tanaypratap's letters

One step, one book at a time

published24 days ago
2 min read

If there's one habit that I take absolute pride in, it's the habit of reading regularly. I give the credit for building this habit in me to my mother. She pushed me to read from a young age. And it wasn't always about reading the best books, but just reading, whatever it be - newspapers, magazines, comics, etc. Now, I do understand how she developed my reading habit one step at a time.

In this newsletter issue, I share the process through which my mother made me an avid reader for life.

Step 1: Start with newspapers.

This is where most people fail - at the first step. One picks non-fiction, and self-help titles and finds themselves unable to finish the book.

The point here is not to consume the best of knowledge, but to read.

Start with newspapers. Read only one article a day but read. You can't run before you walk. On similar lines, you can't consume before you read.

Step 2: Move to Magazines.

Now that you can read for 10-15 minutes at a time, pick up magazines of your interest. Their articles have a bit more depth than newspapers.

The key here, and in the next steps, is to find your interest.

You are not bound to a book.

If you picked up a title, but don't feel like reading it, leave it in between. Pick up something else. Keep trying until you find your interest.

Step 3: Fiction and Stories

With newspapers and magazines, you have developed the ability to read. Next, we take it up a notch and try our hands with long-form content. Start with fictional short stories. Read thrillers, detective, romance, humor, whatever you like.

Once you feel comfortable enough, pick up a novel. The novel should have one story in total. Finish a few novels and you will realize that you now find it easy to read long-form content.

Step 4: Biographies

Let's move forward to reading serious content now. Biographies are life stories, yet they have significant takeaways and learnings. In this step as well, make sure to pick up the biography of a personality you want to know more about.

Step 5: Self-help books

Finally, we have reached where we always wanted to.

If you diligently followed the steps shared above, there's no way that you pick up a self-help book and still find it difficult to finish. By this time, you have become a regular reader.

Read, make notes, and extract the most knowledge out of self-help books.

Point to remember: Reading is not about completing books but putting to use the knowledge you have gained in life and work.
twitter profile avatar
Tanay Pratap
Twitter Logo
Twitter Logo
March 24th 2022

Bonus Step: Dry Scientific Research Articles

The next step is to pick Harvard Business Review, or research papers and give them a shot. These are filled with technical jargon and might seem difficult at first. But persist and unlock this rare ability of your reading skill.

Till next time

This is it. This is all I know about reading, and building a reading habit. Since I started in childhood, I got enough time for each of these steps. You might have to quicken your pace, but I am sure it will work out well.

If you start building your reading habit, do share your progress with me on Twitter.

And finally, thanks to my mother for making me a reader, and hence, for this issue.

Remember to add the newsletter to the Primary Inbox on Gmail to not miss out on any issues, and share it with your friends and family.

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel. You will find some necessary truth bombs over there.