Wednesday, 7 August 2019

“The world was hers for the reading.” – Betty Smith

I get asked this a lot of times- How do you manage to read? And with a kid? My first reaction to this question most of the times is a very casual shrug implying- I don’t know. Doesn’t it happen on its own? I used to take this question for granted thinking, it is embedded in me that my free time is an automatic action of me going and picking a book and spending that half hour without any distractions until I realised that it might not be the case for all. When I spoke to my peers and they said they don’t find time to read is when I gave this question a closer and grave look. It took me nearly a year to get back to a full-fledged reading schedule after my son was born. What I never left doing was, trying.

The prime importance to do a task is our intention of doing it. We might put our heart into it if it appeals to us and if we intend to see it as a success or we might just let it pass giving ourselves excuses which we know are make-believe things when we don’t want the burden of guilt on us. It goes the same way for inducing a reading schedule in your day. If you have always been a reader it will not be hard for you to come face to face with your choice of reading genre and immersing yourself in a good book. For starters, it can get a little tricky. The phase of exploration will be much longer for you, where you get to know yourself as a reader. Does mystery thrill you? Are you a classic lover? Or more of a YA (Young Adult) reader? These are some questions you might want to answer in your mind.
Moving on to the “how” part of reading- How to fit reading in my schedule? How can we read more? Etecetra. I am listing down easy tips and tricks to get started with reading after a gap or sneaking in a good reading time in your busy day.

·    If you have always been a reader, pick a book or a genre you know will not disappoint you. It could be your most favourite book which you read years back.
·   Always travel with a book. I cannot stress enough on this point. Travelling with a book brings in some handy reading time. Your commute to the office would never have felt better nor waiting for a friend in a café who is in a habit of getting late.
·   Indulging in a solitary tea break at work is no sin! Scoop up some 10-15 pages with your tea or coffee and return to your desk feeling refreshed. This also applies if you are a freelancer or usually work from home.
·   Bedtime isn’t just for kids, it’s for you too! Cosy up with a book before your bedtime and give yourself this half hour of mindful therapy. The benefits are numerous, primarily offering you a de-stressing sleep.
·   Last but the most important of all- We are so much habituated to our phones that even one notification makes us jump and look at the screen. Take a break! At least, during your bed time reading try keeping your phone away for this half hour.
·   A special tip for the mums out there- Never shy away from reading because your kid is around or may spoil your books. The more he/she sees you with your book, the more interested he will be towards reading as well. It’s okay, give him his own picture book to read and if he doesn’t want it, let him have his own sweet time while you devour some pages before getting back to regular mommy chores.

These are some general hacks to read more or get back to reading for anyone willing to. To the new moms and moms of fairly younger children, I just want to say to you- Let this new role of parenting not deprive you of the person that you were before. Take out time for the things you always loved doing. These form a part of our self-care routine and is important for us to function better. Don’t you think only then can we enjoy the giggles of our little one’s more.

I have some more posts planned with respect to reading better. So, let me know in comments if you like the post and what more would you like to read about here on Flip-a-leaf.

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