Months ago, I walked up to Jaideep Shergill (our former CEO at MSLGROUP India) and asked him how he made time for all the novels stacked up around his little space in office. Just the number of books overwhelmed me with guilt. I did feel terribly ashamed to even ask him that question. But I asked it anyway because my reading hours shrank considerably, and I knew I had to do better. And look at me – I was comparing myself to a man as busy as him. Well, his answer was as brief as it could get. ‘I travel a lot.’
So here’s what I gather:
Read while traveling
When my reading hours decreased, it was because I was living only three-four kilometers away from office. By the time I opened a book or even tried to skim through the newspaper in the morning, I was already standing below my office building. That’s when I figured it was better to live away from my workplace, take a train, get a seat and read.
Take a short break at work
Inspired by another gentleman at work, I realized I could read in office as well. While everyone takes a chai break, I prefer opening a book and reading as much as I can within 15 minutes. It’s not a bad idea, and it works as a break too. Then back we go to our laptops.
Before you go to bed
After a long day at work, this is usually not what happens. There were times when I used open my laptop and get glued to some television show that I’d downloaded. It was just convenient. However, I still do watch an episode every night, and for the next 30 minutes or so, I read. I like the feeling of reading myself to bed. The moment I realize my eyelids are ready to hug each other, I place the book next to my pillow and go off to sleep.
As soon as you wake up
When I was reading Rebecca, I would sleep with the book next to me and wake up to read it first thing in the morning. I liked how it panned out. So I tried this on a couple of other books and liked the idea of waking up to a novel every morning. There are days when I read and go back to sleep in the morning.
And while you’re at this, make sure you are disconnected. Keep you mobile phone away from you or you’re going to be distracted by every ping and the incessant buzz makes it all the more difficult to concentrate on a story.
In case you have more ideas, do share. I shall happily add it to this post.