Start with 10 minutes a day and choose readings that are easy for you
Data from the latest Barometer on reading habits and buying books (2021) reveal that of the 35.6% of people who never read, half are due to lack of time, not desire. If you belong to that group and you really want to resume the pleasure of reading every day, you should establish the habit of reading as if it were the preparation of a marathon, with its good and bad days, with days of rain and others of infernal heat. But always with a clear objective in mind: to be in shape to cross the finish line in the best possible conditions.
«For a habit to become part of our routine, the action must be repeated until the pattern is recorded in the brain through neural connections. The more times we repeat it, the greater the probability that it will become a habit. And this serves both to resume reading and to start running”, says Amagoia Eizaguirre, author of ‘The Little Book of Healthy Habits’ (Ed. Alienta) in which she explains how to incorporate up to 65 different routines into our lives related to the body, the mind and the soul “through small daily gestures”.
Because, although it is a pleasure, reading requires an effort. “Numerous studies indicate that 40% of the actions we take on a daily basis are not real decisions, but the consequence of our habits. And these habits help us save mental energy. That is, they make us work automatically without having to think at all times how to execute those activities. For example, reading ten pages a day does not mean a big change in our routines, but throughout the year there are 3,650 pages. Ten books! », Amagoia Eizaguirre calculates.
Better sitting than in bed
But how long does it take to acquire a habit? The expert replies: “There is a myth that 21 days are needed, however later studies found that at least 66 days on average are necessary to incorporate a new behavior into our routine and that it is also maintained over time. Personally, I believe that each human being is different and that it not only depends on the habit that they want to acquire, but also on their emotional and physical state. I have seen clients who have achieved the desired routine in two weeks and others who have taken more than those two long months.
These are the tips of Amagoia Eizaguirre to resume the love of reading. «Many people do not read because at school they were forced to ‘swallow’ with books that did not interest them or did not contribute anything to them, hence one of the keys to encouraging us to read more is, precisely, to find the type of content that interests and the authors or titles that deal with that subject.
An opinion shared by the Spanish Confederation of Guilds and Associations of Booksellers (CEGAL) which, in addition, encourages all readers to “participate in reading clubs” to further enhance the love of books.
“In the beginning it is important to spend a minimum amount of time reading to get your brain used to understanding that this is your reading time. You can start with ten minutes daily. When you pick up the pace and get hooked on the book, you can increase the time. It also helps a lot that the first readings are easy for us to read. You can consult forums or specialized publications”, says the expert in acquiring habits, known as @habituatea on social networks.
He insists that you must be constant so as not to forget what you have read and, if you do not have much time, he recommends starting with a book of stories or short stories.
The environment, he says, is also very important. «Many people read in bed before falling asleep and this is dangerous because at the end of the day we are exhausted and end up falling asleep. The first weeks it is better that we read sitting in a place that is comfortable for us instead of doing it in bed.
Now that you know how to get back in the habit, all you have to do is choose a title that appeals to you to start the challenge.
THE CHALLENGE OF READING A BOOK A WEEK
If you are one of those who have already internalized the habit of reading, but what you want is to be more productive, write down these tips from expert readers.
Always have a book at hand
and so you can take advantage of downtime to read.
Make it a priority.
Instead of messing with social networks or your mobile, force yourself to read.
If a reading does not convince you, leave it
and choose another title. Nothing happens.
Read multiple books at once.
You don’t have to finish a reading to start a new one.
Have the next book ready
before finishing the one in hand
5.48 hours a week
is the average time that Spaniards dedicate to reading, according to data from a study carried out by the market research agency NOP World. This figure is far from the more than 10 used in India, the country where people read the most in the world, followed by Thailand (9.24 hours), China (8), the Philippines (7.36), Egypt (7 .30) and the Czech Republic (7.24). On the other side of the balance are countries such as Korea and Japan, with 3 and 4 hours per week on average, respectively.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.