If you are struggling to read, then the challenge is not that you don’t start reading a book. But you just start reading one book – that too mostly a wrong one. And that is why you never complete more than 40 pages of a book. To solve this challenge, let’s create an environment where you will be able to read regularly.
One of the best ways to do that is by reading multiple books. Now you might be wondering – “I can’t finish reading one book, how is reading multiple books possible? it is because you have done that in your school days. Therefore in the formative years, your brain got conditioned to reading different subjects i.e. multiple books at a time.
That also created one conditioning which was right during school days but now its wrong – reading every book completely. You need to get rid of this mindset because today many books are written just for marketing purposes. These books have few unique ideas and are just repeating the same stuff in a different manner.
“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention” – Francis Bacon
This quote rightly suggests that not all the books have to be read in the same way. The way is not just dependent on the quality of the book but also your need. Reading as per my need was the reason why I was able to read more than 300 books in 2016.
Even though the book might be written nicely but still you cant connect with it, then it’s okay to leave it and go for other books. If you feel that book is very important but you still not able to finish it then read the book summary online, get the key points and move on.
You should speed up and slow down as per your need and quality of the book. Once you get in the mindset of having different approaches for reading only then reading multiple books will work.
Following are the four main reasons how reading multiple books will help you to be a regular reader.
1- Books don’t but you have emotions
When I am stressed, I read spiritual books as it makes me calmer. To feel optimistic, autobiography or biography works. If I am feeling bored, fiction book acts an escape. I read non-fiction book whenever I am in the learning mood. This makes sure my reading habit continues irrespective of my mood.
I am sure even you experience all these different emotions. And as per the change in emotions, even interest in reading material varies. Therefore reading multiple books at a time allows your brain to select a reading material that satisfies you intellectually and emotionally
Effect of your emotions can be reduced by focusing on building the reading habit (click here to read about it – https://goo.gl/t65dRb ) but still it is difficult to act completely independent of the emotions.
2- Reading is a part of life and not apart of life
There is a book which you wanted to read from a long time. Finally, there comes a day when you open that book. You read 50 pages on that day and you are very happy. The next day you read more 50 and you are on cloud nine.
After that, you get busy in your work whole day. At night you are tired. You read few pages and start feeling sleepy. The busy routine goes on for next few days and you always feel sleepy after reading few pages.
This goes on for a week and you manage to read just 100 pages. But from last 7 days, you are feeling sleepy every time you open a book. You start criticizing yourself as you cannot read for a longer period of time.
This one negative belief kicks off the cycle of more negative thoughts – I feel sleepy while reading, I cannot concentrate for more than few pages, maybe reading is not for me, my reading speed is too slow (sadly this one is true for 95% of the crowd).
So as Ralph Waldo Emerson said – “Be a good animal first.” So eat well, drink lots of water and sleep at least 7-8 hours in a day.
Don’t see reading as something to be done for just a few days, it’s the regular reading over the years that is going to transform you. If you are having a stressful day, don’t pick up a book which is difficult to read (even though you have read half of that book). Pick something simple. When you are relaxed then pick a book which is difficult to comprehend. Reading multiple books at a time gives you the option to judge your tiredness and read accordingly.
3- There is no pressure to finish a book
It’s good to have a reading goal – a book a week, a book a month etc. But this goal backfires for a book whose impact will be effective by reading slowly. For me, those are spiritual books.
Presently I am reading Vedanta Treatise by A. Parthasarathy and after every concept, I reflect on my life. At this speed, I will take about 2 months to finish it. But if I am reading only that book, I will speed up and finish it in 3 days.
4- You can connect and not just retain
When I am reading a spiritual book and biography, I am always on a lookout for what spiritual principles was followed by the successful person. While connecting it to self-help, I try to find what success or happiness principle was followed by that successful person. This also makes the reading process interesting. You can also do this kind of connection of present books with the past books but is difficult as retention of the past concepts is less.
Reading multiple books gives you different perspectives on the same concept and thus also increases your creativity.
Therefore, always get in the habit of reading multiple books. The number of books should be between 2-4 books. I read 3 books at a time – one spiritual, which I take minimum a month to read, next two books – biography and a self-help book which I read quickly.