Sometimes I do encounter with some question which a little more sound like this "Hey, how come you can read so may books, what is your secret?"
I love joking, so most of the time I will pick one joke out of my pocket to entertain the questioner, but in the end I did not answer the question. So, this piece of writing should be my attempt to answer the question, while trying my best to keep my bad lame joke inside my pocket.
First of all I want to disappoint all of you who read this piece of mine, that there is no secret. Every each of us learn how to read as early as our life begins. Almost all adult in our country can read. If you can read, than that is enough, you already have the key to read books, lot of books. The only thing that is lacking, is your will. So the hardest part is to pick one book and start reading. Which sound like a simple physical act, but strangely many of us reluctant to do so. How can you read lots of book if you don't start pick one and read?
The second fact I want to introduce to disappoint you further, is the fact that I am a normal, average slow-reader. I does not hold any super power to finish one book in an hour. It took me 8 months to finish Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. But even if you are slow like me, you can still read many books, as long as you continue reading. Reading should not be a burden, it should be something fun to do. Like solving a puzzle, you can always pause for a while and continue at later time. As long as you continue, you will finally be turning the last page of the book.
Okay, now that you have already disappointed with my no-secret secret, I should offer you an apology and gave some tips to help you along the way. Its not really a tips, it is more about strange habit, which different people may accustomed to different reading habit of their own. While I don't usually share this publicly, I think its about time to embarrass myself for the benefit of a larger community. You may find some of this habit strange, its okay, do excuse me.
1. Give the book the same status as your handphone. Bring everywhere, even to a place which you know you can't actually read them. For example I always bring my book, when I went to kenduri, although I know that I will met people and compelled to chat with them. You will find that even at first you think you can never read them if you brought them, you will find that actually there is some small interval of time between the events that you actually can read 1 or 2 page.
2. Your book is as important as your pillow when you want to sleep. Read before you sleep. Make a habit to sleep with your book, and make a habit for your wife (or husband) to help remove a book on your face when you are asleep while reading it.
3. Never wait for anything without a book in your hand. I hate waiting, honestly. Be it at government offices, post office, bus stop, clinic or at restaurant waiting for a friend which always 'on the way' everytime you call them for their location. I even read in toilet when I have to wait for my processed food to come out of my body.
4. Every place should be equipped with book aside from fire extinguisher. I have books everywhere, in my home, office, even in my car. If I travel anywhere and suddenly I remember that I did not bring along the book which I currently read, there is always a spare in my car. You should also put one of your book in your wife's car, in case you switch your car with them regularly.
Of course there are others trick which can be utilized to read more. But for now this should be suffice. As long as you took the first step, pick a book and read. Then continue reading, you should be in good shape.
As Noam Chomsky once said "reading is a mental exercise". So reading should be like playing football for your mind as it is to your body. You may not remember everything you read, but you will find a lot of things, lots of them. So please. Read.