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How do you start a reading habit?

CHOOSE a book that interests you. Combine reading with your personal interests. If you like sports, select a book or magazine related to the sport you are interested in. If you do not have any interests, start off by visiting a library or bookshops. You must expose yourself to a wide variety of subjects before you know if you are interested in any.

Have a library or bookshop day. Set a day in a week/month to visit these places. This exposes you to different genres of books and to keep your reading habit going.

Set a reading hour/day. My best time for reading is before bedtime. Of course, reading horror stories or suspense thrillers shortly before you go to sleep isn't advisable. It really depends on the individual, but to get started, set a time to read and this will help keep the habit going. Read in a place where you feel most comfortable and at a time most convenient for you.

Always carry a book. This helps me a lot. I often do not have enough time to do the reading I want. Then I discovered that a mere five-minute wait allows me time to read: waiting for the bus, on the bus, waiting for the water to boil, waiting for food to cook etc. Even only 10 minutes before I sleep, having a book around keeps my reading habit going.

Reduce Internet/television use. If you are too busy to sit down and read, you can convert your interests on the Internet/television to reading. For example, if you are interested in the news, you can choose to receive the news through a newspaper, rather than reading it online or watching it on TV.

Make a list. List the books that you wish to read and this will help you set yourself a goal to finish the books and who knows, you may find yourself looking for more.

Share. You can further develop your reading habit by sharing your thoughts on each book. You can share it by having a blog, or simply by talking to your friends or family. In this way, you will realize people have different views from each other on the same books.

(Siau-Ting Tai is the secondary librarian of Rego)


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