Do new things, Read

How to read differently

Yea you may say: “We all know how to read” :))

But somehow the way we read as a habit will not help us in the long run. We come to a bookstore, choose just the books that we wanted to read, or we knew the authors, or we love the genres. Imagine you travel to a different country, wander on strange streets yet find to eat only your hometown dishes? Reading the same genre is similar to having the same dish. Yet a small bookstore could represent the whole world, not just a different nation, so please don’t choose your everyday habit, or your familiar genre!

5 benefits of reading a different genre (besides gaining more knowledge)

  1. It helps to develop a broad perspective. Needless to say, along with gaining more knowledge, you can develop a broader and deeper perspective about life. You have chances to get to know all the difference on earth that make each of us so different. Plus, a broader perspective helps you to gain a better sense of empathy that shows its power in enhancing your communications and relationships. 
  2. You may discover new hobbies. Bungee jumping as a new sport. Fried crickets in Thai Lan as a new food. Australia as a new home. Who knows. With different genres sometimes we find something so related that we can immediately start trying it. Some other times we find it to be so strange yet also worth trying. A few of them can become your new hobbies, which again, will not only add spice to your life but also broaden your knowledge. 
  3. Inspirations greatly come from books. The term “inspiration” may vary among different people. When you see yourself lack of something to push you forward, read, and read different genres. You may get inspired by something new you have just read that you can apply to jobs, hobbies or relationships. You hear people occasionally saying “this is the book of my life”, and that’s exactly when a man fall for an idea so much that it becomes some sort of connection to him. Sometimes the inspiration can be so great that it becomes his life purpose, or at least, his motivation. “Some books you read, some books you enjoy, but some will swallow you up, heart and soul.” – Joanne Harris
  4. It increases your self-esteem. This may be hard to understand, but in truth, reading more books boost your confidence, then you life satisfaction and self-esteem. However, it works only when you reach a certain level of reading, like let’s say 10 different genres, or more than 300 books. Why is that? Because only until a certain level you would gain enough knowledge to realize how trivial your life issues were, compared to others in this world. Different reading gives you a chance to know yourself, to appreciate and be happy. Read more, it’s a great way to reach your Maslow’s top piece. 
  5. It improves your creativity and imagination. Until forever 🙂 Reading stimulates the right side of our brain, the origin of creativity and imagination, which are more important than knowledge. And because a new book is a new surprise, you will never lack the sources of creativity and imagination. Knowledge is somehow passive, but imagination is always active. Your life will be unlimited. How awesome is that when one can really create himself. 

After knowing why, are you inspired to roll up your sleeves and read on to the steps below?

5 steps to read differently

Step 1: List out your current genre(s). Pick a piece of paper and list out all of your past and current genres. Be specific on the genres, you can see the genre list below for examples:

  • Fiction: Historical fiction, Science fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Fairy tales, Short-stories, Children’s book, Picture book, Adventure fiction, Crime fiction, Romance, Sport fiction, Ghost story, Literary fiction, Play, etc
  • Non-fiction: History, Memoir, Science, Philosophy, Biography, Diary, Self-help, Encyclopedia, Psychology, Journal, Essay, Theology, Economics, Textbook, etc
  • Poetry

Step 2: Choose 3 new genres that you think you may have interests. 

  • It doesn’t mean if you like fiction you have to choose non-fiction or vice versa. If you normally read romance fiction, you can try science-fiction or picture book. 
  • Within the same genre “science fiction”, you can also choose another famous author and start reading two or three of his books. 
  • Also, you can bring one of your favorite genres to the next level by challenging yourself to a more complex type of writing (for me I see the books that won The Man Bookers’ prizes are hard but good to read)

Step 3: Choose 3 new genres that you think you need for self-improvement. Here you don’t always have to choose the “self-help” genre. It could be anything. For instance, if you want to improve your writing, choose romance fiction/novel. If you want to gain more knowledge relating to your job, choose some well-known books of the field. 

Step 4: Choose 3 books for each of your 6 new genres. Tips: you can search for the most famous books of each genre on the internet, or ask someone you know who is a master of a specific genre.

Step 5: Create a reading map of your own, and a checklist. So that you don’t just leave everything there and forget to read 🙂 Remember to write a few lines of every new book you attempt, it is a great way to note your fresh feelings and discoveries of the new genres.

Have fun reading <3

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