Whenever you get time, spend that wise by reading. For instance, you are waiting for your connecting flight or a train or a bus. You could read while you are waiting. If you are wondering if this is my calling to turn into voracious readers, then you are mistaken. I was at the receiving end of this advice. Please be forewarned that I have taken a writer's liberty to meddle with the words while I took enough care not to muddle the meaning.
A few months back, I experienced a sense of deja vu when two distinguished gentlemen advise me on how to utilise my time in a better way to read as much as possible. The advice, although sounded so alike to be suspected as rehearsed, was dispersed on two different occasions separated by time and distance. One happened over the email where the sender was in Bengaluru. The other happened here in the Queen's country and was delivered in person. Interestingly, they both signed off their advice in the same way. You should get a Kindle. It will help you read more.
Now let me step back even further. I had been interacting with this gentlemen when I noticed the shared interest in the non-fiction books. They were quoting a lot of facts from books that I have either read or marked for reading which clearly demonstrated the fact they have read more books than me. So I popped the question. How do you get time to read so much? For a simple mind like mine, the question is an open-ended one which will start a nice conversation. Now you know the context well and the resulting answer.
I listened to these gentlemen. I held myself back and didn't reveal that I had switched to Kindle in 2010. To be precise, Kindle on iPhone. I haven't got a Kindle device yet. Every day on my birthday, I wait for someone to fulfil my wishes. In case you are wondering, the Kindle device is still an unfulfilled birthday wish among many other things. I try to read everywhere. To name a few, Vayu Vajra, Kallada Travels, Metro, SNCF, RER, First Great Western (now Great Wester Railway), Overground, Underground, BLR, DXB, CDG and LHR. So I have taken care of both the key points of reading everywhere and Kindle.
I was not very happy with the guidelines and advice received in response to my questions. Now, I realize these distinguished gentlemen forgot to mention two important criteria which make a big difference to your reading capabilities. Both of these criteria relates to speed, the speed at which one can read and speed at which one can comprehend. The first one is an easier problem to solve. If you check the internet, you will find many articles which will help you in reading at a faster rate. After trying out various plug-ins to quicken the pace of the reading, I am not comfortable as it slows down the comprehension. There is an easier way. Place your finger under the text you are reading and let eyes follow the movement of the finger. In effect, the finger acts as a cursor and helps you focus. As for increasing the comprehension rate, this is still an open question. Do you have any secret sauce for increasing understanding?
Photo Courtesy: Kamil Porembiński