Reading is somewhat essential to everyone. If you would have asked me 4 years ago about it I would have told you that reading was for snobs and boring people. How little did I know at that time. Every person gets different benefits from reading, but everyone will get value. There is not one person in the world who reads and would not gain from it, regardless whether its fiction, science or biographies.
In the world we live in now everything has lots of colours, great designs, videos are everywhere. Books may seem out of date as it simply is ink on paper. I believe there is more knowledge in books than anywhere else. Our ancestors were writing them hundreds of years ago and we are doing it today.
What I am reading now
As I have finished 42 books in the last year and had read 12+ this year, I can say my techniques and ways are working rather well. Today I am reading Walt Disney – Triumph Of The American Imagination this book has 851 pages or 33 hours 22 minutes in audio book time. I am 40% through it and will most likely be done in less than one week.
So if books are so valuable yet may seem boring at the first sight, how should you start? Where should you start? And how to keep it up?
#1 First, find a book that you would absolutely love.
Amazon is great place to start, just look for the best sellers. Google is your best friend too, find the category like ‘biographies’ add ‘best biographies’ or ‘best biographies of all time’ and search. You will find listings of the best written books in the certain categories.
#2 Where to get it from?
I barely read hard cover books, therefore I will focus on the audio recorded ones. Best place to buy hard cover books is amazon, hands down. Anything can be found there.
Audible App – best place to start. Download it to your phone / tablet first. They offer one free book to start and has an extensive library to choose from. Quality of their books is amazing as well. Perfect way to go. Free choices are good too! Means no need to pay either!
Amazon Kindle App – Second best place to get books, just download it to your phone and you’re got to go. Can shop through the app and they have free choices too!
#3 When to listen?
Do it every time you are doing some idle task, which does not require you to think too much. House work is usually a perfect place for audio books, when tidying up the room.
When in transition – train, tube or bus. I always to listen to audio books in the gym, although it is a bit more difficult to focus on yet possible.
Every time you consider opening up your facebook / twitter / instagram consider opening an audio book app instead.
I am doing my social media time limit experiment (Will be documented here later) and this is exactly the technique I follow. Read instead of browse! You would gain so much more in this way.
#4 Make it accessible
Have books loaded into your device before you even start going somewhere. I would normally upload at least 10 books which I want to read and have them at hand. Download them through the app and make it available with no internet connection. Make it easy to access – if its two clicks away, it will be much easier to start every time.
#5 How to finish?
We are very good at starting things but no so good at finishing. In fact studies say we quit 80% of the projects we start. This is because we get really excited about new projects and changes and as soon as the excitement wears off, we are bored and would go to another new thing.
Hold yourself accountable: 30-60 minutes Book Worm Experiment
I won’t go into detail with this one but it’s a daily experiment, forcing me to read at least 30 minutes per day. I must tick a box every time I complete it and put a date on it. If I fail, I must skip a day and that’s painful and ends up in the red mark.
This is my system to read daily but you could create your own system, as long as it holds you accountable and pushes to read from 30 minutes to 1-2 hours daily.
#6 Take notes
There are many reasons why you should take notes. The most important one is that we would forget 50% of what we have read in one week, then 80% in 8 weeks. Barely 20% of the information would remain after as little as 8 weeks.
I use Evernote which is the best notes taking application in the world. So for my Walt Disney book I would name it Walt Disney book notes and write down all the important ideas. Then once the book is finished I would highlight the very important parts and write a little review of the book for myself with a date on it.
This would allow you to remember the key lessons, will show the date of the book completion and will excite you to slowly build up your finished books list.
#7 Set a goal
My goal was 1 book per week. Started in April, so 40 books to read before the end of 2015.
I have finished 42 books by the 1st of January ’16.
With a goal you know where you want to get and this is the best way to hold yourself accountable.
#8 Speed reading
I have recently started reading at 2x speed on my audio book reader. This is actually not too fast at all and very possible. However, it does require more concentration and better listening skills so not for beginners. But from 33 hours 22 minutes of W. D. Book which I am reading now it went to 16 hours 41 minutes, which is a huge if you think about it.
I love audio books because I love listening to stories. Ultimately it’s almost the same thing – audio book is like a really long story being told to you. It can be very rewarding and open your eyes to some insights you have never thought existed before. It may educate you in your field, tell a story about some great men or women who lived or may still live. I would highly recommend you to start if you haven’t yet!