Two days ago while talking to a sales and marketing acquaintance, he lamented to me how reading culture had waned among the middle working class. Probably, the reason behind this could be the demand that comes with an office job. Besides, their reading culture may not have been developed properly during their tender ages.
Given his job of marketing and selling books that border on finance, business and self-help he was lost for words when a one female bank manager turned him off for coming to her office with a sales proposal rather than to seek banking services.
If not turned off, he is either met with queer remarks or empty promises that are meant to appease his eager to sell attitude.
There is a poor reading culture not only among the middle working class but across the divide in our society. Teens too abhor reading and only want to chat on social media. Reading has been made to appear tedious and only meant for the preparation of an exam.
Personally, reading and writing is part and parcel of my life. I find relish in reading content in both published books and blogs.
During school days, I would often be mocked and called a bookworm for reading the Bible, novels, online blogs and journals. At home, relatives would troll in and wonder how one hell of an avid reader I was.
Well, I developed a reading culture quite at an early age thanks to my great dad Boniface Kiniale Wasike. Every morning when I woke up, he would give me children stories to read out loud to him. Later on, he would give me newspapers to read after he read them through.
The rest as we always say is history. I picked momentum from such early age experiences and read every material I could find with zeal and interest that knows no bounds.
Young parents should seek to build a strong reading culture in their children while still young as reading will determine how far they will go in their lives.
So how do you develop a strong reading culture in your life? Read on and learn more.
- Join a Book Club
Have you ever found yourself yearning to eat something just because you saw your neighbor two seats away eating it? The effect is quite the same when it comes to reading. Once you join a book club, even if reading is not your cup of tea, the book club will gradually build in you the desire to read and be a commoner in their meetings and discussion forums.
If you know of none, you could team up with like-minded friends and begin your small book club. With consistency, you could grow your membership to a dozen and more.
- Have a Reading Goal
For beginners, you could start with reading one book every new month. Having a reading goal not only helps you build a strong reading culture but it will also be instrumental in making you grow gradually from reading one book every new month to reading three books in a month.
You could pick particular topics that interest you. This could be about wealth and personal finance, relationships, spirituality, history among others.
- Read Everywhere
Unlike in the past, the digital world is here with us. Gone are the days when you needed to visit a library in the city to access a novel or an interesting book to read. While you can still do this, the digital era we live in has made accessing books easier than ever before. For instance, I recently bought Robert Kiyosaki’s best seller Rich Dad Poor Dad on Amazon. Downloaded it to my Amazon Kindle account on my smartphone which allows me to read it from anywhere and everywhere.
- Switch Content When Frustrated
You just positioned yourself comfortably in your favorite seat to watch a movie with a title you found to be catchy. Ten minutes down the movie you find it to be flat and outright boring. Well, who said you cannot switch to another movie that is more interesting?
A book could also get frustrating or lose meaning to you along the way. No need to force it on yourself, you can always shift to a more interesting topic of your choice.
However, for you to build a strong reading culture, it is important to understand that discipline and consistency is key.
- Read to Learn
There is a wealth of information found in books if you would care enough to read them. There is a wide range of books that offer knowledge and solutions to the present day life challenges and problems.
For example, reading books on real estates and long-term investments will make you a brilliant investor. On the other hand, reading a book about sales and marketing will improve your marketing skills.
There are also books on personal development such as wealth creation, self-confidence and stress management among others.
- Create Time for Reading
Work, be it office work, field days or house chores can be demanding at times. Hence, there is the need for you to also create a specific time for reading books. It all depends on your schedule, this could be early in the morning when you wake up or late in the evening just before you retire to bed. Setting aside that 20 or 30 minutes to read a book could make a difference between reading and not reading your book at all.
In my case, I find the most convenient time to read a book is when am waiting for something or someone. I could be sitting in a bank queue waiting to be served. Rather than fantasize about everything, I would rather take out my smartphone and read five or ten pages of a book am reading about.
Reading books is great. This is because reading gives you the shortcut to learning about the lives, mistakes and ideas of other people that you would have otherwise learned from your own worst experiences or never learned at all. To build a strong reading culture, you should be prepared to fight off the distractions that come with social media and friends. Start with those books you find interesting to read and gradually graduate to other topics. Use the comfort of your smartphone or portable laptop to make easier your reading culture. There you go! You are now a dedicated reader.