Friday, November 27, 2009

Things I've Noticed: There is a process to having a good read

I read a lot - maybe 10 books a month, not including manga, comics or magazines, so over time I've noticed that I can dramatically increase my reading enjoyment if I do a little prep work. My logic is pretty simple - if you like reading, give yourself a couple minutes of prep time to make sure that you can really enjoy a good read.

Bookmonkey's recipe for a good read

1. Find a good book
I really can't stress this enough, although I suppose I could spend an afternoon reading the ingredient lists on the food in my kitchen, I will probably have a better time if I've found a good book to read.

2. Get rid of distractions
Take a minute to look around the room you will be reading in and get rid of distractions, a quick tidy might help and make sure you've got good light - no need to damage your eyes. Also a big one for me - don't read while the television is on - you might feel like you are incredibly intelligent doing both at the same time, but in the end you are just doing both half as well as you should be.

3. Find a good time
Basically you are looking for a time to read where you can actually sit down and put your focus on the book. For some people this is on the bus during the commute to work or school, for others it's a comfortable late night read. Lately, I've been doing morning and lunch-time reading.

4. Get a reading theme song
Yes I know this sounds ridiculously corny, but if you play the same tune before you start reading, you will teach your brain to realize that when that song is played, you are about to do some reading. Right now my reading song is "It's a good day" by Peggy Lee, but my song changes every couple weeks. (and yes, the theme song to "Reading Rainbow" has been my reading song from time to time) The importance is to have a musical cue which says to your sub conscience "SHADUP, I'm reading now."

5. Get a beverage
For me, this is a coffee (pictured right), but anything will do, just have it at hand so you don't have to stop reading to go get a drink. I don't know why, but often my brain will start coming up with excuses to stop reading for a moment and "You need a coffee" is a pretty common excuse for me.

6. READ!
Sit back, relax and enjoy your book. You've earned it.

So there you have it. I'm sure a similar process could be used to watch Television, or whatever else you like to do. The big thing for me is to remember, I'm doing this for fun, and I deserve to make my fun stuff a little special.

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