Most people wish they read more. It is an activity that is both fun and enlightening. It can help us be more knowledgeable and successful. However, it is an activity that many people don't engage in very much. According to the 1999 National Household Education Survey, 50% of the U.S. population aged 25 and over read a newspaper at least once a week, read one or more magazines regularly, and had read a book in the past 6 months. What does this mean? It means that 50% of the population hasn't read a book in the last six months!
Looking at the other end of the spectrum, research shows that if you read ten books a year, you are in the top few percent of all people as readers. Simply stated, it doesn't take much to be well read, but we do need to know how to get started. The following are ten suggestions to help you strengthen your reading habit - ways to find and make more time for reading.
1. Always have a book around. Don't go anywhere without reading material. Keep magazines or short stories in your bathroom. Always have something in your briefcase to read. Keep a book(s) by your bed. Having things available makes it easier for you to steal otherwise lost moments.
2. Set a reading goal. Determine how much time you want to spend reading, or how many books you want to read over time. Your goal might be a book a month, one per week, or it might be to read 30 minutes a day. Start out with something attainable but still a stretch. As your habit builds, you might set higher goals. Setting a goal is the first step towards reading more.
3. Keep a log. Keep a list of the books you have read, or keep track of how much time you read each day. You might keep these lists in your journal or your day planner. My son's log is on our refrigerator. My list and log are kept on my computer. It doesn't matter where you keep it, just do it.
4. Keep a list. Make a list of things you want to read in the future. Ask your friends and colleagues what they are reading. Watch for recommendations in the newspaper and magazines. Once you start looking for good books, you'll find them everywhere. This is a great way to keep your enthusiasm up. By knowing what great stuff you want to read, you will reinforce your reading habit.
5. Turn off the television. Many people say they just don't have enough time. Television is one of our major time consumers. Make your television watching more conscious and less habitual. There is nothing wrong with watching television shows you really enjoy. Where the time gets lost is turning it on, and scanning to find "something to watch." Those are the times to turn it off and pick up your book!
6. Listen when you can't read. Use your commute and other time spent in the car to listen! There are great audio versions of all sorts of books. Whether you want to "read" fiction, the latest self-help or diet book, it is probably available on tape. Don't get locked into the idea that you have to read it - listening to the book still gives you the experience, ideas, and imagination that reading a book can.
7. Join a reading group or book club. Reading groups typically meet once a month to discuss a book they have all decided to read. Committing to the group provides a bit more impetus to finish the book, and gives you a great forum for discussion and socialization around the book's themes.
8. Visit the library or bookstore often. You have your list, right? So you'll have some ideas of what you are looking for when you walk in. But there is more to be gained by walking through places where books reside than just to make a transaction. Take time to browse! Let your eyes find things of interest. Let serendipity happen. Browsing will feed your mental need to read, and give you plenty of new things to read.
9. Build your own strategy. Decide when reading fits your schedule. Some people read first thing in the morning, some before bed. Some decide to read as they eat their lunch. And there is more to your strategy than just timing. Make your own decisions about reading. It is ok to be reading more than one book at once. It is ok to stop reading something before you finish if it isn't holding your interest. It is ok to skim the book, getting what you want or need, without reading every page. Determine what works best for you, develop your own beliefs and ideas-then make them work for you.
10. Drop Everything and Read. My son's fourth grade class has DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time. When the teacher calls for it, that's just what they do. They read now. That is my last piece of advice for you. Do it. Just get started. Make it DEAR time. Now.
Š2002, All Rights Reserved, Kevin Eikenberry. Kevin publishes Unleash Your Potential, a free weekly ezine designed to provide ideas, tools, techniques and
inspiration to enhance your professional skills. Go to www.kevineikenberry.com/uypw/current.asp">http://www.kevineikenberry.com/uypw/current.asp to read the current issue and subscribe. Kevin is also President of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. You may contact Kevin at toll free 888.LEARNER.
Exclusive: Donald Tusk says it would still be better for both sides if UK stayed in EU
Brexit has been âone of the most spectacular mistakesâ in the history of the EU and followed a campaign marked by âan unprecedented readiness to lieâ, Donald Tusk has said.
In his first interview since standing down as European council president last week, Tusk said Brexit was âthe most painful and saddest experienceâ of his five years in office, a tumultuous period marked by the Greek eurozone crisis, bitter rows over migration and the election of Donald Trump.
Number of cases reported so far this year is three times higher than at same stage in 2018
The worldwide surge in deadly measles outbreaks is showing no sign of abating, with nearly 10 million cases and 142,000 deaths last year, according to new estimates, and three times more cases reported so far this year than at the same stage in 2018.
Most of those dying are small children, and thousands more suffer harm including pneumonia and brain damage. New scientific evidence shows survivors are at greater risk soon afterwards because their immune system is impaired.
Quoting from the Declaration of Independence and the founding fathers about the danger of a president one day betraying the countryâs trust to foreign powers, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, announced on Thursday that she was directing the judiciary committee to draft articles of impeachment against Donald Trump.
âThe president leaves us no choice but to act,â Pelosi said. âSadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment.â
Transport workers bring country to standstill amid anger over pension changes
More than 800,000 people have marched in cities across France as railway workers, teachers and hospital staff held one of the biggest public sector strikes in decades against Emmanuel Macronâs plans to overhaul the pension system.
A nationwide transport strike brought much of France to a standstill and was expected to continue for the next few days as unions dug in, saying the presidentâs pension changes would force millions of people to work longer or receive lower payments.
Woman left with 70% burns in latest attack as film directorâs tweets on rape cause outcry
An Indian woman has been set on fire on her way to a court hearing to testify against two men who had allegedly raped her.
The 23-year-old is in a critical condition in hospital with 70% burns after she was set upon by five men in the city of Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. They dragged her to a field, doused her with petrol and set her alight.
âI do think itâs absurd that critical transport mass-transit systems should be capable of being put out of actions by strikes, and other countries around the world have minimum service requirements for public transport â and thatâs what I want to see,â said Johnson in front of an audience of textile workers near Matlock in Derbyshire.
Regional body describes âmaliciousâ steps to rig October election in report, including use of a hidden computer server
The Organization of American States (OAS) has described âdeliberateâ and âmaliciousâ steps to rig Boliviaâs October election in favor of the then president, Evo Morales, who was forced to resign amid widespread protests in the Andean nation.
A nearly 100-page report by the OAS described several violations, including the use of a hidden computer server designed to tilt the vote toward Morales.
Organisers of competition students travelled to attend demand their return to Nigeria
The organisers of an international student sports competition have called for two Nigerian table tennis players to be returned to their own country after Croatian police wrongly deported them to a Bosnian refugee camp.
Abia Uchenna Alexandro and Eboh Kenneth Chinedu, students at the Federal University of Technology Owerri in Nigeria, arrived in Zagreb on 12 November, on their way to participate in the fifth World InterUniversities Championships, held this year in Pula, Croatia.
Study expands on archive finds revealed in 2011, and suggests that the French state may have abetted the 1960 car crash that killed him
Sixty years after the French Nobel laureate Albert Camus died in a car crash at the age of 46, a new book is arguing that he was assassinated by KGB spies in retaliation for his anti-Soviet rhetoric.
Italian author Giovanni Catelli first aired his theory in 2011, writing in the newspaper Corriere della Sera that he had discovered remarks in the diary of the celebrated Czech poet and translator Jan ZĂĄbrana that suggested Camusâs death had not been an accident. Now Catelli has expanded on his research in a book titled The Death of Camus.
A mile east of the LuĂs I Bridge in the middle of a residential neighbourhood in Porto, Portugalâs second city, sits a bleak and decaying building.
Initially a three-storey car park, then a thriving shopping centre, the building has more recently suffered from years of neglect. Its walls are sprayed with graffiti and plastered with stickers, and the windows are blacked out.
Prague has long an uneasy relationship with monuments to its history â but 30 years since the fall of the communist regime, that could be about to change
I used to think the saddest place in Prague was a prospect high above the Vltava River. It is a peaceful though somewhat neglected spot, buttressed by granite ramparts covered with graffiti and popular with families out for a stroll, skateboarders, joggers and tourists taking selfies against the backdrop of the city. At its centre is a gently mounded plateau, empty except for a giant metronome, soon to be taken down.
The area has no name on current maps of Prague, but it was once known, in popular parlance, as âU Stalinaâ â Stalinâs place. In 1955, two years after the Soviet dictatorâs death, a massive 50-foot high granite monument to him was unveiled on this spot, the largest representation of Stalin in the world. Commissioned in the late 1940s when Czechoslovakia was being turned into a Soviet satellite state, and already under construction as Stalin lay dying, the monstrous memorial remained in place until 1962 when, in the spirit of de-Stalinisation, it was blown to smithereens by the same regime that erected it.
Cities around the world are scaling up their use of surveillance cameras and facial recognition systems â but which ones are watching their citizens most closely?
Qiu Rui, a policeman in Chongqing, was on duty this summer when he received an alert from a facial recognition system at a local square. There was a high probability a man caught on camera was a suspect in a 2002 murder case, the system told him.
The depth, breadth and intrusiveness of China's mass surveillance may be unprecedented in modern history
Audrey Mash developed severe hypothermia while hiking in Catalan Pyrenees in freezing weather
Doctors in Barcelona have managed to revive a British woman who had a six-hour cardiac arrest after developing hypothermia while hiking in the Catalan Pyrenees in freezing weather last month.
Audrey Mash said she was surprised at the attention her case had attracted and said it had not put her off hiking. âI feel like a fraud for not being back at work. Iâm hoping to go back before the end of next week,â she said on Thursday.
Broker Jefferies politely called the SFOâs probe âa new overhang on Glencore sharesâ. The existing overhangs are inquiries by the US Department for Justice and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission into activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Venezuela and Nigeria. Thatâs quite a collection of serious regulatory bodies taking a look.
The former secretary of state under Obama said Bidenâs âdecency and the experiences that he brings to the table are critical to the momentâ
Help us cover the critical issues of 2020. Consider making a contribution
Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to void a subpoena from the House of Representatives seeking his financial records, according to the Associated Press.
The documents are shielded from being turned over while the Supreme Court justices consider whether to hear Trumpâs case. The justices are also considering a separate appeal from Trump that would require the same accounting firm, Mazars USA, to give his tax returns to the Manhattan District Attorney.
Hello readers! Kari Paul in San Francisco taking over the blog for the next few hours. Stay tuned for updates.
Rushan Abbas says countries doing business with China are enabling its mass detention of 3 million people, including her sister
A leading Uighur activist, Rushan Abbas, has urged Australian MPs to take a stronger stance against the Chinese regime, while backing controversial comparisons between the stateâs authoritarianism and Nazi Germany.
Abbas, who met with MPs in Canberra on Thursday and held a roundtable at the US Embassy on the plight of the Uighur Muslim minority in western Chinaâs Xinjiang province, said that âmodern dayâ concentration camps holding as many as 3 million Uighurs were a case of âhistory repeating itselfâ.
The suffering of people wounded in conflict zones is being compounded by what doctors say are âhorrifying levelsâ of antibiotic resistance
When Jihad Nasser arrived at al-Awda trauma clinic in Gaza, he was hoping doctors could finally stop his pain. A gunshot wound in his right leg had not been not healing properly. The news, however, was bad.
The complex bone fracture he had suffered was badly infected with MRSA. Doctors told him it would not respond to treatment and they would need to amputate.
Increase in violent conflict combined with effects of climate crisis make outlook bleak for worldâs poorest people, says report
Attacks on healthcare workers have reached a record high according to a UN report that predicts a âbleak outlookâ for the worldâs poorest people due to intense armed conflict and the climate emergency.
The number of highly violent conflicts has risen to 41, from 36 in 2018, causing deaths, injuries, significant displacement and hunger, the UNâs global humanitarian overview 2020 report found.
Whatever the outcome of this general election, leaders should rise to the ambition of our own and global commitments, write representatives of 49 organisations
The UK has a well-earned reputation for being a key player on the global stage â respected for our record on international development, climate change, and humanitarian aid.
By 2020, this country will have helped vaccinate 76 million children, saving 1.4 million lives from preventable diseases. The UK has already helped 57 million people to cope with the effects of climate change over the last eight years and is on track to reach 60 million people with clean water by 2020. About 32 million people have been supported with humanitarian assistance in the face of conflict and disasters, including at least 10 million women and girls.
Japanese prime minister among those to pay tribute after Tetsu Nakamura is killed in deadly ambush on car
The head of a Japanese aid agency and five other people have been killed in an ambush in eastern Afghanistan
Among the victims was Tetsu Nakamura, 73, the respected physician and head of Peace Japan Medical Services, who had recently been granted honorary Afghan citizenship for his decades of humanitarian work in the country.
Squabbling, a spreading focus and Trump raise doubts about the effectiveness of the alliance
Seventy years after Nato was founded to protect western Europe from Joseph Stalinâs Soviet Union, the military alliance returned this week to its first home in London to discuss an increasingly sprawling set of goals while bickering leaders competed to see who could offer the most contentious soundbite.
Normally this is an arena that would be dominated by Donald Trump, although this time he was somewhat upstaged by Emmanuel Macron, whose pre-summit declaration that the organisation had become âbrain deadâ obliged Trump to describe his French counterpartâs comments as âvery, very nastyâ.
New Zealandâs political system relies on an untraceable flow of donations from rich individuals with personal agendas. That wonât change
The press release was triumphant. The justice minister, Andrew Little, announced that the government was banning foreign political donations, a move that would âprotect New Zealand from foreign interference in our electionsâ.
This is a good thing. Across the Tasman, Australian politics has been roiled by allegations of Chinese interference. One donor, Huang Xiangmo, who had donated at least A$2.7m to both major parties, had his residency cancelled when his connections to Chinese Communist party-linked organisations were exposed. More recently Bond-esque revelations, including a Chinese defector, a dead businessman and a million-dollar donation, have emerged. Given that Australia is facing such a severe challenge to its democratic integrity, the attention Little is giving to this issue should be welcomed.
The US Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has announced the House will proceed with articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. 'The president leaves us no choice but to act,' she said. 'Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment.'
The Christmas tree at the Tennessee aquarium is being powered by an unusual renewable energy source â an electric eel. Miguel Wattson is the resident eel and through a special system that connects his tank to a nearby tree, the natural shocks he produces when he is looking for food or when he is excited, is being channelled to power fairy lights
Republican representative Matt Gaetz fiercely criticised the Stanford law school professor Pamela Karlan for a pun during the second round of the Trump impeachment hearings.
The Democrats' witness and impeachment expert had said: 'While the president can name his son Barron, he canât make him a baron.' She later apologised for her comment, which Melania Trump highlighted in a tweet
Donald Trump has cut short his attendance at the Nato summit in London and accused Justin Trudeau of being 'two-faced' after the Canadian leader was heard apparently mocking the president's predilection for long, impromptu press conferences at a Nato reception at Buckingham Palace. 'He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top,' Trudeau could be heard saying, as other world leaders laughed. Boris Johnson, one of those present, denied they had been joking about Trump
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