Find a way to read

  • Published
  • By Maj. Brian Moore
  • 20 SPCS, Det 3 Commander

One of the universal tips to increase your knowledge base and support your cognitive health is to read books — not skimming Facebook, Reddit or your preferred news source, but books. For many people, including myself, reading becomes one of those things we say we should do, but in the end we don’t. It’s similar to how some of us may not exercise or eat the way we intend.

In many ways, reading is easier now, with options including electronic and audio books. My wife is a voracious reader. She truly enjoys reading, and it serves as her escape from the grind of daily life. I, on the other hand, am too easily distracted to sit down and read. This is unfortunate, because I mostly enjoy the content books provide. I like the stories and the depth they provide over other media.

My main challenge was finding the time to devote to reading. A solution became apparent one day during my daily commute. After multiple rotations through the local radio stations, nothing piqued my interest. This revealed time I could dedicate to reading via audio books. I had 60 minutes each day, free of distractions to dedicate to the improvement of my cognitive health.

Three years and sixty books later, I now look forward to my commute. I find it relaxing and engaging to read in this way. I alternate between non-fiction — biographies, history and current events topics — and fiction. Everyone has their own preferences. Since I started, I have explored a variety of topics and grown a greater understanding of the world at large. This level of understanding would not have happened through reading a short article or catching the news on television.

I don’t get through as many books as my wife, but that is okay, because I am in the game. There are many benefits attributed to traditional reading, and many of these same benefits are also achievable through electronic and audio books as well. I won’t dive into any scientific studies, but anecdotally, I found it gives me an expanded knowledge bank with which to interpret and understand the world around me. And it allowed me to maximize my time by being productive in an otherwise unproductive part of my daily routine. So, what method do you use to read? Or, if you don’t have a method, how can you find your way back to a book?