10 Easy Hacks to Read More

I’ve been a slow reader my entire life… yet, I’ve managed throughout the years to hack my way into reading more.

I know it’s hard to find a time for reading… especially when you have to attend classes, go to work, cook a meal, do the laundry, go to the gym, hang out with your friends, watch your favorite series, check Facebook… 24 hours are never enough to do all that. Let alone find the time to read.

However, I’m pretty sure you will be able to make time for reading once you choose the right book for you and try these 10 easy hacks.

1- Follow your heart

Reading shouldn’t be a chore or a task. It should be fun. An escape from reality. Don’t choose books that you have to read, but rather books that you want to read. You love tennis? Choose a book about tennis.

2- Read short/easy books

Instead of starting a 500-page book and never finishing it, read short, easy books. And there are many great options… You can read plays. They’re usually short and quick to read. I highly recommend Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (only 102 pages!). A funny classic that gets even funnier when you watch the stage performance on YouTube.

You can also catch up on some children’s literature like James and the Giant Peach or The Little Prince. Modern poetry anthologies, short story books and graphic novels are easy to read as well.

3- Set a reading challenge

Are you competitive? Do you like to challenge your friends? Then, set a monthly or a yearly reading goal and see who reaches it first.

Pro tip: create an account on Goodreads, to keep track of your friends’ reading.

4- Mix up the genres

We all know that change is good. So, to keep things exciting, mix up the genres. Don’t just read science fiction books. Read historical fiction for example.

5- Vary the languages

Tired of reading already? Try changing the language in which you read. It will actually help.

6- Take a “reading break”

Have you been studying all day long? Do you need a break? Instead of aimlessly scrolling down Instagram, open your book and dive in.

7- Carry a book everywhere you go

Trust me, this hack works perfectly. Put it in your bag and go. Rather than staring at an empty aquarium while waiting for your dentist’s appointment, finish the chapter you’ve started earlier that morning.

8- Pick a soon-to-be-adapted-into-a-movie book

When you pick a book that will soon be adapted into a movie, you will most likely try to finish it before it comes out in order to watch it at the cinema. Well, at least that’s what I do.

9- Change your reading format

Audio books and eBooks were made for all of you tech fans and tree lovers. They definitely take less space in your tiny dorm room and they do save trees.

10- Join a book club

You like to share your reading experience with others? Join a book club, meet new people, and take part in the discussions.

Eventually, whether you read 2 or 20 books a year, always remember to do it for fun.

Let me know which hack is your favorite and don’t hesitate to share some of your own.

Subtitling: Pro vs. Amateur

If my ten-year-old self had known about this, she would’ve been over the moon. But that’s not really the case today… 

As a 90s kid, I vividly remember the thrill I felt when I waited impatiently for the next episode of the Japanese manga, Detective Conan, to come out on TV. Today, I can easily binge watch an entire series without even being interrupted by ads.

There’s more! Not only can I watch my favorite series whenever and wherever I want, but I can also watch it with the subtitles of my choice.

As soon as the latest episode of Game of Thrones comes out, fans around the world translate it and share it online. That’s called Fansubbing.

It all began in the 80s with a western admiration for the Japanese cultural industry of mangas and anime. Fansubbers freely gave of their time to offer translated episodes to their fellow fans who couldn’t understand Japanese.

Back in the day, translating a movie cost a pretty penny… you needed a laserdisc player along with laserdiscs of the movie, tape recorders, wires, a PC and an early version of the Sub Station Alpha software.

Nowadays, anyone can fansub. All you need is your laptop, an easy to use easy to download subtitling program, and voilà! You are officially a fansubber.

Many consider fansubbers as cultural mediators who break down language barriers… After all they do help me understand Detective Conan’s impressive deductions. However, we – professional translators – still see them as amateurs.

Whenever I watch anything online, I cannot help but cringe when a spelling or a grammar mistake pops up on the screen. And don’t get me started on the subtitling rules that are carelessly broken…

“Prosubbers” use every linguistic muscle they have to synchronize the translation with the image and they constantly worry about exceeding the subtitle length limit.

As hard as the subtitling rules may seem, breaking them seems a lot easier…

It can get a bit distracting

A bit confusing…

And a bit embarrassing.

Even though these translations are not the best, they do make you chuckle more than once. And let’s be honest, it wouldn’t hurt anyone if translators used some help in facing this world of ever-growing information.

 

Quand laisser-aller et productivité font bon ménage…

Il paraît qu’un tiers des Britanniques ont trouvé le secret pour une belle vie… « Se la couler douce » au travail.   

« Je me la coule douce » m’a répondu un ami quand je lui ai demandé des nouvelles de son travail, et il n’est pas le seul à agir ainsi. Un sondage récent montre qu’un tiers des 3000 personnes interrogées au Royaume-Uni « se la coulent douce » au travail. Cela semble surprenant pour une époque où nombreux sont ceux qui se plaignent car ils sont débordés.

Notre vision du laisser-aller au travail a radicalement changé. Une étude menée par des chercheurs de l’université d’Oxford montre que le temps consacré au travail  aujourd’hui ne dépasse pas celui d’autrefois. Autrefois, être détendu et disponible dénotait d’un certain standing. Aujourd’hui, plus vous êtes occupé, plus vous êtes important. Si vous n’êtes pas extrêmement débordé, vous êtes considéré comme un fainéant.

Cela n’a aucun sens. La plupart ne sont pas aussi occupés qu’ils ne le pensent. En effet, les tâches les plus urgentes n’ont souvent rien à voir avec la productivité. L’obsession que vous avez envers votre travail vous donnerait l’impression d’être important. Toutefois, elle ne ferait que vous éloigner de vos amis, de vos collègues et de votre famille.

Une étude a montré que les personnes détendues vivent mieux que celles qui sont débordées. Qui plus est, celles qui sont surchargées connaissent des carrières moins réussies.

Finalement, les personnes qui tendent à « se la couler douce » au travail ne sont peut-être pas un frein à la productivité. Au contraire, elles ont bien compris que le secret d’une vie productive et saine n’est pas d’être débordées encore moins de s’en vanter.

Andre Spicer, « Why coasting at work is the best thing for your career, health and happiness », in The Guardianhttps://www.theguardian.com/money/shortcuts/2018/nov/13/why-coasting-at-work-is-the-best-thing-for-your-career-health-and-happiness, November 13, 2018