Brighten Youth Education Centre



Bibliophilia simplified


Here at smart lessons, we love big books and we cannot lie. We love small books too. Actually, with a few exceptions, we love all books, and this week we’re going to tell you how to read more. There have been a couple of article recently about how you can read a hundred books a year, but we think you can do better than that. Even horror author Stephen King, who famously admits to being a slow reader, gets through about seventy or eighty books a year, and most of them are fairly weighty.

Start by reading whenever you can or, as Stephen King puts it, learn to read in short sips and long swallows. You may have a spare hour in the evening but what about travel time to work, waiting in line at the bus stop, those times when you’re stuck eating lunch alone or when you’re chilling in a bar because your friends are late? Most of us know that a great deal of the time we spend staring at our phones or the TV is wasted, so why not turn a few pages instead? What are you going to miss? More egocentric Facebook updates and fatuous game shows?

It is also a good idea to buy in bulk and devote reasonable funds to feed your habit. It is not considered unreasonable for people to spend several thousands of HK$ on a smartphone, on clothes, or even on an elaborate meal. So why should it be thought of as strange to spend an equal amount of month every so often in a bookstore or online? This means that you will always have something that you feel like reading and you’re never left wondering what to read next. If you’re always left with a gap between finishing one book and starting another, it’s far easier to break your reading habit. If you go to the bookstore and just stare at the shelves, you’re unlikely to find inspiration. Furthermore, it’s likely that a reasonable amount of time has passed between you buying your last book and actually being ready to read it. You might not feel so desperate to read it now. That feeling will come back, and you probably just need a break. This tends to happen if you’re currently working your way through a specific author’s complete works, or have just read something really heavy and fancy a change.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to read several books simultaneously. It’s common practice among true bibliophile and you needn’t worry, you won’t loose you place in any of them. Maybe you want to power through something inspirational on the MTR on the way to work, relax with some poetry in the evening and choose something light, a pure adventure, before you sleep. Read whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want, but always be reading.


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