Put Down The Remote And Grab A Book Instead

Domagoj Vidovic

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“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one” — George R. R. Martin

You’ve probably heard a countless number of stories about the book’s benefits; about the knowledge written inside, improving your life. Well, I assure you that all of those statements are true.

Many greatest minds of humanity wrote a book at some point in their lives. Those were exceptional experiences, and they wanted to share the learned lessons with us. Tens of years of carefully crafted thoughts available just a few clicks and a couple of dollars away from us. Who should we learn from if not from the greatest?

A golden habit

A couple of years ago, I was having problems with reading. I knew that books are a treasure, but I just couldn’t force myself to read. I borrowed a book, read a couple of pages, then just forget about it. Reminder to return the book a month later always made me read a few more pages, but that was all, I’d never actually finished a book.

I struggled with it, and after some time I finally adopted the habit. I want to help you with the process, because your life would be incomparably better if you adopt it too. You are the writer of your life’s story — it won’t be so fabulous without big ideas.

I just can’t describe the tremendous transformation of my life. By reading the thoughts of the greatest, they start to occupy your mind. You start to think bigger. If they’ve accomplished it, why we couldn’t? We’re all human beings.

My successes in career and beating the anxiety would be far smaller without the books. Maybe they wouldn’t exist at all. And I’m telling you for sure — you wouldn’t read my work here on Medium right now. Where the hell would I get all of those ideas?

You deserve to grow. Let’s dive into some practices to adopt the habit.

Schedule reading time

Write the events on your calendar. Let them be like an appointment with yourself. Don’t start too big — it might make you nervous to follow a heavy routine at the beginning. Start with just 20 minutes, three times a week. If you’re telling me you can’t find 60 minutes in 10080 that one week has, I don’t believe you. And neither should you, that your “let’s-make-an-excuse” self talk.

When you feel ready, increase the reading time and read more times per week. And move the phone to another room, for God’s sake. The quality of reading is almost zero if you do it with other things in parallel.

Read what you love

The chances of you reading are much higher if you read something that’s interesting to you. Find a topic you love or the one that helps you with some issues in your life, career or relationships. If you’re reading the right answers, you will more likely come back for more. Don’t force yourself with the stuff you don’t find appealing, you’ll just give up at some point.

The goal here is not just to read a book. The goal is to become a reader. That person doesn’t have to force itself to read; the reader craves books; taking them wherever going. That’s a lifestyle change, exactly what you want. To absorb knowledge, one must be willing to change.

Stop borrowing, start buying

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”―Marcus Tullius Cicero

Seeing books on a nice shelf in a visible place at home will be much more motivating than going to the library every time. By buying books, you have a chance to revisit them later. No more notifications for book returns, no more library fines. They are your possession.

Imagine yourself buying one book a month. After 10 years, that’s 120 books! Something like that is a beautiful addition to every room. And you’ll probably buy more than one on average —I sometimes just can’t stop adding them to the cart.

Remember the quotes

Buy a nice notebook, and write down anything you find useful. Don’t keep the quotes only in your mind, they will fade away eventually. Write the book’s name and page number beside it, sometimes you’ll want to dig deeper into the context.

I also use a light yellow highlight marker and decorate every useful content I find. When you pick a book two years later, you will easily go through the most valuable stuff that way.

Some might say that I’m ruining the books. Well, if I could have highlighted so many “important facts” like the average amount of rainfall in the Amazon rainforest while in school, why wouldn’t I be able to decorate the stuff that will literally transform my life?

The books should be all about that — studying life. Never stop studying.

Don’t miss these priceless assets, incomparable to anything else. Reading is a practice of improving your focus, expanding your vocabulary, viewing life from many different perspectives.

It’s a practice of growth.

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