“I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.” – Orhan Pamuk
I love to read. It’s one of my favorite way of relaxation, best ways to self-educate, source of entertainment and I can read even for no reason at all. I’ve had people ask me how they can develop a reading culture. They ask that I recommend simple books that I think they would enjoy.
I have managed to make some individuals develop a reading culture but I haven’t been so successful with others. As much as I push books to those around me since I want them to enjoy reading as much as I do, I do understand that not everyone finds reading easy and fun.
To some, it’s a strenuous activity that requires high levels of dedication. All the same, for every book I read, and for every individual seeking to develop a reading culture, is a happier me.
How can you develop a reading culture?
As aforementioned, my efforts to make people around me are not always successful, so sometimes I start them off with audiobooks. If I really love a message in a book and I want to pass it along to friends and family, I search for the audiobook and gift it to them.
Most people who don’t like to read or don’t have time to read prefer audiobooks. They can listen on their phones while working out or running errands on in the car during commutes. If you’re looking for a way to develop a reading culture, give audiobooks a chance and see how it works for you.
Ask for recommendations
Sometimes people don’t read because they don’t know what to read. We all have different tastes in books and stories. If you’re interested in reading, ask a friend or family that reads for recommendations.
Give them an idea of what you’d like. For example, tell about a movie you liked, probably based on a book and ask them to give similar recommendations.
On the same note, if your focus is not on reading fiction, tell them about a topic you like and ask them for recommendations on books relating to this topic. I am currently obsessing over psychology books and appreciating as many recommendations as I can in this area.
Join online communities with similar interests
While we are seeking recommendations, why not search the internet for recommendations. Your friend or family may not know of any books on the internet that you may enjoy, but strangers across the world can be very helpful.
Although I started reading at a younger age, and mostly read books in our home library or at my local library, my love for reading was fueled in internet groups.
From forums to Quora, to Reddit to Facebook groups, I am in numerous groups that make awesome recommendations for books. Some of the best books I’ve read were recommended in these groups.
Further, if you search a book you liked on Google, the search engine makes recommendations for similar books. You can go through them, view Goodreads reviews like I do, and decide on your next read.
Surround yourself with books
I think I developed a reading culture because I was surrounded by books when I was growing up. My parents were avid readers and we didn’t do much TV so we read.
When you surround yourself with books, you’ll find yourself picking one and perusing when bored, or in need of some form of stimulation. You can keep a book in your office, in your purse, several at home and in a moment when you find yourself itching for something to do, don’t reach out for your phone; reach out for a book.
The more you read, the more you want to read
Sometimes, even we bookies have reading slumps. There are times even a couple of months goes by without reading. Other times, I read even two books in a week.
On these slump periods, you feel as if nothing appeals to you, not even a good book. The longer you stay without a book, the longer your reading slump becomes. When it’s over, you dive into reading and enjoy books you had even struggled in during your slump.
The more you read, the more you want to read. To develop a reading culture, therefore, try to read more and you’ll find yourself craving more for books.
Consider book summaries
Sometimes we want to read but time is not on our side. This is where book summaries come in. Some platforms such as Blinkist are developed to help us get important pointers from some great books without having to read from cover to cover.
These summaries, usually about 15 minutes long, are in both written and audio forms. I use Blinkist to get lessons from books I will probably never read. Blinkist may be just what you need to develop a reading culture. Check out Blinkist and see if it can work for you.