How to read more books

Original author: Brett McKay
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Last year I read 120 books. When I posted a collage of the books I liked the most among these 120 books in Instagram, many guys asked me what was my secret - how could I digest so many books in 12 months.

Over the years of reading, I have developed certain tactics for work and pleasure, and I will share them with you. If you want to increase your physical and mental library and read more books this year, they may work for you.

Main trick for reading more.

When people ask me how I manage to read so many books, they usually wait for some quick reading technique that will help their brain swallow whole books. Fast reading does play a role in my reading (more details later), but this is not my main secret.

Move closer. I will whisper to you the secret of how to read more books. Ready?

Need to spend more time reading.

I spend reading a lot of time because it is part of my work. To prepare for the podcast, I read a book written by my guest. When I write articles, I read books for research. Reading is among my job responsibilities.

To be surprised at how many books I read in a year, it's like wondering how many current cranes a plumber repaired in a year. Not so impressive when you have such a job.

Taking into account all this, except for the books that I read last year to work on our blog, I still manage to read 2-3 books a month for fun. This is more than two dozen books, not related to work, for 12 months. I think that the majority of people with even the busiest schedule will be able to digest this year.

It turns out that the first secret of how to read more books is to spend more time reading. Where to take time?

Schedule time to read.

It is impossible to find time for reading - time for it needs to be allocated. And the best way to set aside time for anything is to add it to your daily plan. No need to allocate a whole hour just for reading. If you are just starting to devote time to reading, you probably will not be able to devote so much attention to it, and, having tried to read for so long in one sitting, you will most likely just be disappointed. Instead, scroll to read 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. Yes, you can even set aside 20 minutes, if half an hour seems to you to be too long. Instead of killing time in a smartphone, as usual, read. You wonder how many books can be processed per month, reading an hour a day.

Use to read all the free minutes.

Even if your daily schedule seems too tight, there will always be small empty periods of time that are usually lost. A few minutes of rest between classes or meetings may seem trivial, but they quickly add up to hours and to entire books that have been read; in the free moments there are great opportunities!

Are you standing in line at the post office? [It looks like this is something universal / approx. translate.] Read the book. Cool in line to the dentist? Read the book. Sit on the pot? Read the book. Waiting at the school to pick up the child? Read the book. I read even between approaches to weight lifting.

The easiest way to be ready to read when you have a free minute is to download the Kindle application to your phone. Your phone is almost always with you, so you will always have a library with you. And it's also inexpensive - you can always download thousands of classic books for free.

Avoid reading from your smartphone.

So I just advised you to use the Kindle app on your smartphone to read more. And now I completely refute this advice, advising you to avoid reading from your smartphone as much as possible. Let me explain.

I found that when I read from a smartphone, I constantly get distracted. I read 5 minutes, and then I have a desire to check e-mail or browse Instagram. I will check other applications and go back to reading. After five minutes, the need returns, and I repeat this cycle. I never get a good, focused reading when I read from a smartphone.

As a result, I try to read paper books as much as possible. Moreover, research claims that reading material increases when you read an analog book, compared to reading from digital devices. This is probably due to the fact that you just concentrate more using paper.

Another advantage of paper books is that it is easier to make notes and notes in them than in electronic readers (more details later). And although I try to read as many paper books as possible, there is also a place for digital graphics in my graphics. I use the Kindle app in free moments. Such moments last from 5 to 15 minutes, or about as much as I can read, until I have a desire to check other applications.

Of course, I read various books on the phone and from paper; it would be too much headache to switch between digital and paper versions of the same book. At any given time, I read one paper book and another book in a Kindle application, and often the latter will be easier to read, since I cannot concentrate on it for a long time.

Take advantage of the time spent traveling

If you are driving to work on the subway or bus, use this time to read. Before our editor Jeremy started working with us, he went to work every day on the bus and used that time to read. During this time he read several books.

My favorite time to read is on the plane. You will be surprised how much you can read in an hour or two of flight in the absence of distractions that depend on WiFi. During this time, you can have time to read the book in its entirety. Short, of course. During the two-hour flights, I managed to read such books as The Road , The Great Gatsby , The Death of a Traveling Salesman , Bhagavadgita , and The Innovator's Dilemma". The next time you plan to fly on an airplane, do not load the phone with movies and applications, load it with books. Or, better take one or two paper books with you.

Listen to audiobooks

I do not listen to a lot of audio books; this is not my favorite method of consuming literature. But if I'm going on a long trip in which I spend the most driving, I will buy a couple of books at Audible to spend time. If you spend a lot of time on the road, your time behind the wheel can be an excellent opportunity to consume a large library of books.

Professional advice: increase the playback speed 1.5 - 2 times. You can understand everything, but it will allow you to finish the book faster.

Strategic reading

As I mentioned, when people ask me how I read so many books, they often assume that I use speed reading. But when I use the methods mentioned above, I usually read at a normal speed (I think that my speed is slightly above average, but not so big as fast reading).

Fast reading courses are advertised as an opportunity for an amazing understanding at the same time as reading a million words per minute. It is not true. While exercising a lot, it is possible to increase the speed of reading while maintaining a good perception of the material, but the more you accelerate, the more material will inevitably be lost. Therefore, I do not like fast reading.

But sometimes I do use speed reading or scrolling through books. Only I do it strategically. Certain types of books are well suited for speed reading. These are business books and popular self-improvement books - those sold in the airport’s bookstore. Such books are usually formatted so that they are easy to run over. They often use headlines, highlight bold sentences, and use bulleted lists. These books can be read and scrolled fairly quickly, and at the same time understand the material. Additional text in them usually does not add much meaning; it usually contains life stories that demonstrate how certain principles can be used. Such stories may be interesting, but usually these are just platitudes.

Another reason why such books are easy to read quickly is that they mostly speak about the same thing. If you read one book on personal growth, you read them all. I can not calculate how often I read about the " marshmallow experiment " or the "invisible" gorilla on the basketball court. As soon as I meet the mention of the "marshmallow experiment" in the book, I immediately scroll through all the pages with its description and the mandatory explanation of the importance of the deferred reward, because I have already read about this before the other day.

And although I quickly read / leaf through books on business and personal development, I don’t scroll through books that require concentration and attention for complete understanding - philosophy, history, science. For example, the book "After virtue"Alasder McIntyre is very difficult to understand, even if you read it at the speed of a snail; to understand it at high speed would be impossible.

Also, I do not use speed reading on fiction. First, in such stories there are many nuances that can be lost when scrolling. Secondly, they are often filled with literary decorations, which must be read slowly and deliberately in order to truly enjoy them. If you read Dickens or Austin quickly (yes, there is a place in the men's library for Jane Austen ), you will miss all the prose you need to appreciate. And finally, reading fiction should be a pleasure. Why would you need to rush in a hurry, driving a pleasant impression? I remember how upset I was when I first finished reading the novel "The Lonely Pigeon"; I wanted to go on and on.

So, yes, use speed reading - only rarely and strategically.

Create notes and memorize read

Another question I’m asking is along with the question of how I read so much - if I have some sort of system for taking notes. And it is - but there is nothing unusual in it, and it may not even be called a system. If I read a paper book, I emphasize sentences, take the key paragraphs in parentheses; and if something seems especially important to me, I draw a star next to it. Finishing the book, I scroll through it again and again study my notes.

If I use the Kindle, I mark the paragraphs, and then re-browse them at the end. Sometimes I download these notes and save them on my computer. That's how I take notes. To silly simple. Use the method that suits you best.

The last frequently asked question for me on reading is how I memorize everything I read. The short answer: I do not remember! I'm trying to remember what's important to me. I mentally reinforce these important things in several ways.

The main thing you need to memorize what you read is the generalization and application of the material as quickly as possible. For me, this means that I either write an article or compose questions for a podcast on the basis of notes. It helps me to better remember what I just read.

As for the books I read for pleasure, I share interesting details with my wife or friends. It is much easier for me to keep in my memory what I was talking about with others.

Another way to remember what you read is repetition. Over the years, I read a lot and watched the same ideas come up again and again. For example, I know a lot about the history of the Second World War, because I read a lot of books about it. I know a lot about Theodore Roosevelt, because I read a lot of books about him. I know a lot about psychology because I read a lot of books on psychology. And regarding the self-improvement genre, although it is useful to get acquainted with the various points of view of the authors, they did not invent anything particularly new under the sun! Every time you meet the same ideas and sets of facts, described in slightly different contexts and in slightly different ways, they are more and more fixed in your memory.

So, if you want to remember what you read, look for ways to summarize, apply, and talk about it soon afterwards. This can be a book review summarizing key points, or a discussion of an idea from a book in a conversation with friends. You can even make news about the books you read, what Jeremy does, and he says that this incredibly helps him keep the book's main ideas in mind, summarize them and form a concrete opinion.

Another way to memorize more of what you read is to read more books on this topic until it takes root in your memory.

That's all. How I read so much and how I memorize what I read. There are no special secrets. Read a lot, use what you read, and repeat. I wish you read more this year and more!

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