Tuesday, July 26, 2016

, , ,

5 ways of keeping up with your reading challenge

As engaging as reading can be, sometimes you just can’t seem to get up to finish what you’ve set sail for. Maybe you have chosen a reading challenge, perhaps a movie night is coming up, and you want to catch up with the books beforehand, or maybe you even need to read certain books for work. Whatever is the case, here are some tips that will help you to finish whatever reads you started.

Select challenges that are interesting you
Naturally, the most efficient way to finish anything is to be genuinely interested in it, or at least to be interested in what you are going to learn out of it. Selecting the right list of books for your challenge will not only motivate you to keep going and make your challenge easier as well as much more fun, but it also makes a lot of sense, when you think about it. After all, why would you want to waste your valuable reading time with books you never really wanted to read in the first place?

Schedule time to read
If reading is serious business to you, you might need to consider planning in a fixed amount of time every day, where you can read without distractions. Maybe an hour and or two. Even half an hour is better than nothing. Make sure that everyone living with you knows and respects that this is the time when you don’t want to be disturbed. For extra effect, chose your time in a way that still leaves room for a longer session, just in case you get so immersed in your story that you don’t want to stop. More often than not, getting started the only part that’s hard.

Always take your book(s) with you
Wherever you go, you should take at least one of your books with you, or if you also enjoy eBooks, bring your eReader. Whether you’re using public transportation, have your lunch break or sit in an actual waiting room… In our everyday life, we spend an incredible amount of time waiting. So instead of playing around with your smartphone, you might as use that spare time to catch up on your reading challenge.

Make a distraction-free trip
Take some time, grab one of the books on your list and go someplace you don’t usually go. A change of scene can really make it easier to form a new habit. Maybe you can find a nice spot on the beach, a particularly idyllic place in the park, or a nice coffee shop where you can have a reading session over a cup of coffee. You can even make such reading trips your personal, weekly ritual.

Get started right now
We tend to make up little excuses why we can’t take the time to read. Well, you found the time to read this article, didn’t you? So unless you’re reading this at work, why don’t you open your book right now and get going with your challenge instead? You’d already be 500 words in by now ;)

About the Author
Ben Wendtner is an Austrian author and the creator of the online writing platform Belletristica, a place to publish, enjoy and chat about written words of all kinds.
*Image credits: Pixabay
Continue reading 5 ways of keeping up with your reading challenge

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

, , , , , ,

5 Benefits Of Reading - Why Books Are So Important

1. Entertainment & Escapism

For most readers, this is the main reason to pick up a book and turn page after page, until the last sentence has been processed within the dream-factory that is our brains. Reading empowers us to escape our reality temporarily in order to experience another, like a wanderer between worlds. As George R.R. Martin puts it “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

2. Train Focus & Concentration

To be able to zoom in on something is a vital skill, nowadays even more than ever before. It’s easy to let your attention drift away during most modern pastimes, but with a book, you truly have to focus on the story you’re reading or else it just won’t continue. Have you ever felt completely absorbed into the illusion of a fantasy world or a particularly interesting piece of nonfiction, all while your eyes and mind subconsciously continued doing the reading work? If your answer is yes, you perfectly understand what I mean.

3. Boost your Imagination

While other media like movies and video games are certainly entertaining and can, in fact, teach you quite a lot, there’s one important aspect that will always be the greatest strength of reading: It gets your imagination going like hardly anything else. Unlike other forms of entertainment, reading doesn’t do all the visual work for you. It forces you to activate the artistic parts of your brain, to let the letters come to life. Every reader experiences a book differently, and in a way, you’re creating whole worlds within your mind, as well as the characters that journey through them - and the books you read are the recipes for doing so.

4. Level Up Writing and Language Skills

Reading expands your vocabulary significantly and gives you a better feel for the writing style as well as the story structure. Even if you don’t actively focus on the details of the craft while enjoying a good story, you can’t help to improve at least a little bit. More so, if you actually pay attention to which elements work, and why. If you’re not a novelist yourself, you can still benefit from this effects, as you not only become better with written words but also with expressing things in your everyday life.

5. Get Smarter All Around

I think it’s safe to assume that whoever reads much, knows more. This rule doesn’t only apply to non-fiction, but every other book as well. While a fantasy novel might not teach you accurate historical facts, and a sci-fi action story probably won’t turn you into an expert in astrophysics, you’ll definitely learn something valuable on another level. A well-crafted story always contains some kind of underlying theme, some point of view that the author wanted to share, and every book may cause you to look at the world from a different angle, thus making you smarter with every one that you read.

About the Author
Ben Wendtner is an Austrian author and the creator of the online writing platform Belletristica, a place to publish, enjoy and chat about written words of all kinds.

*Image credits: Pixabay
Continue reading 5 Benefits Of Reading - Why Books Are So Important