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Rehna Khalid reads with her eight-year-old son. Image Credit:

Been meaning to read a book, but the years are just passing you by? If you need a gentle push, here are some tips from our #GNBookClub members that might just land a paperback in your hand.

1. Join a book club

Dubai-based reader Prachiti Talathi said: “Through a book club, I was introduced to books that I would not have usually picked up to read, but as someone recommended it, I decided to check it out.” Why wait? Join #GNBookClub today. Register on our website. You can win books, participate in discussions, share reviews and talk all things books. Follow us on Twitter to be a part of the experience.

2. Set up a reading challenge

Challenge friends to read a certain number of books a year. Talathi recommends joining reading communities online that help you track whether you are reaching your reading goal.

3. Read socially

Rehna Khalid, a Dubai-based entrepreneur, said: “Share the name of the book you are currently reading on social media networks, and discuss about the experiences with your friends. Take part in social media events conducted by the authorities, newspapers, book shops and publishers.”

4. Carry a book with you everywhere

Keep it in your car or your handbag, so that time spent waiting in restaurants, airports, hospitals, and Metro rides is time spent reading. Khalid said it’s the best remedy for boredom.

5. Let one book claim your attention

Alina Nasir, a university student, said: “Many people like reading multiple books simultaneously. But I find it much more fulfilling to focus on one book at any one time. You enjoy it fully and give it your complete attention, before moving on to the next book. I’m a slow reader, so I like taking my time.”

6. Get involved in school reading programs

Often, reading with your peers can help set you on the path to great literature. Ruby Mathew, mum of a six-year-old, said: “My son was always very hesitant to read. Picture books were alright but reading regular books? Big drops of tears would roll down his soft cheeks. His school then started an initiative in which, the kids had to read two short story books and participate in a monthly ‘show and tell’ activity. It was mandatory. So my little one could no longer cry over it! He now cheerfully looks forward to discussing his favourite book characters and the morals he learns from each story.”

7. Recommendations work

If it’s a book your friend has read and loved, chances are, you will too. Dubai-based Aarti Bhardwaj said: “I always pick up books or titles that other people – my friends or family – have recommended. Also, if it’s on a Man Booker Prize shortlist or has received good reviews, then it would mean the book is a good read, and I’m more likely to pick it up. I always look at the book jacket and check out what the book is about, before buying.”

8. Have dedicated reading time

Getting into the habit of reading often entails scheduling some time for it in your busy day. Dubai-based reader Syed Hussain said: “I just can’t go to sleep without reading at least a page from a book. It calms me down at the end of the day and helps empty my mind of the day’s stress. You can just lose yourself in the pages of a book and it makes a nice transition to restful sleep.”

Do you have a tip or trick to help others read more? Share them with us at readers@gulfnews.com.