There is little in this world that matches the simple pleasure of going through the pages of books, letting your imagination run free and allowing your mind to create new worlds. Zarrar Zafar tells us how you should get into the habit of reading to build your own personal books’ cache.

aving read fifty books last year, I’ve decided to aim at reading read at least one hundred books this year. As I write this article, I am going through the chapters of my 16th book of the year so far. Reading is never about the number of books one must finish in any given specified given time period. Only about, as Dr Suess puts it simply, knowing more. I take it as the most contenting and the best hobby one must pursue. There is no dearth of material focusing on the significance of reading. Therefore, I must straightaway begin with a viable way about how to fall in love with books and start building your own book cache. 

 

Getting Going 

Firstly, you must free your mind and heart from all irrelevant issues, and instead focus only on the most important of tasks at hand. This is the first and the most important step, which I call ‘managing and creating free spaces’. It will be extremely difficult to pursue in the beginning, but gradually you can master this art of ‘letting go’ of the unimportant stuff. Only a contented heart and a free mind can make the best use of free spaces available. It will also help you in all other areas of life, be it personal or professional. It will induce the quality traits in you and you will start living a positive life. Thus, it will render you the free time available, which you can best make use of to get into the habit of reading.

You must free your mind and heart from irrelevant issues and focus only on important tasks. This is an important step called ‘managing and creating free spaces’

Secondly, whether you like reading or not, start buying books and start building your own little pile of books. The more the books you buy, the greater will be your chances of falling in love with books. It will be the best gift you will ever have in your home for parents, siblings or your children. If you cannot afford buying books each month, find a library nearby. Take your children, siblings and friends to libraries, where you can easily borrow available books. In addition, start visiting old book banks and Urdu Bazaars in your respective cities, as these places often afford the opportunity to find the best books at a fraction of the original prices. The steps you walk in pursuit of building a books’ cache of your own will itself be worth a literary adventure. 

 

Let’s Get Building A Personal Books’ Cache

Wait No Good

Third, do not, and I repeat, do not wait to find the “free time” to pick up a book. Learn the art of utilizing free spaces available, be it at your workplace, during daily commute or at any gathering. Always keep a book with you and whenever you find the narrowest of margins, make use of them to get a few pages further into the story. It might look odd in the beginning and peers might often comment sarcastically and few may even try to belittle this habit of yours. But, remember, you have to keep doing the right things, instead following the mob. It will require a tremendous amount of courage and initiative to swim against the tide, but the results are worth the try. Inspire others to read and pick up books as well, instead getting discouraged by people’s remarks.

Never wait to find the “free time” to pick up a book. Learn the art of utilizing free spaces available, be it at work, during commute or at a gathering

Fourth, befriend people who are avid readers and spend more time with them. In today’s well connected world, it’s easy to stay connected with like-minded people. Find like-minded people in your class, workplace or neighborhood to befriend and then read in a group. You can even join some literary circles like book clubs, where people conduct readings and discussions on awide variety of books.Fifth, always set goals. Be it a single or a 100 books a year, a target always keeps you motivated. Always try to aim high, and even if you fall short of your goals, you still would have made it far.Sixth, begin with the books on topics that interest you the most. I remember starting reading magazines and newspapers during my school days. I turned it into a hobby and gradually became an avid reader. I suggest you to begin with biographies, autobiographies and memoirs. Or begin with fiction, or any other subject you have developed some interest in over the years. You can consult your peers to get the best recommendations in accordance with your interests.

Make optimum use of technology and gadgets available and read on all mediums at your convenience. Be it Kindle, paperback or audiobooks, use whatever you can get your hands on

Lastly, make optimum use of technology and gadgets available and read on all mediums at your convenience. Be it Kindle, paperback or audiobooks, use whatever you can get your hands on. Also make use of social media apps. There is tons of information available on the internet, and be wise to know what to read and what to ignore. Try following inspiring and positive social media influencers, as they often inadvertently assist in developing positive habits in followers. YouTube is a great resource for finding lessons on speed reading, listening to book reviews, and finding other information on literature. And here I have a final suggestion. The moment you finish reading this article, visit a book shop, buy a book, set the time to read it within a month and by the time you get the next copy of this magazine, you must have read at least one book. That would be one giant step you take towards building your own books’ cache.

Zarrar Zafar is a student of MPhil in IR and an avid reader. He can be reached bookscache@yahoo.com.

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