It’s been a year and more since I first posted about my journey on adopting reading as a hobby (view previous posts). I must say with pride and a little bit of ignominy that the journey saw me through the first half of 2019 alone and no more #face covered# Even when I had passed set deadlines, I kept on telling myself, “I can do this.” By December, I was still telling myself, “I can finish six books in one month” (remember, the target was one book a month) – who was I even kidding?
The year ended with me having read only six books and a quarter (considering Michelle Obama’s Becoming which I started but haven’t finished reading till this day). Honestly, I felt like a failure: I had failed you (my accountability partner) and myself. This was supposed to be a step-by-step guide to successfully becoming a bookaholic, and now I couldn’t even eat off the content I had been preaching?
The first three months in 2020 rolled by with me still wondering how exactly to bounce back. I thought to put up a post a couple of times, but what will I even say? “Alright guys, I couldn’t stick to my rules, reading isn’t for everyone”? Naaa! I couldn’t even bring myself to post on anything else because I knew I had unfinished business lurking. At the end of March though, I saw an ad by a group I follow “Missions Today” calling on people to join a reading challenge. The challenge was to read a book a week and discuss it on a scheduled date. It sounded unachievable since I couldn’t even succeed at reading a book in a month last year. However, I thought to give it a go and try this reading thing again. The idea was to see if things would be any different and yes, they sure are!
For the month of April, I did successfully read four books, and here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off, and try again”: This line from Aaliyah’s song, ‘Try again’ says it all. A Chinese proverb captures it too: Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up. So, the key thing is to learn from one’s mistakes, re-strategise, then launch. One of the mistakes I made last year with regards to my reading project was feeling I was ready to take on bulky books just because they were trending, and I wanted to feel scholarly – now I know better!
- By all means possible, have a reading partner or belong to a reading club: Thank you “Missions Today” for the opportunity. If you are like me who does not like to disappoint people I am properly accountable to, you’ll find yourself eager to beat targets and have yourself ready by the deadline/the discussion date.
- Go for books that you can read in a day or two (no more): Now, this does not mean you should not read other books. It’s just that this can, and should be your foundation. It is a confidence booster as it can make you feel like you’re making so much progress (which you actually are). It doesn’t give you the opportunity to feel bored sticking to one thing and gives you the feel-good sensation of an achiever.
- TAKE ON BOOKS YOUR SIZE ooo: This is somewhat related to the point above. Baby steps are still steps my dear. The most important thing is that you are moving, you aren’t stagnant, you are learning; be it from a ten paged book (yes, I’ve seen a book that size) or a 1000 paged dictionary. However, stay true to yourself, know when you can handle more pages, and go for it.
- Record your journey: Have a journal/jotter to write things down. It could be quotes or just things that stood out to you. In any case, this helps your recap session, especially if you have to present the book to someone or a group. Also, you can pick your journal in future and recollect what the book was about.
It is never an easy journey to complete all one sets out to do but if you set your heart to it, you can do it. Especially if you follow rules that can make the road less tiresome. Have you had any challenges with reading or any other life issue that you think you want to share? Drop a comment and please hit me up. Plus, if you would like to be accountable to someone on a reading journey, also let me know.
With ❤️ – A Teen for God!