From Ugh to Love – A Reading Transformation

Like many a college student drowning in textbooks, reading for pleasure was, suffice it to say, never considered. Combing over dense material requiring distraction-free attention made reading seem like…well, like a burdensome chore. Yet, I always understood that if I am going to learn the material, this is the way. Throughout my four years of undergraduate study, I read countless textbook chapters…a good feat, in my opinion, but what was happening behind the scenes were the beginnings of a battle I’d have to face head on upon me entering post-grad life.

Yes, I was a reader in college, in the shallowest sense of the word. I read because I had to if I want to excel in the classroom. All the while, how I felt about reading can be effectively encapsulated by one word – dread. I did not look forward to reading about accounting or finance…and these were my majors! Penciling time for reading was as difficult as ordering a salad at McDonalds. So, close to impossible. I don’t know, maybe I picked the wrong majors, or maybe, since I had never been an avid reader, this jump to consistent, high-level reading proved to be a challenge I simply did not enjoy. Nevertheless, when it was all said and done, throughout my four years of college, I can count on one hand, eh, maybe a few fingers, how many books I read for pleasure.

Graduation came and went and boom, I get out into the real world. A grown-up with a job, a salary, and “new” ’08 Mazda. After the excitement of this inevitably wore off, I started to think about the bigger picture. Where do I want to go in life? What is my definition of success? What do I truly want? What impact do I want to make? With an ambition to live a life of purpose and meaning, up to and through my potential, and impactful in various areas, I knew that education was the key ingredient. I had, and will always have so much to learn if the life I envision is to ever become a reality. The big question then loomed over me…how can I obtain the knowledge I need to realize my definition of success? Begrudgingly, the answer was clear, despite my efforts searching for others – I needed to make reading a habit. I needed to make books my entertainment - my new curriculum. So, I set out on a goal to read one book every week, necessitating a definite shift in my lifestyle.