The need for reading
– Nora Ephron
Most of us are au fait with the scientific research that proves reading is good for you.
While we’re on the topic of science and literature, a group of researchers who call themselves ‘Evolutionary Darwinists’ have written extensively on humans’ need for story.
An example – The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall, which suggests story is a biological adaptation that allows humans to predict outcomes through imagined scenarios.
In other words, imagination prepares us for the real world.
So, we tell our kids to read more and we dress them up as characters from books to celebrate book week. And most creatives I know say they want (need) to read more.
Why? To see how other authors tackle problems and use narrative devices.
Finding the moments to read can be difficult, especially in the face of online clickbait and long-form essays.
Recognise reading as an essential practice
Reading is regarded as a luxury: an indulgence. Sitting down with a book looks like doing nothing. And in contemporary society, doing nothing is lazy, the anathema to success.
“ Books are sources of creativity and change. ”
1. Take a book everywhere you go
Carry it in your sac and bring it out when you’re waiting. If you wait a lot, use the time to read.
2. Read only what you love
There are some books you won’t love. And that’s okay. Read the ones that resonate. You can’t read them all anyway.
3. Close your door
And turn off the notifications on your devices. Reading takes focus and it is the one activity most prone to being interrupted.
4. Make reading habits
Commit to read 20 minutes each night before bed. Without fail. That’s 140 minutes a week.
5. Listen to audiobooks
Get a subscription to Audible so you can listen to novels and nonfiction. Listen while you do the dishes and walk the dog.
6. Join a bookclub
Find one that concentrates on a genre or area you like. This is a great way to be motivated to get books finished. Who said readers have to be loners?
So now you’re revved to make space for more reading in your life, here are some of the titles on my list of books to read before I die:
What’s on your must-read list?