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How I Started Reading + A Few Tips and Tricks to Start Reading!

In this blog post, I discuss how I started reading and add a few tricks to start reading books.

Dihaan

6/7/20233 min read

open book lot
open book lot

Reading is not only a hobby, it’s a passion as well. When you think of books casually thrown open to a page, golden sunlight filtering onto the dark words, the dark academia aesthetic is usually what comes to mind. Most people think that it is just that, but there is more beyond the superficial book cover, it’s an escape from reality.

The way I started reading was simple, and perhaps not helpful: both my parents are English Literature majors, and it was duly expected I would follow in their footsteps. So I did. From encyclopedias bought from America (I have never been, but my father has), to itty bitty books, I picked up reading at the age of 5. At the age of 8 or 9 years old, I had read Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, Silas Marner and more of the novels my mother taught at her university.

(Even reading this right now just makes me think two words, Showoff, Nerd! But all I have to do is pour the past, and even that seems blingy to non-readers! I am afraid I have nothing to do, I simply was not a normal child.)

I started from Diary of A Wimpy Kid, to Dork Diaries (not the proudest phase of my life), then to Stephen King, Hunger Games (the classical teenager books never interested me, I just read it to find what the hype was about), then I bought a few books from Goethe Institut (27, to be precise) and my view on books completely changed. German writers have such a refreshing writing style, and they touch on crucial matters so articulately but nonchalantly, it’s invigorating. John Green’s books too, they’re great. As I look to my left, there they are, all dressed up and arranged on my desk, along with three of the Harry Potter books, all laminated by yours truly. Yes, Potterhead fan for all of 7 years.

Anyways, in the lockdown years, books were all I was enveloped in. Then when I joined school again last year (I was homeschooled during lockdown), I made a couple of friends, true ones, in fact, the likes of which I didn’t really have before. Most of them weren’t really reader-types, I would usually be classified a nerd (of course, jokingly) when I brought in my homework on time. But nothing could separate me from those addictive but harmless volumes of writing.

If you’re not a reader, I have a few tricks for you to start, however difficult or boring it might seem.

1. Start easy. If you’re a dead-set non-reader and want to start, I would probably recommend starting with the books that have been hyped on the internet recently. Being an old time reader, this is a trick I would never follow personally, but if you’re an amateur, this is perfect as there are millions of these books being sold everywhere and they’re bound to be easy to read. Books like the series Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Stephen King books, Roald Dahl’s books, these might seem too easy, but these are the perfect first step towards reading.

2. Don’t push yourself. If you’ve read two-three pages and feel exhausted, don’t force yourself to the end of the chapter. If you buy a book and read it through just to justify buying it, that’s not reading it, it’s imposing yourself. If you read a page and then feel yourself really wanting to read further because you’re interested, go for it, tiger!

3. If you’re like me, when you’re at a stalemate part in the book and don’t want to read forward just because you’re torn for opinions, just sketch yourself up a character for yourself and plot them a part in the books. I make myself a character for any book or movie I like, and it keeps me rooted in the book/movie for as long as the character isn’t complete.

4. Make a playlist for the book using songs that you like. This will lead you to be immersed in the book more, and it adds a nice bling to your Bookgram if you keep one.

I feel like these tips only scratch the top of the surface, but if you truly want to become a reader, there has to be no imposed interest. One page is all it takes to fall in love with books.

I hope this blog assists you on your reading endeavour.

Dihaan Khan, signing out.