Magazine topic: 
Books

The 15-minute reading challenge

by : 
JoR

My challenge for you is this: to read a book for 15 minutes every single day for a month.

Let me explain a bit, by telling you where the challenge came from. I have many things in common with my dad, like music taste and sense of humour, but sadly reading isn't one of them. I can happily spend a whole day curled up with a book, but my dad can't read a book for longer than about 5 minutes. He reads emails, websites and documents for work, but not books. He is a busy person, with a short attention span, so I think that sitting down to read for just 15 minutes a day is a good way to relax and to introduce him to reading. Giving yourself a goal or challenge is a good way to change a habit or achieve something, so why not try to create a new habit of reading?

My dad is by no means the only person who avoids books. I know lots of people would rather relax on their computers or in front of the TV. Everyone is different and has their own interests, but I think there are lots of benefits to reading, which screen-based activities (games, films, TV) don't have. 

Firstly, it's better for your eyes. Looking at screens can be very stressful for your eye muscles, and apparently you should avoid looking at screens for an hour before bed, to get a good night's sleep.

One thing I personally love about reading, is being transported to another world - I often forget the time or things that are going on around me! Reading is a great way to switch off before you go to bed, because you think more about the world of the book, rather than the real world and the problems you have during the day, so you can truly relax. I know you can be transported to a different world in a film or a TV show, but I think books do it better. While watching a film, I often talk to my flatmates, send texts, or paint my nails. A book, on the other hand, commands your full attention. 

I also love people. I am nosy, enjoy hearing what people are doing, and finding out what people think. Reading gives me the chance to get to know hundreds of new people! It also teaches you to see things from other people's point of view, and understand other people's decisions or opinions. With a book, you can hear everything a character is thinking or feeling - you really can be inside someone else's head!

So give it a go! Take 15 minutes when you're waking up, going to bed, eating lunch, or having a coffee. If you read a lot, why not try 15 minutes of an English book, or pass the challenge on to someone else? Good luck, and happy reading!

Discussion

Will you accept Jo's 15-minute reading challenge? What book are you reading at the moment? 

Comments

JoR's picture
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JoR 5 February, 2014 - 11:35

Michael Morpurgo is a great writer - I haven't read that book though. I love all the "Chronicles of Narnia" books, and "Prince Caspian" is my favourite - it's so exciting! 

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Silvermist 6 September, 2014 - 13:19

I love all of chronicles of Narnia too, especially the lion, witch and the wardrobe .............................this challenge of yours is a great thing, talking about my self i currently engage myself in reading a book more than fifteen minutes for I cannot survive a day without reading a book. currently i am reading the epic journey of Odysseus(complete and unabridged and it is a great thrill for me.

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justcricketforme 16 February, 2014 - 04:23

Prince Caspian's my favourite too! Which one of Michael Murgpurgo's books do you like? I just love "War Horse". What do you think about Hunger Games, JoR?

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engleskigaga 4 February, 2014 - 11:07

I read books, and I think books are good for us, because we learn new words while we read, we can visit new places and have a good fun. I read every day and I learn something new about other people I love reading books. Now I read Oliver Twist and Harry Potter. Harry Potter is great book. I love Oliver Twist but Harry Potter is the best book. What do you think about Harry Potter JoR, what is your favorite book?
Please tell me! Best wishes.

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JoR 5 February, 2014 - 11:33

I love Harry Potter! I read all the books over and over again when I was young, and I grew up wanting desperately to go to Hogwarts. Good luck with "Oliver Twist" - you've taken on a big challenge there, as Charles Dickens' style can often be tricky to understand. I love his characters and stories though, and "Oliver Twist" is one of my favourites. It's so hard to pick just one favourite book - it changes from year to year, or even month to month! One book I absolutely love is "Mrs Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf. I always find something new and interesting when I read it, and she has the most beautiful style of writing.

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serap 3 February, 2014 - 16:27

Hey! I will accept this. And I am reading The Woman In White of Wilkie Collins. I will read 15 minutes every day.

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JoR's picture
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JoR 4 February, 2014 - 00:20

Good luck with "The Woman in White"! I haven't read that book, but my mum enjoyed reading it a few years ago. 

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Niluh 3 February, 2014 - 11:12

Recently, i try to spend at least 20 minutes each day revising and reading Mandarin lessons, in the morning before class started and when my teachers don't come to class. It's great way to memorize new vocabularies i have learned, so i don't need to be stressful when exam day comes. I am not reading book such novel at the moment but i am reading books about math, English and Indonesian, i am very busy at school right now, this is my final year of school it means lots of task and exams are going on and i need to focus and study on them. Anyway, i will accept your reading challenge, that's an positive and interesting challenge!

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JoR's picture
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JoR 4 February, 2014 - 00:18

That's a really good tactic for learning! I find that to learn a language best, you should learn it over a longer period of time, rather than just all at once, so I'm sure you will succeed! Setting aside a certain amount of time per day is good, and 20 minutes is long enough to learn some new things, but not so long you'll lose concentration. Good luck with the reading challenge, and with your school work too!

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