A READING REGIME
We don’t know how it is with you, but we feel reading helps us to stay sane. The world and its people can be very loud and overwhelming at times; so taking some time off to work to interact with nothing but the words in the book you handle, is very therapeutical for us. It’s a luxury, we have to admit, especially when we do have other responsibilities or priorities to cover. We sit down to put a list of how we stick to the regime.
1. Pick a time of the day and make it sacred.
It’s a luxury, we know. We struggle with it too. But blocking a specific time of the day when you try not to do anything but reading had been very helpful for us. It’s like taking a time off for your afternoon break, or before-sleep routine. Unless it’s really necessary, we try to not bargain with any possible temptation to do other chores.
2. Choose a reading playlist accordingly.
It’s not a must, of course. Sometimes we prefer reading in the quiet – especially when it’s a more serious read, but most of the time it really helps. We have a number of different favourites: João Gilberto is always good for an afternoon laid back reading mood, and Erik Satie for a more intense night session. The Spotify playlists for their songs are on point.
3. When the words doesn’t work, give yourself a break.
We agree that we need to have as much range of authors as possible, that’s why we try to diversify. But there are times when we just got stuck with one author because their writing style can be challenging, or simply we’re not in the same (mental) frequency with their stories. So, we’ve been trying to accept that we may have to know when a book is not working for us, and move on.
If you want to persist, that’s good! We’d salute you for that. But if you keep on going and reading in stress only to make a point that you’ve read Kafka, try to take a break. Kafka is an important author, and his works have influenced the world; but you really should not read only to impress that you’ve read. You should read because it’s important for you, it expands your horizon, or simply because you really want to understand their philosophy; and sometimes it’s not as easy.
Rassi took five attempts to read Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses – in the span of three years, mind you – before she could manage to finish the book. It’s now on her favourite book list, because she finally got it. The book she read in between her attempts became a training ground to finally understand the complexities of Rushdie’s words and imagination.
4. Be consistent
This is also a small reminder for us. We try really hard to be discipline with our regime. Managing a bookstore allows us to always have books to read; but we do have other errands to take care for the store to keep going, so it’s not like we can always read. Yet, as we said in out first point, we keep our reading hour sacred and try to be consistent with it.
A Harvard Business Review article also had some ideas on how to read more, it includes: reading (only) in your home, making public commitment, and doing it in between the small minutes you have to pass. What about you? What’s your reading regime?