraine with the mentorship of Rohin Joshi from the United States. “Holos” is the Ukrainian word for “Voice”.
To start reading is to start a new adventure. If you never travel abroad but read books instead, you will make acquaintances with world cultures and its people. As you experience an author’s world, you understand their lives and develop empathy.
Reading improves memory, focus, communication skills, and mental health. It reduces stress. Reading benefits won’t work with just one book per year. Readers should have solid daily habits. Reading shouldn’t make you suffer. Instead, it should be interesting.
As you probably know, reading is the best way to improve your memory, expand general knowledge, or have a good time. It is also a great way to rest and feel happier. According to Cross River Therapy, over 50% of people who read before falling asleep rest better than those who don’t. Everyone is busy during the day, but reading is worth taking some time. We can always find 15 minutes for social media or usually even more. Perhaps you can find a few minutes for reading, because of its importance. You get out of reading what you put into it.
Try to schedule time for reading. We’re all busy – some of us study often, and many adults must work. Finding time with many chores and responsibilities might make it hard to start reading. Try to choose the best time for it. For example, you can read after waking up or before sleeping. That choice depends on your preferences; for me, it’s easier to read in the morning because you have a fresh mind. It’s also a productive way to start your day because you feel refreshed. Reading also provides an escape from a person’s problems. Everybody needs that “escape,” yet sometimes, an escape can be lazy, bad for your health and personal life, and make your problem even worse. But, reading is a healthy escape. Scheduling can help develop a reading habit. That’s what we need.
You should read exciting books. You won’t be able to make a strong habit if you hate reading. Find a book that is fascinating for YOU. Sometimes, you might think that the book will be fascinating, but when you start, you recognize that it’s the opposite. Calm down! That’s completely okay. Maybe you will read it next month, next year, yesterday, or never, it depends. It would be best if you didn’t give up after reading one boring book. I use a straightforward tip: leave it if you’ve read about 50 pages, and the book doesn’t seem interesting. Try to find something else.
Read a specific number of pages per day. That might be 50, 70, 100, or as many as you want. You can also increase this number. If you read 50 pages daily, you will read about 90 books yearly (depending on the book’s size). But don’t be too strict with your numbers: it’s all approximate. It should make you happy. You can always read less or more. Just keep going every day.
Know your “why”. Why exactly do you want to read? You clicked on this article for a reason. I think everybody has different reasons. Write them on a small piece of paper, and when you lose your motivation, look back. Or write a whole list that’s called “WHY” with all your reasons for reading. Always remember why you started.
Start right now. It will be challenging, but remember that great things never come from staying in your comfort zone. You’ll never know if you never try.