Are you a bibliophile?
Have you lost your interest in reading?
Or do you find it difficult to indulge in the habit despite having a great passion for it?
Recently, I had a conversation with my father and he mentioned that reading as a habit or a hobby is slowly dying. The number of people in their teens or youth who have reading habits has come down severely compared to the number a couple of decades ago.
It is probably because books and magazines are replaced by tablets and smartphones. People prefer to buy a Kindle as opposed to the paperback version.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people partook in the OTT (over the top) platform culture by subscribing Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu.
While I was in school, it was forbidden to take any form of entertainment to the campus, like a phone, board games, etc. Students had often been discouraged from talking about films or TV soaps by teachers.
However, if someone was seen with a book in his or her hands, the same teachers used to give thumbs up.
Added to that, a person’s ability to think critically or intellectually was often measured based on the reading habits.
Today, a lot of experts have expressed concerns regarding the decline of this habit; which is not just about the author or publishing house losing revenue, but about the raising the importance of gaining knowledge and information.
So, if you are worried about struggling to satisfy this passion of yours, then fret not!
You can revive the dormant bibilophile in you again.
What can you do?
1. Create a community or join a book club.
Personally, I am part of international author Clare Mackintosh’s Facebook book club.
Here, people share their reviews, recommendations, seek suggestions, and express critical thoughts. It is a good space to be in especially when you are conversing with people who have the same passions as yours.
So, try joining a social media book club that should also be a safe and troll-free space.
You can create your own club and bring together like-minded friends or colleagues.
2. Choose your favourite genre.
You start your reading habits with your favourite genre or with an easy read. It can be anything, history, psychology, biography, fantasy, thriller, classic, or a novella.
Even if you don’t have a favourite genre, then try experimenting by referring or reading different books from various categories. Go for books with better reviews so that you get to have a good start.
3. Keep a coffee cup nearby and find a quiet place
I came across an article that showed blissful looking reading spaces for bookworms. Sitting down in that space with a cup of coffee and snacks is a great experience. You try finding such a space either inside or outside the house.
Find the space in a park or lakeside, or on top of the hills.
Bijal Shah, a book curator and bibliotherapist, suggested that apart from the fun aspect, it is necessary because, in that way, people can put themselves away from potential distractions.
4. Reduce social media, TV or OTT use
This might be difficult if you have developed it all into a habit. Instead of watching a film or a TV show, sit down to read a book. Added to that, treat books as a great escape from the possible toxicity that is constantly seen on social media.
If you are reading the book version of a famous film or TV series then it is better to read the book first because the suspense part is important to enjoy the piece of material.
Reading is a lot of fun but it also has its own added benefits. You can top-up vocabulary and critical thinking skills.
If you are a writer then reading as a process helps in building the blocks of your career as well as creativity.
Also according to a study published in Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology’s medical journal, reading books and magazines, writing, and participating in other mentally stimulating activities can help in preventing Alzheimer’s disease significantly.
So, go ahead, find the right partner in the form of a paperback.