Remembering How to Read: A Few Tips

in #life4 years ago (edited)


Are you forgetting yet? Last week, the Toronto Globe and Mail published an opinion piece by author Michael Harris. The title tells the story: “I Have Forgotten How to Read”. After growing up reading good books and appreciating literary arts, he thought he could unplug from technology and reconnect with a book. Recently, he turned off his phone and sat down to read a book with the goal of finishing just one chapter. But he couldn’t do it and soon turned on a video instead.

I recommend reading Harris’ article (source link below) because it explains how we got here. Harris does a great job synthesizing the research and crystallizing wisdom from various sources. All of it paints an unmistakable picture of our modern world that is not too surprising for anyone who has been paying attention (you have, haven’t you?).

With constant connectivity, our attention spans have shortened and entertainment has evolved to fit. We need shorter cuts, faster hooks, and nonstop action. We expect to be entertained. We resent anything that postpones our fun. There is no question that modern life is rewiring our brains with different expectations.

“The mind is plastic,” Harris concluded, “and I have changed.”


Playlists vs. Hemingway

Let me turn now to my response. First, is it really such a bad thing that few people read Joyce or Tolstoy? We’re told in school that the great books are great books, so we believe that these are the icons of our culture. It’s true. For those who do spend the time and energy it takes to read and appreciate classic literature (not just in school but on your own when it means something more to you), they are works of absolute genius. Many great books have more truth in them about the human condition than you can learn in years’ worth of TV shows.

But high culture has always been for elites. When most people finish secondary school, they flee from those classic works that have been imposed upon them by the educational system. As Michael Harris notes in his article, until the 19th century, education itself was for elites only. Even when a larger set of the population is forced to read Hemingway in school, most don’t choose to do so on their own time.


If people are retreating to their playlists rather than to Hemingway, it may not represent as big of a loss as some would have us believe. Most people do not spend their downtime reading classic literature. When you see some new dresses at an haute couture fashion show, are those dresses that normal women wear?

No. They are trendsetters, developed by the most creative people in fashion. They help shape our culture in some way. And yet most people don’t wear these icons. Lots of writers have copied Hemingway also, and his works remain extremely influential in the literary world, but that doesn’t mean normal people ever spent much time reading them.

We’re adapting to new realities that are dominated by technology. That’s a big part of life now. And evolving to fit it isn’t all bad, though some of the effects are harmful.

Second, I think what we’re really losing is patience and the ability for deep thought. That’s the part that bothers me. With all of the competing entertainment and nonstop connectivity, we don’t have the time to sit back and think. Our minds need some downtime to recharge, but whereas famous inventors of the past have had bright ideas while sitting on the toilet, now people are using their iPhones while using the bathroom.

Losing that downtime has a tremendous impact on our decision-making. It’s especially worrisome when we accept less and make choices based upon surface-level information just because we lack the patience for deeper understanding. We’re trading the ability to think critically and instead criticizing anything that delays our next screen fix.

So overall, I think the picture is not all bad, but I want to save my brain from complete ruin. Balance is important. How about trying to find a middle ground and re-connecting at some level with the parts of our brains that are being lost?


Some Tips to Find a Middle Ground

Many people are concerned with physical fitness and health, so that should extend to keeping your brain healthy also. While I’m no expert in that respect, I have tried hard in the last few years to maintain my sanity. Even if I spend most of my day looking at a screen, I have tried hard to keep my brain from being wired to it.

In doing so, I’ve collected a few tips to share. I hope you’ll find some of them useful also.

1.) Take breaks

Research has shown that we’re much more productive and creative when we take breaks. Looking at a screen for long periods definitely is not good for your eyes; look away and focus on something in the distance to re-train your eyes. Have a snack, read a magazine, meditate, do some push-ups. Your connected life will still be there in a few minutes.

2.) Get a little exercise (while not looking at your phone or any screen)

My dog forces me to go outside a few times a day and go for walks. I do not look at my phone. Instead, I look at the trees, what’s happening in my neighborhood, and try to see the world from my dog’s perspective. Whatever modest amount of exercise you can fit into your life, from climbing a staircase to climbing on an exercise machine (even for just a few minutes), exercise is good for the brain.


3.) Try reading a magazine or an e-book to replace one of the games you play or the shows you watch

One magazine article does not take that much time to read. E-books are books with a screen, so they may provide some comfort level there.

4.) Try reading poetry

It doesn’t take long to read a poem. Yet it can have as much meaning as a full-length book. Look at some different poets’ works or buy an anthology of poetry. Try to read a new poem each time you take a break. Either you’ll connect with it or you won’t. If you do, it might be a gateway drug to more reading.


5.) Find something snappy to read

We’ve become accustomed to fast hooks, so give your mind what it wants. Not long ago, I decided that I wanted to read the works of Homer (as a free-thinking adult, not as a high school kid), but they intimidated me.

Since I couldn’t simply sit down and read the Iliad, I found some historical novels set in that time and place. The stories hooked me and drew me in, teaching me something of the history and culture in the process. When I was done with the snappy novels, I picked up the actual Iliad and found it fascinating.

If one of your favorite movies was made from a book, go grab the book and try reading it. I like to read the book first, but some people really enjoy reading the book after seeing the movie. That may provide you with a subject you enjoy reading about, and from there, perhaps you can follow that author or look for other similar works.

Hopefully, these tips will help you if you’re reaching that point where you’ve forgotten how to read. Or consider performing a deeper cleansing intervention by unplugging for a whole day and going on a long hike or something. Another option is to read the posts on Steemit before voting for them. I know you’re reading this one all the way to the end. How do I know? Because if you did read it all, then I hope you’ll reply with a comment telling me which tip you liked best. Or (even better) tell us in a comment what tips you have for occasionally unplugging and reconnecting!


Michael Harris' Globe and Mail article:

Images are public domain.


I confess I'm one of the people you describe as having modified her brain into that search for fast and easy comfort. Even though I like to think and read, my brain refuses to do it unless I force it to. I've used Steemit a lot for this. I for one write poems, so I also travel the poetry tag and read poems and comment on them. Sometimes, I use the poems on Steemit to inspire myself to write my own lol. So I post them as comments and then post them as full posts. It feels like cheating sometimes but it works lol.

Right now I'm reading my first e-book in some months. I'm very proud. Steemit helped me achieve this. I don't think I could have achieved it on my own. I even go to the gym and exercise, I spend time away from the screen, but I was accustomed to not thinking, to talking to people, to finding quick satisfaction in my activities. Drawing a quick picture, writing a quick story.

After I finish this light e-book, I want to go for some classics. I hope my mind will let me. :)

What a great story! I'm so happy to hear you're back to reading and that Steemit helped you get there. Yes, please keep trying some other books too!

Make baby steps and that is great and I love ebooks.

okumak çok güzel

This is am amazing read! I really admire your desire to try and maintain a balance between the technological world and trying to remain grounded. I myself have found it hard to stay in control as there are so many distractions and attractions. I love watching movies, music videos and scrolling through social media. I also have a very short attention span and when it comes to actually reading a book its a challenge. I think that its easier for me to read when the book has pictures in them. I will follow the tips that you gave and see if I can improve. Thank you very much for this.

Great post .. good
The important thing is that one does not stop learning from any source
Thanks for sharing this with us

Books are the first weapon to fight against illiteracy. Famous saying is that
"a book is a dream which you hold in your hands".

wow thanks for sharing this534347_0e653.gif

Oh yes, this problem of overload and fatigue eternally haunts us all and all your advice is relevant and in demand! I, with your permission, will add a few methods for relaxation. 1. Draw. Art inspires and soothes. Drawing trains the brain without causing it to strain, but rather, allowing you to relax. Talents are not required, paint everything that comes to your mind - landscapes, animals or funny little men. 2. Take a walk in the park. Fresh air and leaf noise favorably influence the human body as a whole and the brain in particular. 20-30 minutes of walking stimulate the production of brain cells. 3. Listen to your favorite music. The choice of songs depends on your preferences, it can be either jazz, classical or folk songs. The main thing is that you can relax and immerse yourself in a melody. I hope we all need this! Thank you @donkeypong

Those are excellent additions. Thanks for the tips!

I really agree we are loosing patience, this is also seen here on steemit. The fact that people barely want to read lengthy posts and just get upvoted or upvote makes them just go straight to rape the upvote button, instead of really getting the message the blogger is passing. Im guilty as well most times. For me i like reading only after seeing the movie

We're all guilty at times. And I think you're right that patience is a key ingredient.

Let me also add that one of the few ways to read and remember what was read is to prepare to read. I think it's a little bit disorganized to just kickstart reading without preparing yourself to receive what you intend to read. Many times when I am going to read something, I start off by telling myself how very important this information I'm about acquiring is important. You will have to convince your mind about this or else your mind will be very hostile to the new information you try to feed it with.

Also, looking forward to reading helps pretty very much. This is based on the fact that whatever you enjoy doing, you will have a strong grasp of it in your mind. And this can only happen when you shed off that insane belief that reading is a boring affair.

And I quite agree with you. Much has changed about the approach we use with regards to reading. Technology has beaten us in our own game. I long for the good old days again.

That's an excellent tip. Thank you.

wow thanks for sharing this534347_0e653.gif

Thanks for bringing Michael's column to our attention. The column references McLuhan's thoughts about technology numbing our awareness... and Michael suggests that it numbs our patience as well.

It's interesting because I've often said that I do my best thinking in the shower. I've never really given much thought why... but I'm now realizing it's because that's one of the few places where I'm not constantly interrupted by technology.

There are some very well chosen quotes in that article. I wanted to bring in a couple of them, but did not simply want to re-hash his whole article in my post. :) A lot of people have said that bath or shower time brings out the most creative thoughts. I'm not sure if it's always been that way or more so since technology took over so much of our lives.

Technology numbs when used wrongly. It is like a gun when used wrongly.

As both a teacher and a father this is an issue that is close to my heart. I see this issues with adults all the time where their inability to unplug has almost become dibilitating. This is such a new phenomenon and the most concerning thing is that it is only the beginning. If you think the adults plugged in and “forgetting” how to read is an issue then wait until our next generations come along.

I see it in the children I teach every single day and year to year. I hear it in conversations with parents during teacher conferences all the time. Kids today are more plugged in than ever before. Think about it, if adults today are excessively plugged in then of course these are traits that are going to picked up and learned by their children. Kids today have access to more digital and online content than ever before and they attached big time. Forget about people forgetting how to read, these kids are growing up and becoming young adults who have only read when forced through school, and that’s if they even did that. They may be deciding words but they are not reading in the way that we did growing up. The preoccupation with being online supersedes any possible desire to read.

I worry about this with my students and try to incorporate as much fun and exciting reading as possible in an attempt to build some joy of reading but often it feels like a losing battle. A battle I take home wig my own kids who if allowed would be plugged in all the time.

The ideas presented here are great and it needs to be something that adults and parents take he initiative to change. If adults can change then they can set a new standard for their children.
Great post @donkeypong and thanks for sharing.

Excellent comment and I'm glad you're bringing them up the right way. As a father, I try also. It takes a family, a community, a village, and certainly a good teacher.

Thanks!!! It does take a community for sure. If we are afraid of the lost reading skills just think for a moment about the development of their writing skills and the ability to communicate. Scary possibilities. So important to keep the dialogue going with posts like this so we can try to foster some change. It won’t be easy but together we can get there.

I think it's really sad. It became rare to walk on the street and see people looking at other things beside their phones.
All people care about these days is to get the best phone instead of art or read good books.
Actually, a few months ago I decided not to use my phone for a day. I took my camera, my dog, a book and a blanket and I just found a good spot at the beach to stay a d watch the sunset. It felt odd to go outside and see everyone stuck in this little thing, which means the whole world to them.
I find it very sad that I can bearly talk to people about books, too.
Thanks for your post anyway, I sure might share it with some of my friends.

Walking on then street, eating meals, using the's everywhere. I understand being connected, but we need to take some breaks also and enjoy the world around us!

Couldn't agree more.

Yeah, the phone addiction is psychologically like a black hole.

This post fixed me. Balance is actually needed in everything. Extremes doesn't help. It drains and take its toll. Thank you for this sir. I am glad to have just joined and i keep learning about life, people and even situations.

If this post fixed you, then that was some easy therapy! Welcome to Steem and I hope you enjoy the site.

this site is very enjoyable.

I first started reading this and i didn't know where you are heading with it. People now focus more on entertainment than anything that involves the use of their brain. Technology has changed a whole lot and like you pointed out, we need to find a balance. Take a break, have fun, read, meet people, do everything in moderation and in balance. This is deep! Not farther from the truth at all. Thank you for this timely reminder.

Reading is good. When I was much younger, reading was my hubby. I would read anything I can place my hands on. Somewhere along the line, pursing my career I missed reading, as reading became just reading for examination. That really gave me a lot of set back, as I was no longer vastly knowledgeable. I got to realise this when I joined steemit and was reading post writing by others. I realise I couldn't contribute much in comments as I really wont have much to contribute. It became a concern and I took the challenge to read.
Not coming like before, but gradually the interest is kicking in which is good. I do the take a break,exercise and something snappy tips. But mags and e-books not yet. Also having to write a post forces me to research, thereby causing me to read something.
Thanks for the tips. They are very helpful.

I have become accustomed to the dictionary of the cell phone and when I have to write on a sheet or re-adapt a file I have noticed that I forget many words and I despair writing letter by letter, since the cell phone you place the options.
I have read many digital books since it is a means of easy abscess, but without doubting the feeling of having a book in my hands is another thing.
My big flaw is that if I like the content I can not stop reading until I finish it, no matter how many hours I have to spend ha ha.

Me he acostumbrado al diccionario del celular y cuando me toca escribir en una hoja o redaptar un archivo he notado que olvido muchas palabras y me desespera escribir letra por letra, ya que el celular colocas las opciones.
He leido muchos libros digitales ya que es un medio de fácil absceso, pero sin dudar la sensación de tener un libro en las manos es otra cosas.
Mi gran defecto es que si el contenido me gusta no puedo parar de leer hasta terminarlo , no importa cuantas horas tenga que pasar ja ja.

True the phone helps maybe too much in spelling and everything. But if we are aware of that, then we can find ways to sharpen our swords, our spelling skills, and other things, through typing more on laptops at times and maybe through games and stuff.

si, hasta la forma de escribir ha cambiado,al utilizar lapiz y papel sale una letra no deseada ja ja.

I am an old guy, and I have never forgotten to read.

In fact I read every day an actual book, sometimes fiction, sometimes not.

Exactly how it is supposed to be. In my country, a saying goes thus, "Learning Never ends". Learning is the only exercise in life that continues till the day we expire. That is how it is supposed to be. Someone should please drum this in the ears of the younger generation. We need to continue reading books and learning. Action entertainment is not bad, but then we still need books too. If @vcelier is still reading at old age, then I dont know what we young people are doing. We should borrow a leave from this please.

Yeah, we do better as we always learn and when we stop learning, then we stop living.

Words of wisdom. Learning continues

Thanks for this..these days we hardly engage in productive activities,most people would rather prefer to sit infront of a TV and watch movies for hours than read one page of a book..let's revive our reading culture,thanks for the tips

For actually contributing to the discussion in a meaningful manner I am adding you to my UBI list. You will receive a vote on a comment or post of yours daily.

As far as the post goes, I think that attempting to exercise patience and grow our ability to delay gratification is very important to one's development, so I appreciate the time it took to write this up in the hopes that others would actually read through it and gain some insight into how to make their own attention spans a bit longer. There's still no way in hell I would ever manage to get through Ulysses.

I really appreciate..thank you

...Not just TV. Sadly, Mobile devices consumes the bulk of our time lately than even thinking out set goals or big ideas

Very true as well

Excellent tips and moreover I would like to add, if you add up all the time you spend each day going from place to place—school, work, running errands, waiting in line at the post office—it’s a ton of time each month during which the brain doesn’t really need to be actively engaged. Your commute times are often quite long, sometimes over two hours, and that doesn’t count being stuck in traffic as I’m trying to get to the gym or meeting friends for dinner. To maximize the time and give your brain something to focus on, you can listen to podcasts or audio books. It helps to manage time better, improve productivity since you are always learning new things you can apply to your personal and professional life, and even boost your creative thinking with ideas you come up with as you're listening to them.

Very informative and helpful post for us specially a student may be helped reading this post. You are right when we read we should keep switch off mobile. At present time this is great problem for Mobile addicted person. It also depend on own heath. If I feel good it help to increase attentiom not only for book but also for every work. It must be required break keeping energy to work more. Exercise and recreation also required to avoid boredom. Excellent post I think reading this post no require to read other book for motivations.

We all can fin ways to balance our lives in reading more, reading better, and in application and stuff.

Yeah, people tend to never read when they finish school. I don't have a single friend who still reads books when they are not forced to do it anymore. All the technologies are affecting us, I believe in a bad way mostly.
But great tips you've got there. I think it's especially important to take brakes, because I used to do this mistake of staring at the screen for countless of hours. It can make you feel like your brain is gonna explode after a while. And you can lose the sense od reality, because you never take your eyes off the screen to watch all the beauty that surrounds you...

It is true that technology is rewiring our brain. Nowadays, you hear young people being so proud of expressing how much they hate long posts and novels. But this is not supposed to be so. We are supposed to learn from wrtten words, carefully concealed islands of knowledge. We are supposed to tap from them and enrich our wealth of knowledge. "Action entertainment" is not entirely bad but our young people should strive to strike a balance,.

In my trip to Bandung, West Java, to follow 1St National Meet Up Indonesia Steemit Community, I read a long-awaited publication book I read, The Wolf of Street by Jordan Belfort that has been filmed and starring actor Leonardo DiCaprio. This is not classic literature, but I love it for watching the movie a few years ago. I also want to get inspired by Jordan Belfort's stock transaction philosophy and compare it with cryptocurrency transactions, even though Jordan's way is dirty and I do not want to follow it.

Along the way by bus, at the airport, and on the plane, almost everyone is busy with gadgets. Read a book into a rare activity, or a rare human? I do not know ...

Perhaps the characteristics of modern man cannot escape from the screen. I think, right what Harris said; the mind is plastic. and unfortunately, we never noticed.

wow thanks for sharing this534347_0e653.gif

I just posted a sort of erie prediction by a French author from 1985 the other day where she laments people only watching TV in the future and not reading anymore. I LOVE reading and made it my profession basically (prof) but my back hurts when I sit for too long - you are absolutely right about the breaks. You mention ebooks and such, but my favorite is audiobooks. Between my Audible account and library loans of audiobooks, I go through 4-6 books per month on average. I would never have time to sit and read that many books - I listen while I cook, drive, go for walks, etc. And while it's not exactly the same as caressing the pages of a real book, the narrators can really bring the book alive - or make it unbearable on rare occasions. The Illiad is on my list too for some day. I will admit though, that the draw of the phone can be so strong that sometimes even when I'm really enjoying my book during lunch, I feel compelled to check my email - what is wrong with me?!? That's the addiction!
great food for thought.
read on!

Amazing 1985 thing. I was born in 1985. And I love the book 1984 which was also a prediction of the future like Animal Farm.

I've been meaning to re-read 1985 for the longest time! It is one of those books that has really stuck with me, but I know I've forgotten a lot too.

1984 by George Orwell.

I told you I'd forgotten a lot - even the title apparently! ha ha ha
slip of the keyboard!

In my case, I do miss books, the thing is that in my country you have to make a quick decision: either you go to a bookstore and fetch that glossy book you really really want... or you get something to eat. Books, the good ones, are out of budget and most of the time you end up looking for a PDF to read, wich leads to another problem: you get distracted... -well, I get distracted- because the network is just a click away. About exercise, I've been taking some yoga classes. It helps. You learn to know your body, your limits and connect with people. Poetry helps as well, I read Venezuelan poets like Alberto Barrera Tyszka (my beloved), Edda Armas, Natasha Tiniacos, Eugenio Montejo...among others. You showed up a picture with a poem of Emily Dickinson, but besides her, what other poets do you read? I'm looking for some recommendations because I like to write down the poems I like the most. Thanks for this great post!

My goodness. What a content. I totally agree with you on this. Living in this technology era where we can get things done at the push of a button or snap of a finger, our minds have gone on recess. A lot of people, myself inclusive have lost the discipline of having to sit down for hours and finish up a book without the pressure of examinations. Using your own words, our minds do really need some downtime to recharge.

I find your tips really resourceful. I used to appreciate literary works of art and could even pen down some poems in the past. Getting the lines of a stanza to rhyme is a bit of a challenge right now. That's not funny at all. I'm getting back to poetry and bringing my creativity back to life.

I connected the most with taking breaks and exercising...thanks so much for this @donkeypong...we often get so focused on the work, the laptop, the phone that we don't realize our stress levels are rising, and our productivity is decreasing!

About 3 nights ago, I was hard a a task that had 92 investors hanging out there waiting for me to complete my task. I was stuck typing furiously, hunched over the laptop all day and all through the night. I had started out fresh and energetic but by 2am I was depressed, slow and making abominable mistakes yet I couldn't quit. So to de-stress, I dropped everything briefly, went to Steemit to read posts on encouragement and then decided to write out an amateur poem of my own in a bid to encourage myself.

Guess what?! That break was about 1 hour... When I got back to work, I had regained my fire, my energy and I finished without anymore mistakes! Imagine if I didn't take that break? I would eventually have finished through the sheer force of will BUT I wouldn't have done such a great job. Getting great feedback from those 92 people was so fulfilling!

That's great! I'm glad taking a break revitalized you. Quality time is better than quantity.

Thanks boss! You got that right! Quality over quantity

Agreed, those breaks in life means the world to us and it helps realign us back to the OATMEAL, I mean the universe or whatever, haha.

Oatmeal...Are you trying to make me hungry? lol...just kidding. I agree with you about the breaks helping us to realign. Thanks!

Hello @donkeypong

I totally agree with all the tips you listed here, most of all, the one regarding how exercise positively enhances brain health. I learnt this way back in high school when we were told to if you want to have good retentive memory, then exercise regularly. This post only goes to remind me that, thanks for sharing.

Meanwhile I want to specially thank you for your selfless contributions to the growth of Nigeria community. Thank you sir and may God bless you richly.

Upv by

@eurogee of @euronation community & The Host, Show Us Your Witnesses Weekly Contest

Read the title like "Oh, this should be interesting ... Wait a second, but if I actually forgot how to read, it would be impossible to read this post ... this should extremely interesting", and I was right!

My favourite part:

No. They are trendsetters, developed by the most creative people in fashion. They help shape our culture in some way. And yet most people don’t wear these icons. Lots of writers have copied Hemingway also, and his works remain extremely influential in the literary world, but that doesn’t mean normal people ever spent much time reading them.

Recently, I've been doing research and writing about the most influential scientists in history, they never quite got the appreciation for the work they did at the time, but years later, in some cases centuries later, other scientists studied their work and it changed the specific fields of science forever. The same way normal people don't really read the works of Hemingway, most people only know about more current scientists, while the names of the people that shaped science as we know it, gets lost in time.

OMG! I don't want to be like that so I have actually started buying more books and reading them.

What I try to do is :

  1. Put my phone away when I read, otherwise I can't focus. I tend to get distracted if my phone is on me and it is buzzing from messages.
  2. Block out a time to read. I find that if you set a time to read, you are mentally prepared and can block out any other distractions that come your way.
  3. Ensure that you are focused when you read, otherwise you won't absorb the information. For example, if I read before I sleep when I am tired from work, I find it harder register the information in front of me. So I tend to try read more in the morning than afternoon.

I guess these tips are more for those that want to get more out of reading books. I don't really have any tips for the shorter reads you have listed on this so thank you for your post!

That looks like a great plan.

Hahahahaha. This one looks like a kinda spam comments trap. Well, patience is what we are kinda losing in this age. We have faster connectivity, faster cars, faster trains and even faster bullets. Therefore, people have lots the ability to wait and be patience to achieve what they want.

Often times I usually have some weekends off where I go back from digital life. Sometimes, I go on a camping, drop all my digital gadgets, pick a few books or novels, and maybe go with some real physical friends to go enjoy the trees. During this period I'll try to disconnect myself totally by not having any digital gadgets for a whole weekend. It helps me builds more relationship with people, appreciate nature and also take the patience to read some good books. I have read a lot of Robert Greene, Chinua Achebe and James Hadley Chase books through this method. And I can tell you, after three days disconnection, I always return better. Am glad you shared this @donkeypong, quite a while since I last check your post.

That's perfect. It's good to take a few days off.

I'm really curious how is it to look from the dog perspective! Were you like walking on your fours!?? (Actually, I did that yesterday, as an exercise) :D
Yes, we became different. We should throw the phone in the window and go for a walk.

Haha. It's in my mind, but I don't walk like a dog.

You should try it!! Because when I tried I was so surprised how many muscles are working when you walk like a doge! Doges legs must be so strong...

Me too I love reading the book first before the movie. It's interesting when reading a book and you actually can't tell what's coming next.
Reading is a culture that many are keeping away from. People don't know that the greatest innovations came from people who dedicated their life to reading; Einstein, Isaac Newton, among others. Reading keeps your mind focussed to the goals you set for yourself. Entertainment like T.V is full of shows that don't play a part in building our lives successfully.
These breaks you've stated in the post are a great way to rest the brain and get it ready and hyped for the next event to cover in the day-to-day activities of the day. Reading is all that is needed to have the best direction in life; a life where your living for a purpose.

Definitely don’t need to read classic literature to enjoy a book even in modern times.

The trick is to A) pick a book that YOU will actually enjoy instead of what culture has told u is a good book and B) find a suitable time to crack away at it in short spurts such as bus rides or other periods of waiting.

Some classics i’ve enjoyed recently bc there obviously are some!

The count of monte cristo (over 1000 pgs and i don’t love reading, just saying)

The Tempest

That's important advice also: choose something you'll like and find a good time for reading. Thanks for the tips!

It all definitely makes sense. Such as taking a break, rest, Read a book, get a little exercise (while not looking at your phone or any screen). I only would add a good sleep. For many of the reason sleep is seen by many as a highly pleasurable experience. Something to look forward after a tiring day. A reward for all that hard work. A solid section of time dedicated to complete relaxation, providing valuable time away from the world or with a loving partner.

    1. I'm currently on a break. I used, "charging up my voting power," as a good excuse(That's my tip).
  • 3 + 4. Or one of my posts.

  • Five: That sounds like one of my posts lately.

Option B: Throw out all of the above advice. Instead, read and ponder one of Nonames' posts. Instant cure!

My posts even help those who are having trouble falling asleep!

Two minutes and you'll be out like a light!
A miracle in a bottle!

This is an AWESOME POST! I think that as we get older and are required to read less and less, we need to find things that we WANT to read and more often than not because of INTERNET VIDEOS, we don't NEED to read as much because we can watch videos on how to do things, but we SHOULD read more because it is a GREAT MENTAL WORKOUT! :-D

So right now I feel guilty, for a week now no exercise and I have been in doors. I feel like am cheating my body.

Then looking at trees see to be an amazing and refreshing thing to do. I miss climbing trees though.

When i was in primary school (elementary school), we had this reading competition from PACESETTER books. They supply books and any student who read the highest book and passes their exams was going to be awarded.

I can not tell you how bad it was, at the end of the day, it was I am my friend that ended reading all the books. Unfortunately Icould not get my prize as I travelled for vacation.

But it was surprisingly how so many children then lost interest in reading.

I have a garden and I love working on the garden. The guilt is a motivator.

I can imagine, I love gardens as well. Hope to have a garden in the nearest future.

wow thanks for sharing this534347_0e653.gif

This is really helpful! Before steemit came, I was mostly about nature and meditation and appreciation of art. I loves beibg alone, reading a book on a fine weekend and spending time with family and friends. It was really a nice scenario.

When I was introduced to steemit, this started to chanhe drastically. I was comcerned abpit reading lot of posts here because they were very interesting. I began to indulge in crypto world and virtual people. It was a wholw new setting.

It does take its toll on you. After your time facing the screen, you began to realize that u are you. You are tangible and alive so you have to mind what is around you. I oftem find my room messy and my friends telling ms that I am distant.

I think there has to be a balance in the virtual world abd in the tangivle world. I find that its really great to find i spiration on wgat to write when you are experiencing life.

Fascinating, @donkeypong, and a subject especially close to my heart, as reader & writer.

Interested in how the Internet can detrimentally affect our concentration, meaning our capacity for immersive reading and/or critical thinking, I remember being set alight a few years ago by an Atlantic magazine article (which the author, Nicholas Carr, developed into a fine book). The title of the piece encapsulated all my misgivings, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?: What the internet is doing to our brains”.

Shortly after this seminal, but somewhat alarmist, piece, a slew of articles, backed by scientific studies, made a counter argument: Google and the Internet might be making us smarter. True, multi-tasking stands to make memory worse, they suggested, but certain types of memory are improving as search engines reroute our brains.

“Abundance of books makes men less studious” stated a critic of the printing press, Hieronimo Squarciafico, as early as the 15th century. This might well be the case today, too, with the wealth of unsorted, uneven information available at our fingertips.

Yet, perhaps this truth also speaks to our innate laziness as a species, rather than the evils of abundance. For those with discipline and curiosity to sift through the buried treasures (as well as the sanity not to entirely live online), the Internet need not be a soul-destroying monster but can be, potentially, a life-enhancing tool.

In closing, thank you, for your sober recommendations on how to lead a balanced and healthy life (for non-elites, without The Classics).
I’m especially grateful to you for recommending poetry—short, but profound—and would add to that list aphorisms or proverbs to meditate on, such as these:


Maybe it’s just me, but I find myself going in the exact opposite direction. I have been gravitating more and more toward quiet and peaceful, thoughtful pursuits. I enjoy sitting watching nature, putting on some music, or just enjoying some silence. It is nicer to focus on subtle details instead of constantly searching out new, more exciting stimuli.

The yoga inside you is doing great like a cool Kung Fu Panda Jack Black thing.

I always carry my forefinger with me when I read. So my eye is better focused on the text.

Does anyone else do this?
I think it's a good technique.

I agree we are becoming impatient and these tips will help.
I am.applying it.specially the exercise without the use of an electronic screen

Just read what you like is the only matter

Who else loves the feeling of turning the pages of a real book? :D

Yes, that's really true.

We have almost forgotten how to read and it has a lot to do with the technology. Yes, we have started using a lot of gadegts now a days and young generation cannot live without them. Our parents criticize us a lot and they give us examples how they lived their childhood and what they used to do but don't you think this had to happen? This was obvious and this kind of things have been happening in one way or the other. Only what we can do now is to keep the balance among everything.

I used to read any book before going to sleep and now I only use phone.I know that is not good but I am trying to chnage my this habbit now.

Ever since I got interested in blogging, I find myself reading more clearly. To be honest, I never enjoyed reading that much even since I was a child. There were times where I went through phases of reading several books consecutively and then never reading another book for a year.

I get my information in different ways. One of the ways I like to learn is experiencing. Another is through meditation. Nowadays, I don't enjoy reading that much because I find that knowledge can act as a barrier to wisdom.

Steemit and blogging is reigniting that interest and desire to read again because I want to learn different styles of writing so that I can apply it to my own blog posts and develop a stronger vocabulary and grasp of English (even though I am a native English speaker).

Technology has allowed us to get information very quickly and I can see why people have a shorter attention span for some things. But that can be a good thing too. If someone is passionate about something, they will want to know everything about it. Other information may not be too critical for us to learn on a deeper level, so just getting the jist saves time and energy.

It's always been difficult to read and write for me. This post will sure help me.

This comment has received a 2.02 % upvote from @speedvoter thanks to: @hurrahay.

Great tips.

I was an avid reader as a child and somehow once I got through University and started working it went out the window - and it wasn't a time thing - god knows I spent a lot of wasted time doing nothing terribly useful.

Just over a year ago a joined a book club and from there hopped on to Good Reads. I now aim to rad a minimum of 100 books a year. And I get that in by minimizing my screen time - especially before bed, using audio-books when I go for my daily walk or doing chores, and reading when I commute.

I'm pleased to say that the love of reading has returned with a vengeance!

I hope this is something never lost again. It truly is wonderful how it opens the mind, expands horizons and takes you on a journey. I think every book changes you just a little - and hopefully for the better.

Reading may not be the most efficient way to take in information whether it be for learning or pleasure. I prefer a good video. Or even an audio book to reading... unless I'm trying to learn something extremely detailed that is complicated, and even then a really good online lecture can usually do the trick.

가끔은 이곳에 잇는 글을 들여다 봅니다.
늘 부러운 것이 항상 신선한 아이디어와 다른 사람에게 읽을 거리를 늘 제공한다는 겁니다.
그래서 더욱 칭찬하고 싶어요.

Everyone of these are great points to follow.
Reading is a great gift in itself, learning and enjoying is the next gift.

I never knew that I have forgotten how to read until I read this post, damn!!. I remember when I read novels, I could read up to 8 novels or more in a week, plus magazines, but now I can't even remember the last time I glanced through one. I think i'm going to start by reading something snappy, I will find books of my favourite movies and i'm definitely going to look for my magazines. My eyes are already getting sore from the computer.

Gradually we forget that that we forgot many things.

I like a very good read. Yet, most times I find myself skipping lines, looking for the point only to mentally fill in the gap.
I do agree that our minds need downtime to recharge. After all, a warriors greatest weapon is his mind.

Agreed,we need time to breath and to listen to the sound of the wind, the sound of music.

I agree with you absolutely, it has happened to me a lot of times when I decide to read but then find out that the zeal isn't there no matter how hard i try. Being a student I find reading very difficult unless it has to do with calculations and I'm glad I chose Engineering as a profession but then I still find myself doing some reading courses and I don't feel good about them. But I'm adjusting because since I joined steemit I've read a lot of post which has made me lengthen my reading habit/time. Thank you very much @donkeypong for this reminder

Sometimes, it is better to filter instead of just reading. We got to get in and find key words at times. And we can sometimes get sucked into what we read and we can then enjoy it at that point but not until then. We should not always force ourselves to read slowly and in order. We may need to speed read, to scan, to investigate, to look around and search for key words instead of reading each word. We may need to know what we are looking for before we read something. Maybe we need to know which questions we need answer to before we go to find the answers in what we read.

Thanks for this wonderful post. I do admit that I became to independent with gadgets and internet as I cannot see my old self enjoyed reading a book or magazine. Nowadays I can easily lost interest in reading some books If I'm going to reflect to my old self i can finish 1/4 of a psychological book in a day. And your rigth I notice that reading is more reliable than watching. You can learn much more in reading than watching thousand fact videos or trivias. I think I'll goin to try tip number 1 cause I really need some break with internet and gadget.

I'm so awful at being glued to my phone. It's an awful habit that I'm trying to break. Your suggestions for breaking this habit are all on point. Thanks for sharing!

My addiction was coffee and ice-cream. The good thing is when we are able to help each other out through discipleship, accountability, in helping each other out and that can be fun and yeah phones are addicting.

for the modern era, young people today prefer to be stuck reading social networks that enjoy a good book about 20 years ago in high school I was compelled to read literary works of famous writers, who read a good book was fun one penetrated with the History that today had all this is lost due to technology.

"The secret of wisdom, power and knowledge is humility ... Hemingway"

@donkeypong, What a glorious post. I agree with you all when you mentioned here. If I want to remember some one of reading books before I mixed up with nature. Being relax and forget my all stress activities. Keep cool mindset. In fact Impress ourself with powerful mental images, make associations with what we already know and repeat this exercise several times. Work to become better at remembering and we'll become better at remembering everything we want. For me, keep in mind my religious leader (Lord Buddha) or nearest nature location.The more we repeat, the more we remember. When reading a book, if we do not want to read it several times, we can highlight a few parts that we want to remember, and re read only those parts several times. We will remember these segments much better. Thank you for giving best educative blog.

Thanks for this valuable post sharing..... i appreciate this reading.
i wait still your next post, resteemit

Hello, steemian! I am visiting your post first time and I found your blog so interesting and outstanding! This post is of much importance as it gives us a lot of tips regarding a healthy and sound life style........The things you have shared here are splendid!Truly said! "A useless life is an early death". Taking a break is essential for doing job attentively. A tired mind is unable to carry out tasks and make useful decisions......A healthy and balanced diet makes a man more effective and powerful. Besides, Having a look and visit to some beautiful places also do good for us as the natural enchanting scenes make our mind fresh. The whole post is so nice and I am feeling glad to visit your blog. Thanks for sharing such a tremendous post!

Good and useful post. This is useful for me which I want to read an book nor novel on physical book nor e-book but have few times to read a book. I like a sci-fi book which increase my knowledge about technology nor fiction technology beside playing games.

This is also inspire myself about knowledge.

Thanks for this beautiful tips, some times when you get tired you gave 2 to 3hours to rest when you rest before reding you assimilate will be accurate, skimming and scanning is also contributed the way we read and digest what we read.

In the digital era nowadays something that the name of rest is very little chance of time, we are always forced to see and read all that energy. Thank you this paper at least has made me realize to be able to utilize energy to other components in this body. Rest is a refill for maximum return

There is no substitute for reading books for knowledge. But, in the vast expansion of the technology, people spend time in reading books rather than for a long time. Instead, the practice of knowledge is constantly decreasing. However, the use of technology has revolutionized some kind of revolution in the world.

A nice and very relevant piece. The world has evolve and technology keeps evolving making for a competition between connectivity and reading of books. Although, I believe there ought not be any competition if we all are actually disciplined. Connectivity and reading of books ought to enhance each other like one of the examples you cited ("If one of your favorite movies was made from a book, go grab the book and try reading it. I like to read the book first, but some people really enjoy reading the book after seeing the movie. That may provide you with a subject you enjoy reading about, and from there, perhaps you can follow that author or look for other similar works.") and not compete. Unfortunately, in recent times most of us have lost our reading ability and reading culture.
I am not totally guilty because I am a researcher and I need to read always to keep up with the latest research work, the challenge for me is getting to read other things outside of my field. For that reason, number 1 (taking a break) and number 5(reading something snappy) outside of my field works well for me so I don't get stereotyped. These tips are great and making use of anyone that works well for you as an individual won't be bad because at the end, we can not blame technology but only have our self to blame.

This is great post, i appreciate this reading... best of luck

Am I only one who not enjoy reading from tablets etc and love paper books ??paper-book-technology-verge-028.jpg

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nice post at seemit

Great mr @donkeypong, Your article is very useful, you are able to make me contemplate about life ... you are great
Help me in the steemet, by vote me...

Hi @donkeypong. You are spot on with this one. We should just sometimes take it easy and read something new. It is a great way to broaden your horizons.

As we all know this saying
" A sound mind is the product of a sound body"
So physical fitness is a must

  • And your tips to keep your brain fit look helpful I am gonna try them definitely.

Me encanto tu post , lo principal para tener una buena comunicacion , y buen conocimiento de la vida cotidiana , es el leer , escribir , es lo mejor para desestrezarse saludos.

All the point of the tips are great @donkeypong..
It becomes an additional knowledge for all of us to be more effective in reading..

Growing up, I found it difficult to read as our setting mostly propagate read and write and exams on it. I saw the exams as the soul reason to read and with the lack of it, there isn't no drive till I took a leap of faith when I finished my senior high school. I think this was my break.
Mindset is my main drive to reading. With a mindset change, I find it interesting to read. The more I read, i realise the more I get to love it and the circles continues.

Saya merasakan hal yang hampir sama seperti yang anda tulis. Terima kasih tipsnya @donkeypong. Saya akan mencoba mengikuti tips yang anda berikan.

I try to read something different everyday. It does not have to be in-depth books. Being a retired septuagenarian I consider it mental calisthenics
that complements my gym workouts. I make it a habit to read a variety
of different subjects to trigger synapses not normally used in day-to-day life. Also, daily scanning several thousand emails and RSS feeds helps me
aggregate articles for my blog and keeps me apprised of global issues
... cuts through the mainstream media BS.

This is quit an educative post because it reminded me my childhood days when i was still struggling to learn how to read. Thank you so very much for sharing this because it will really help and encourage people to know the value of reading. Because reading is fun.

whoever is happy to be extended his sustenance and prolonged his age then let him connect the relationship

One of my main goals this year is to be able to read books regularly again. But it's definitely more difficult to concentrate on a book now than I thought it would be.

I agree we all seem to want an instant fix. Reading is an art that requires thought and reflection. Those are skills most of us need even if we spend all of our time looking at a screen. I like the idea of just looking at your surroundings from the dog’s perspective. I may try that. Thanks.

I like to read poetry, so this is the point i liked. And reading this semi long post was fun and encouraging for me. Because i still love to read good writings like this. Thanks.

I am guilty, indeed forgot how to read anymore. i mean I only ready steemit post but not books or even ebooks

Honestly I am so hooked up with facebook and now #steemit. It made me totally dependent on my phone such that it seems I could not live without it.

For the tips , I prefer number, it is indeed a very health tips, I mean when we exercise we get rid of a lot of bad things in our body, weight loss, control bp, normalize cholesterol level, these are just few of the benefits we could get from exercising, while disconnecting ourselves from technology.

For additional tips maybe camping with kids or friends where no wifi or internet connection available.

well honestly its a huge post and it will take tie to read so ... yeah i am on it it look really interesting

reading is the window of the world, and steemit becomes an alternative to that window, I read your post and other steemian postings, and I can see the world, add to my knowledge.

Regard, @saifuddin73

so great facts :) I've been applying some of them since I was in my highschool days .. You nailed it!

Wow... This post is just for me. My friend @olawalium can testify to it. I've gotten so many books, but after reading about 10 pages, I end up abandoning it. I cant remember the last time I completed reading a full book. I really dunno how to read 'especially long posts'. And I know many other people are just like me. Lol
.But this has really enlightened me more and i'll sure work on myself to become better. Thanks so much for this @donkeypong

Yeah, reading can be tough.

Very good your post! for real! I hope to continue reading you, I am new to this community, stop by my blog and tell me what you think of my publications!

Nice one sir.. im from toronto... it gives a lesson to each and everyone... i’ll definitely follow you... and i hope that you will have time to check my page and follow me as well... ☺️☺️☺️

A little break, outside the regular horizon of work is necessary to put more focus. It not only rejuvinate your mind for fresh thought but also make you to see all the different prospective available... A must post to read by everyone👍

Iam Mawardi From Indonesia
Iam new steemit user, I need your help in increasing my steemit

See you

Totally agree finding a happy medium is the key, but at the same time that happy medium is different from person to person.

Second, I think what we’re really losing is patience and the ability for deep thought. That’s the part that bothers me. With all of the competing entertainment and nonstop connectivity, we don’t have the time to sit back and think. Our minds need some downtime to recharge, but whereas famous investors of the past have had bright ideas while sitting on the toilet, now people are using their iPhones while using the bathroom.

This truly describes me.
I surely would take heed from the points you outlined hoping it shapes me rightly

great article. upvoted

I've found that steemit itself has helped me to read more in order to make meaningful comments.
My prefered way to disconnect from the constant flux information we are subjected to is spend time in nature either by running, hicking or bicking. There is no better way to clear the mind :)

This article caught my eye because I don't think that that could EVER happen to me. I think I am on the opposite side of this coin because I live in a third world country that has such unreliable electric and internet service that I CANNOT be connected to technology all the time. I usually am cursing about this but now I can see that it is actually a blessing! Because I am so often without internet service, I end up reading about 3 books a week.

I usually read while I'm eating breakfast or before bed. Your idea to read books that have been made into movies is great because down here we don't get the same volume or variety of movies. And usually they are just available to watch on the computer which isn't the same experience as going to a theater. My preference is to read the book before seeing the movie, and I think the book version is usually better.

Actually, now that I think more about it, I probably read so much because I enjoy reading. I think a lot of people have a negative association with reading because they were forced to do at school. So even if people didn't have all the gadgets to distract them, they would still look for any other activity to do besides reading.

Maybe an idea is to make a special area just for reading. A place that is comfortable, quiet and visually appealing so that it has a good association and feeling to it. This is what I have done in my house and I love to spend some peaceful moments there lost in reading a book that makes me forget where I am.

So my tip to those who are really serious about unplugging and regaining a sharper mind is this... MOVE TO A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY!

If that idea is too drastic, then try to create a special place in your home where you can escape for a little while and take a mental vacation

I lived in Vietnam for 5 years and saw them addicted to phones, haha.

Oh yes, this problem of overload and fatigue eternally haunts us all and all your advice is relevant and in demand! I, with your permission, will add a few methods for relaxation. 1. Draw. Art inspires and soothes. Drawing trains the brain without causing it to strain, but rather, allowing you to relax. Talents are not required, paint everything that comes to your mind - landscapes, animals or funny little men. 2. Take a walk in the park. Fresh air and leaf noise favorably influence the human body as a whole and the brain in particular. 20-30 minutes of walking stimulate the production of brain cells. 3. Listen to your favorite music. The choice of songs depends on your preferences, it can be either jazz, classical or folk songs. The main thing is that you can relax and immerse yourself in a melody. I hope we all need this! Thank you @donkeypong

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