The pleasure of starting to read again

There is no other time of year when, like thesummeremerge so strongly the sense of guilt of those who have not been able to read consistently during the year e he feels he has to recover.

It is for this reason that it often happens to me, when the summer is approaching, to receive requests like this (these are all questions I actually received):

– how do you find the motivation to read?

– how do you read consistently?

– how do you concentrate?

– do you use speed reading methods to read so much?

– in which position do you recommend reading? at what time of the day?

– do you make lists? do you plan the readings?

– do you read one book at a time or multiple books at the same time? how do you combine them?

– how many pages can you read in an hour?

– have you ever lost the desire to read? If so, how did you find it?

What’s your METHOD?

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Such questions are often full of guilt, because in recent years time seems to have acceleratedthere are a thousand other things to think about and you have to keep up to date on many fronts. Books may be bought, but often they end up piling up on the bedside table.

Even those who were once quick readers have begun to encounter unprecedented difficulty in concentratingas Giuseppe Montesano said a few years ago in How to become alive, a vademecum for wild readers (Bompiani).

Immersing yourself in a book is more and more a luxury for those who have time and can not think, as he reads, to all the endless things to do. That’s why, along with the questions, I also get confessions like this:

– “I want to read but I fall asleep immediately”

– “I have attention to 0”

– “I’m less and less good at concentrating, it’s a drama

– “I have many beautiful books on my bedside table, but as soon as I take one it seems like a huge effort and I can’t get started”.

Faced with this, I feel a bit like those personal trainer asked how to find the motivation. With the difference that I, as a reader, I really have nothing to teach.

In fact, reading is one of the activities that come naturally to mealthough not natural at all, as countless studies show, including those of Maryanne Wolf (I recommend reading about Reader, come home).

It is a learned and rather recent activity if we look at the history of humanity, yet to me it is more interesting than most other human activities. I watch very few TV series in a year, very few movies and Social videos made to be addictive bore meso the main source of stories and insights for me remain books.

For this reason I like to talk about it and I am asked these questions but, as I said, a reader can arouse curiosity and share a common reading time, but often they don’t have a precise technique that is valid for every person.

There is no right position, right time, absolute right book, but maybe a little help can come from the way you look at all these aspects.

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When reading, in fact, becomes a stretcha constraint and a duty, therefore it stops being an immersive activity enjoyablethat is the time when you are likely to get stuck and not make it anymore.

It becomes, in other words, a job, and I think it’s the biggest risk to avoid.

– “Yes, but how is it done in practice?”

I suggest, rather than looking for an answer and a method, to ask questions that mainly concern the type of booksthe place, the support, the organization of the day:

Are the books I buy and start reading really the ones I want to read or are they the “right books” for someone else?

– are the books on my bedside table too demanding for me or for this period of my life?
Are there any other books I could read with more relish and satisfaction right now?

– Is the moment of the day when I try to read the right one for me or do I have my head caught up in something else and little energy to do it? is there another time of day that I could dedicate to reading?

– does the place where I try to read allow me to immerse myself in reading or is it uncomfortable and distracting?

Is the media I use to read the most comfortable and practical for me right now?

The main thing, however, is not to feel guilty and not to think that the last word is said. If you can’t read now, it doesn’t mean you can’t start over.

It is true that for many people in recent years reading has become more difficult, but it can be easy again. It’s about paying attention to the main sources of distraction (yes, social media first) and resuming the practice without haste.

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I don’t think you need motivation, because the reason for reading is not in the satisfaction of finishing the book, which risks causing only anxiety and haste. The subtle pleasure of finishing a book, of having succeeded, risks being less than the torture of reading something we don’t like.

Better to cultivate the greatest pleasure, that is, the one that comes from reading the page in front of you right nowimmersing yourself in that moment and changing your point of view on the world, whatever the genre and theme of the chosen book.

Reading should remain a pleasure while you practice it, it makes no sense to try to force yourself, increase the speed, create a rigid plan. The reading plans are a bit like travel itineraries: they give the idea of ​​a journey, but without the experience that will lead to shuffling all the cards on the table.

In conclusion there is no goal to crossand we don’t really have time to read books we don’t like.

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THE AUTHORMaura Gancitano she is a philosopher, writer, founder, together with Andrea Colamedici of Tlona growing multimedia project, which includes the bookstore-theater, the publishing house, podcasts, books, festivals, training courses and much more.

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Beyond the

He has published several books, including Maleficent. Transforming female anger (Tlon) and, together with Andrea Colamedici, You are not God. Phenomenology of contemporary spirituality (Tlon), Lessons of Wonder. Journeys between philosophy and imagination (Tlon), Get rid of the good girl. Eight stories to flourish (HarperCollins), Take it philosophically. Personal flowering manual (HarperCollins) e Dawn of the new gods. From Plato to big data (Mondadori).

Now it’s in the bookstore with Mirror of my desires (Einaudi Stile Libero), an essay in which the author invites us to rethink beauty beyond indoctrination and consumption, to grasp it as a personal flowering path, far from any type of external conditioning.

The pleasure of starting to read again