So many ads we see on TV – Youtube and Gaana immediately spring to mind – show teenagers bent over their mobile screens, watching a video. It’s a sign of the times, pointing to a generation that is increasingly enamoured by pictures, both moving and still.
Run your eye over passengers in a train, at an airport, or even kids lounging around in a coffee shop, and they’re more likely to be watching something. You will hardly find anyone reading a book.
This despite the fact that for years, e-readers have been marketed aggressively across the world (a certain brand even got a best-selling Indian author to push their gadget), but book publishers still face the threat of shutting down because of a lack of interest.
But let’s not be so gloom-and-doom-y. There is a glimmer of hope.
Have you seen the @HotDudesReading Instagram handle? At last count, it had 894K followers. There’s also a calendar and, now, a book. Why is it so popular, you ask? One of the creators of the anonymous group told The Huffington Post “Reading is fundamentally hot, and who doesn’t like to fantasize a little bit about the sexy stranger we spot sitting across from us?”
Yes, reading is fundamentally hot. Besides helping us sound more cerebral than your average internet-addict Joe, reading allows us to indulge our creativity and run amok with our imagination. As Jojen Reed from George RR Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire once said: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
We learn more about the world by reading about people we’ve never met, places we’ve never been to, and events that we never witnessed. Of course, TV and the internet can give you news, but books will allow you to put things in perspective.
As part of my New Year resolution this year, I decided to take control of my reading habit. You can say the project has been successful, with 20 books completed so far.
For those with similar ambitions, here are some suggestions that will take you back to the enchanting world of books.
Read While You Commute
This has been the biggest change that has helped me more than double my reading this year. Instead of whiling away your time day dreaming or watching pirated movies on the phone while on the Metro or local train, carry a book and start reading. It will be difficult initially but, in just a couple of weeks, you will be able to read without getting disturbed by the melee around you. Additionally, you will arrive at your destination fresh and raring to continue where you left off from.
Read Before You Sleep
How many hours have you wasted in front of your laptop, watching cat videos or re-runs of Friends? I did those for a long time. When I finally decided to cut them off to add in more reading hours, I was extremely fidgety and my fingers automatically sought out devices instead of pages. Now, it’s the other way around. I read for an hour before bedtime to hit a daily target of pages read. I’ve also found that reading before sleeping helps me snooze better. #BestThingEver
Read About Your Passions
One of my biggest hobbies is travelling, so I’ve been reading more as a form of research for my travels. It’s as simple as studying for your exams, but without the pressure attached to it. I’m travelling through Turkey and Georgia, so for the past few weeks, I have immersed myself in writings by Orhan Pamuk, Selcuk Altun and Elif Shafak. I’ve also been trying to understand the complex geopolitics of the Caucasus mountain region through Charles King’s book The Ghost of Freedom: A History Of The Caucasus. Many interesting insights you read beforehand help you understand your hobby from a better perspective.
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