“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.”George R.R. Martin
I hope you all are having lots of fun and enjoying a wonderful Summer!
I know for me the heat was and still is unbearable on most days so I mostly spend my time at home. (BTW, I’m super grateful for the AC in my room LOL!)
I still go out and had fun in the sun, but I’d rather spend the hot afternoon hours at home wearing comfy clothes teamed with my cold coffee!
That’s why I decided to have a reading challenge that’ll occupy these dull hours. Reading was part of my self-care plan for this Summer. I wanted to spend time doing my favorite hobby and try to cut down the number of books that are sitting on my shelf waiting to be read!
So, I set a goal of reading a minimum of two hours a day. Two hours seemed reasonable for me. Some days I would read for two continuous hours, other days I would divide them into two sessions of one hour each according to how my schedule went and how busy my day was.
Did I commit for 30 days straight?
Of course not, I am a human after all and I had days where I could not open my book. Yet, I would read more on the days that followed and compensate the time I missed.
And now I want to tell you how it went:
1. I rediscovered my passion for reading.
I almost forgot how good it feels to sit quietly enjoying reading the beautiful language, living through characters and finding amazing quotes that express life so accurately. I re-lived all these wonderful feelings again and remembered why I love it in the first place.
Reading was a major part of my childhood. I had a membership in our public library in the village and I would always go on Thursdays afternoons with my cousin to borrow a new book for the following week. I grew up with so many memories surrounding books and I’ve always been mesmerized by stories and the act of telling them.
2. I finished 9 books over the month of July.
I know that your first question would be about how many books I was able to finish and the answer is nine. Most of them were novels (in my native language, Arabic) because honestly, I didn’t want anything heavy that required concentration. Rather, I wanted something light and easy to follow and that’s what I ended up reading. The books varied in size and length (280- 400 pages).
3. I ended up reading more hours than what I planned for
Sometimes, if the book was really good I would exceed the two hours’ limit ( that I had planned) and I would keep reading for another hour.
4. It gave me a break from social media!
I noticed that I cut down the number of times I checked my Facebook or Instagram account. When I read I would check the phone if I had new messages and then get back to my own world.
5. I had new things to talk about with my friends.
Novels, realistic ones, in particular, give you allot to think about. You gain new perspectives about the world and you start appreciating, evaluating, looking at things around you differently. Therefore, you end up having new interesting topics to speak about with friends (God I sound so boring here, but believe me it is true). It is nice to discuss a certain problem or issue you’ve read, and see what others think about it and how they would have dealt with it.
6. I started writing more.
Reading and writing go hand in hand. After reading for quite some time I had the urge to write and express my thoughts. I would write in my diary or post my thoughts online. It seemed that I always had something to think about ( in a good way of course!) and that made me feel like my brain is constantly growing somehow!
These are the things I’ve experienced during this mini-challenge. I recommend you do the same thing.
If you need some inspiration, I suggest you watch this interesting TedTalk. Sometimes just hearing someone else’s experience about it gives you the motivation you need to start.
Moreover, if you are a new reader ( you want to start reading), I suggest you start slow. Don’t force yourself to two hours reading from the beginning. Try to commit to half an hour and increase the time you spend gradually.
Another piece of advice is to start with the books you find interesting. Sometimes, we rush into reading things that everyone is talking about and find out later that it is extremely boring. So don’t fall for “ the bestselling list” or the most “popular”. Pick what you find interesting.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog!
Do you find reading interesting? Would you do such a challenge?
Tell me in the comments!
Until next time, be kind to yourself!