“Read a thousand books and your words will flow like the river” -Virginia Woolf.
As my university let out for the summer I stumbled upon an idea that left me curious to continue my pursuit of knowledge beyond the classroom. Read a book a week. At first this intimidated me because I found it extremely difficult to finish a book let alone in a week. I was also on edge because I often commit myself to ideas as such and fail to follow through. So I slept on it.
In the morning I was indeed, still mesmerized by the idea, so my inner self took on the commitment. Every Sunday I was to start a new book of my choice with one week to finish the work. At first it was extremely difficult, I did not enjoy sitting down to read because it felt like work. But with the long term fulfillment in mind, I stuck with it.
The biggest struggle was making time. I assessed where my time was being used and I told myself I had no time to read but constantly found time to mill around on technology. I did not have spare time, I made it. Even with the reassessment of my schedule, I found sometimes things cannot always be tentative, so I allowed the books to take the time they needed to fill my soul. Some books took two weeks, others a day, most only a few days. The point is, I was reading, growing, learning.
About a month into the summer I saw a drastic increase in my reading capabilities. I took up speed reading as a hobby and grew very confident in my ability to read, and read well. Before I started, a book in front of me was a daunting task, now its my definition of leisure. The average human reads at about 200 words per minute, I now read at 650 words per minute with a compression rate of 84%.
Of course the books I have read took an impact on me as well. Read three books in anything and you will be an expert. I quickly found what types of books I enjoy, and what books are not for me. I finished all of the books I started even when I didn’t like them. I reared most towards the classics but found my nose in many self-help and philosophy books as well. The classics helped most in regards to keeping my mind sharp and the self help books rewired my out look on life.
Another outcome was the community of book readers I found myself in. It is true, some of the most interesting people are book readers. Yes there are many ways to learn but books are written, often by professional who have taken years and years developing the information they are speaking on. Bookstores are romantic, someone who values the art of books is often someone I find myself wanting to talk to.
Its not to late to let books take over your life, there is so much out there, go see what you can learn. Open and book and enjoy the journey.