Reading books was never really my hobby. I despised them and, on some days, I still do. Why? I get bored real quick. I prefer chit-chats and just anything more active and noisier.
With time, I began to see that my participation in the chit-chats was quite basic, no exposure, no weight – like I was in 1917 and my counterparts were already in 3017. There was this yearn to be exposed too, to sound sophisticated, to use words like ‘rondavel’, ‘librocubicularist’, ‘haiku’, ‘comeuppance’ and more, in my speech and also have people marvel (call me vain but you know this feeling too). I knew that there were things my colleagues were doing (to be this exposed) that I wasn’t doing. One thing I knew, they watched movies and READ BOOKS! Sadly, I did none of these – so I had little or nothing intelligent to contribute to discussions on ‘Animal Farm’, ‘Things Fall Apart’, ‘Harry Porter’, world wars (history) and lots more.
Prior to this time, I had heard a lot about the benefits of reading, how life’s greatest secrets were hidden in books, yada yada yada. Then, at some point, I found the urge to be far more, to know more, to learn more – outside the scope of medicine. I kept working towards it and by the end of 2018, decided to take the urge from a feeling to reality. So, I came up with a plan to work on my non-existent reading life:
●I defined my genre of books. This happened unconsciously, to be honest. I realised I am more inclined (but not limited) to biographies, memoirs and Christian books – non-fiction basically. I discovered that I would read these books and not get bored. Thus, I found out that reading and books were not the culprit for boredom but the choice of books I chose to read.
●I set very realistic goals (one book a month – start date January 2019). To ensure I do not do the ‘New Year resolution and drop’ thing, I have been active on achieving this. I’ve read three books so far: Mark Lukach’s ‘My Lovely Wife In the Psych Ward’, Myles Munroe’s ‘Waiting and Dating’ and Karen Kingsbury’s ‘When We Were Young’. #proud smile#
●I gave myself a deadline for each page, section, chapter – this gave me a sense of responsibility, discipline and hunger to bit the deadline. This also helped me not to get bored when I felt the chapter was too long. I would read one section of the chapter per sitting, take a break, refresh and resume (snail steps but better a snail to no snail at all, right?)
●I took on books my size – and cheated a bit to meet my deadline! I planned to read Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ in February, gave myself a plan – one chapter per day for 24 days. Mid-February and I still had not started reading the over 900 paged book. Eventually started reading the book 10 days to February’s end – couldn’t get past the first chapter – I began to feel overwhelmed, like I was being defeated. Well, I closed the book, took Myles Munroe’s 160 paged ‘Waiting and Dating’ so I could successfully tick off my second book for the year. I finished the book in five days. #another proud smile#
●I got myself an accountability partner: by writing this post, sharing it and letting the whole world read it, that is. This automatically means I should be back with an update on the three books I’ve read at the end of the next quarter of 2019 – hmmm.
This isn’t a gold standard for anyone (at least not yet), but it has worked for me so far.
Reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming has been scheduled for later this year.
I read two books in 2018 (Max Lucado’s “A love worth giving” and Paul Kalanithi’s “When breath becomes air”), the goal for 2019 is to read AT LEAST 12 books.
I hope this encourages someone to embrace reading!