Three obstacles to reading and how to overcome them

Obstacle number one: I can’t read very fast

Solution: Be realistic

Personally, I cannot read extremely fast, but I have noticed that after years of constant reading, my reading speed has increased exponentially. One thing that even helped me start a reading habit was starting with books that interested me. If you are reading a book just to read, you will not establish a reading habit for life. Start with books that you really enjoy. Another action step is to start with books under 100 pages. Don’t start with your great-grandfather’s “World History Chronicles.” Typically, you can finish a 100-page book in just a few days of reading for 20-30 minutes. The excitement of closing a book after you’ve finished reading it makes you eager to start another.

Obstacle number two: I can’t find a quiet place to read.

Solution: Be intentional and communicate.

Some of you reading this have several children and a small house. I am very familiar with this obstacle. One way to overcome this is to schedule reading time into your day. Make this a time when you are naturally alert and awake. Thirty minutes of concentrated reading will pay much more than three hours of distracted reading. I find that mornings are the best time for me. Make sure to communicate with your family, spouse, roommates, etc. when you go to hide to read a little. This will keep you from getting frustrated when they come into the room to ask you a question or to discuss the new Star Wars movie. You may be thinking, “I can’t ask you to leave me alone for thirty minutes. That’s selfish.” Believe me men, our wives don’t want ignorant and boring husbands. Imagine actually having something to talk to our wives about besides politics and the latest ESPN stats. Our wives won’t mind if we take time for intellectual stimulation. Ladies, take advantage of the times of day when the kids are doing homework or taking a nap. Another strategy is to have your children read with you. Some mornings my wife and I have our children read a book (or look at the pictures) on their own while we have our reading time. Ask your husband and tell your children to do the dishes while you sneak out for a few minutes of quiet reading.

Obstacle number three: I don’t have time.

Solution: Remember that quality time is more important than quantity time.

Seriously? You don’t have time to read. “I don’t have time” is one of the best escape phrases of our day when it comes to commitments. The real problem is that we have been overly committed to the wrong things. The biggest waste of time for all of us is television. I promise. Turn off the television and you will see that you have plenty of time that you could use to read a book. Start by cutting out just a thirty minute program and focus on one book. You will find that your appetite for good reading will begin to displace your appetite for mindless TV shows. Oh. One more thing. Make sure to turn off your cell phone while reading too. May your reading become easier and your appetite for good books strengthen as you begin this great lifelong habit.

What time of day do you reserve to read?

What time of day are you most alert?

Are you an early riser or a night owl?

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