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How To Develop A Reading Habit – Choosing Your Literary Path To Promote Lifelong Learning

Written by: Tatiane Garcia, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Tatiane Garcia

I always admired people who love reading. However, it felt like a task to me; it seemed dull, and I never felt like I had the time or interest for it. In the early days of my career, I would buy business magazines, flip through a few pages, and stack them on my shelf. It was as if having those magazines displayed was a form of recognition or reward.

Coffee and books on the table

One day, life caught my attention, and I realized there was a significant gap in my education. I felt like I didn't know much about the world and was missing out on opportunities. That's when I decided it was time for a change.

 

In the spirit of a true New Year's resolution, I began reading books and articles on different subjects, along with watching lectures and educational videos like Ted Talks. I even became an online Ted Talks translator to help out and improve my English skills. Over time, I grew to love learning. I feel I've evolved my life journey into one of greater knowledge and cultural enrichment. However, it wasn't a walk in the park! It required a lot of practice, and I'm still at it.

 

This newfound understanding has boosted my confidence, enabling me to make assertive decisions. I've also cultivated a greater sense of curiosity, remaining open to new experiences that continue to shape my personal and intellectual growth. It's a humbling journey that reinforces the power of continuous learning and embracing opportunities for personal development.

 

There are generally five ways of reading which include: 1) pre-reading, 2) skimming, 3) scanning, 4) detailed reading, and 5) critical reading. I like to call mine "Enjoy it!"

 

If you're thinking about diving into the world of reading, seriously, go for it! Not sure where to start? No worries—Let's talk about three ways to consume books, including their pros and cons.

 

What are the pros of reading physical books?


If you're looking for a more engaging, durable, collectible, and sustainable reading experience, then a physical book made of paper is the best option for you!


Physical books are more engaging. When you read a paper book, you can feel the weight of the book in your hands, savor the scent of paper, and relish the sound of pages turning. These sensory elements contribute to a more focused and immersive reading experience, enhancing your connection with the story.


Physical books are more durable. They can last for years, even with frequent use.


Paper books are more collectible. Some people enjoy collecting physical books because they can bring pleasure and even pride, as in my case. They can also be an investment, as some books may increase in value over time.


Physical books are more sustainable. They are made from natural materials like paper and ink, which can be recycled or reused.


Here is a personal tip: When reading a paper book, take notes and talk back to the text. Explain in detail the concepts. Mark up the pages. Ask questions.

 

Cons: Physical books can be more expensive than e-books or audiobooks. Also, they can be more challenging to transport.

 

Recent studies suggest that reading print improves comprehension far more than perusing digital text, according to the Reading Research Structure (ERI) at the University of Valencia (UV). Debatable!

 

What are the pros of reading e-books?


E-books are more portable. Allowing you to carry your Kindle or tablet anywhere for on-the-go reading. They are also a more budget-friendly option, available at a significantly lower cost than physical books.

 

The ease of finding e-books across various online stores simplifies the search for specific titles. Managing your e-book collection is also convenient—you can organize them by category, author, or title. Moreover, features like bookmarking, note-taking, and highlighting add to the ease of managing and personalizing your digital library.

 

Additionally, e-books contribute to environmental sustainability as they eliminate the need for printing, reducing waste. Furthermore, they provide a customizable reading experience, allowing adjustments to font size, style, and line spacing for optimal comfort.

 

Cons: Adding annotations and marks to e-books can be a bit trickier. Personally, I find there's something irreplaceable about making notes on paper.


What are the pros of listening to books?


I'm a huge fan of tuning into books through podcasts.


If you're seeking a convenient, relaxing, affordable, and educational way to enjoy books, audiobooks are an excellent choice! They provide a convenient means of consuming content, allowing you to listen while driving, cooking, or tackling various tasks. This not only maximizes your free time but also enables you to learn and feel accomplished, contributing to a productive day.


Various sources provide free or discounted audiobooks, including libraries, podcasts, and subscription services. With a wide range of genres available, you're sure to discover something you enjoy.

 

Audible is a fantastic platform for consuming books. It's an excellent way to disconnect and get lost in a story. However, be cautious when listening to audiobooks while walking outdoors. Make sure to be aware of your surroundings and not let the audio distract you.

 

Audiobooks also offer an excellent avenue for individuals with disabilities to enjoy literature. Those with visual impairments can listen to audiobooks, allowing them to experience stories they might otherwise be unable to read.

 

Here are some tips for listening to audiobooks safely:

  • Choose a quiet place to listen to audiobooks.

  • Adjust the audio volume to a comfortable level. So you don't get annoyed with their voice or even damage your hearing.

  • Don't let the audio distract you from your surroundings. Be safe!

  • Take breaks to move around and stretch your legs.

 

Audiobooks are an excellent way to explore new cultures and perspectives while honing your listening skills in another language. It was a fantastic way for me to practice English! Be pragmatic in your book choice, listening to works by authors from around the world to gain insights into their diverse experiences.

 

Cons: Audiobooks might be less engaging than physical books or e-books since making notes or marks on audiobooks while on the go isn't quite as straightforward, although it is possible!

 

I believe the best way to consume books is the way you prefer to learn. There are many types of people, each with their own preferences when it comes to reading. Some people prefer reading physical books, while others prefer e-books or audiobooks. There is no right or wrong answer; it's about finding the best way to read that works for you.

 

Innate curiosity drives us to seek knowledge, but the demands of work and personal life often impede our ability to indulge it. Forming intentional learning habits can bridge this gap, offering a path to enduring professional relevance and profound personal contentment.

 

Reading books enhances soft skills like communication, empathy, critical thinking, and problem-solving. It cultivates time management, stress reduction, cultural awareness, and patience. It also promotes open-mindedness, emotional intelligence, vocabulary, and language skills. Additionally, it encourages self-reflection and adaptability. Reading truly is a lifelong Learning Habit.

 

Here are my top five tips for those who are looking to start reading.

  1. Find a quiet place where you can focus on reading.

  2. Choose books that interest you.

  3. Create goals that suit you, such as reading a specific number of pages per day or per week, or setting aside a specific amount of time for reading.

  4. If you're feeling bored or unmotivated, consider reading at a different time of day, change your reading environment, or explore a different book.

  5. Stick with one book at a time.

 

Considering that reading was a new habit for me, I've developed a personal reading practice: 12 books in 12 months. I've been intentional about my book choices, and here are the twelve I selected, though not necessarily in order.

 

Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson


Man’s Searching For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl


The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz


Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill


The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel


Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho


The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.


Atomic Habits by James Clear


The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman


Dopamine Nation by Dr Anna Lembke


The Bible by YouVersion (in progress)

 

Find your favorite way to enjoy books; try mixing formats, like reading a physical book while listening to the audiobook together. Personally, I've taken the plunge into a book club, seeking a richer understanding of diverse perspectives and a more fulfilling reading experience. Wishing you a delightful literary journey!


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Tatiane Garcia Brainz Magazine
 

Tatiane Garcia, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Tatiane is a Certified Personal, Leadership, and Executive Coach with a wealth of experience spanning two continents. With over two decades of invaluable career insights in business management, she has seamlessly transitioned into a trusted Coach and Mentor. She is a visionary in personal development and the cultivation of meaningful relationships. Tatiane is unwaveringly committed to assisting individuals in broadening their perspectives, leading them to lives characterized by strength and limitless possibilities. Her journey of continuous personal growth has inspired others to embrace their unique experiences, cultivating essential soft skills and self-leadership.

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