A lot of people who follow me on GoodReads keep asking me how the heck I read so many books. Apparently all they keep seeing on their homepage are my updates. I think it is time I answer this.
I have always been a voracious reader. Apart from books I consume a lot content online — blogs, news stories on Twitter, Reddit. On a good day I spend a minimum of couple of hours reading.
Reading is a habit and takes time to develop. But here are a few things you can do to accomplish your goal of reading more.
I have been trying to accomplish my goal of reading a book each week (basically 55 books per year) for so many years. But I could never prioritize it enough to invest the time required for it.
So this year I made an announcement publicly on this Quora thread. That I will complete 55 books this year no matter what. I hit my goal in early September with 3 months to spare.
So set a realistic measurable reading goal for yourself too and let people know. How many books do you want to read this year?
10? 20? 50?
Now join GoodReads’ reading challenge and track your progress monthly.
Here is mine: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/1971704
Also try to figure out why you are not being able to read more.
Is it because your reading speed is slow? You have never enjoyed reading much and you are just starting out? You have too many distractions? You are not getting enough free time?
If it is the first case then I would suggest you to practice speed reading. Here is an excellent post which promises to help you read at 2X, 3X your current reading speed : Scientific Speed Reading: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes
Follow the steps and you will be reading at 1000 wpm in no time.
In case you have never been the ‘Reading’ type it is still not late to build your reading habit. How do you do that?
Just start reading.
Read News Papers. Read the blogs. Read Magazines. Basically start consuming more and more information. Read more with each passing day. Soon you will start to enjoy reading more. Not only Novels but everything.
Have too many distractions? Can’t find time to get away from Facebook, Twitter and hundred other potential sites to waste your time on?
Follow the 10 minute rule. Most of the times we fail to get rid of our procrastination habit and get things done because we are so reluctant to make the early effort towards doing something. So in this case just turn off your laptop. Close your bedroom door. Find some place to sit alone and try to read for 10 minutes. Trust me you will never ever realize when the 10 minutes will have passed and you won’t be able to put down your book after that. For this to be successful another advice would be to pick up a book you really want to read and start reading a chapter or two. Once you have done that your interest will have peaked up and you will continue for hours.
Another thing I have tried to do always is read multiple books at a time. If you check my Kindle you will find a bunch of half read Fiction as well as Non Fiction books. I pick up a particular book (out of all the books I am currently reading) depending on my mood. I have always been the kind of guy whose reading speed reduces with time, especially when reading Non Fiction. So I keep reading different books at different times of the day. By the end of a month I end up completing all of them.
People have suggested buying a hammock, lying there and reading your favourite novel. Or getting a study table. Try to find the place and position you are most comfortable reading. Comfort is important. I normally crash on my bed after office and end up reading for an hour or two before I go to sleep.
Now comes the finding time during the day to read part. I myself wake up early morning and the first thing I do is open my Kindle. Continue where I left the previous night. Yes. Kindle is awesome. My reading speed has improved and I highly doubt I will go back to reading paper backs. Also I have Lithium Reader for epub ebooks. Whenever I get time, I open my phone and try to read a chapter or two for 5–10 minutes. Then go back to work. I also read during my commute. This way I end up reading 30 minutes — 1 hour more each day. An increase of ~ 5 hours per week.
Carry a book with you everywhere. You will never be bored waiting for anything/anyone. I sometimes have the same books on my phone as well as my Kindle. If I am waiting for my meal at a restaurant, I will be on my Phone, trying to complete a few more chapters. Remove distracting apps from your phone which you don’t need. I remain off facebook for most part of the year. I don’t have mobile internet on my phone. You can do the same. Instead of playing Candy Crush start reading books whenever you have free time.
Hope this helps. Happy reading.
P.S I tweet interesting stuff here: @manas_saloi