Happy New Year!
We made it to 2018.
What a time to be alive.
Who are you reading?
Last year I shoved a tone of must reads down your throat and I was impressed that a number of you were pretty interested.
This week a friend asked me to help with a survey on whether the reading culture is there in Kenya. Some said yes it is, some said no, some said it’s dying and others, it’s about to rise to unbelievable levels. The demography of my survey? 21-26 years. Extensive enough? Not as I would like, but it will do for now.
Yes people are reading, you for one are reading my blog, you have probably read today’s paper, if not the paper you went through your google newsstand, if not that you’ve read the Tuko news or Mpasho, if not that you’ve read a post on Facebook, a forwarded whatsapp message with a read more button or even another blog.
Need I go into research for all the school work, novels, self-help books, motivational material and religious books?
I think we have all been exposed to reading to an extent, I think it a core part of literacy, vocabulary expansion, knowledge acquisition, you name it.
At the same time we don’t have enough time to read, we want to do 53 books a year we only do 20. We start a book leave it mid-way; we start an article we stop at paragraph three; we get a link, star it to read later; get notifications from BBC news we add to library but never really go back to read.
Do we really read?
In two different javs today the ladies seated next to me were reading. At the same time in a another jav the tout asked me if I’m a teacher because I was reading. (Mind you I’m currently reading An Enemy of The People I didn’t study it as a set book so why not).
I think reading is important. I for one am very intrigued when someone quotes a writer, maybe that’s just me. But we live in a dynamic world where knowledge is at our disposal, be it on twitter or even in a paperback or hard copy.
Life hacks that might get you reading more?
1. Identify your Interests.
We are all different. You may want to grow, there’s definitely a self help for you. You may hate self help and love fiction. You may love plays, you may adore poetry. See what you like, pick it out. Some just love the business daily, all that novels mambo jambo just isn’t for them! Read that, acquire that knowledge. They say every query you have there is a book for, put this theory to test!
2. Hang out with people who read.
You know if there are four millionaires where you sit you’ll be the fifth right? If you’re struggling to read, join a book club. If you don’t feel like going all boujie and joining a book club enroll to a library, even an online one and borrow books. Still not an option? Thrift, thrift my friend, books in the CBD even go for 50 bob, if you know good places, 30 bob.
Just tell those guys what you want and they’ll point you out what to read. (Even if you think they don’t have a clue)
3. Start small.
Don’t get a Harry Potter novel if it’s your first book since High School set books! You’ll be discouraged at page 100, let alone how many hundreds you have left. Start with a newspaper article, heck start with my blog (marketing 101 lol). Start monthly, then weekly, soon it’ll be so natural for you to grab a book and dig in.
4. Don’t read when you’re tired.
Reading is glorious, but if you only start reading when your brain is about to switch off, then you may never really finish that article. You’ll doze of and next thing you’re saying you get sleepy whenever you read. Or that reading just isn’t for you.
Read when fresh, when transitioning; for example on the bus in the morning, I see so many people on their tablets, it jump starts your brain. Read over cup of coffee and soft music after a refreshing shower.
Try out different times you never really know, you are your unique self.
5. Set realistic reading goals.
It’s new year and everyone has resolutions. In other words these are just goals right? Want to read more? Set a goal, say you want to read more articles? Read and article a day, that’s seven in a week. Say you want to read a book in a month, read several chapters a week. Don’t wait until the last week of the month.
They say if you want to hide something from an African keep it in a book. I don’t know if my phraseology of this statement is correct but I completely disagree.
We are no longer in the day and age when just a handful of us had gone to school, we live in a day when we can actually internalize concepts just as anyone on the face of the earth, if not better.
Grab a book, you never know what you’ll learn. Knowledge is power right?
As you grab a book, my friend Krystin, popularly known as Wairimu the Poet is a publish author, yeeeey Kenyan writers, start with her book! You can get it on Amazon, just click the link here