How to read more – A lot more

How to read more books

A life spent reading – that is a good life. – Annie Dillard

Do you read as much as you would like to? Or is it more like that you wish each should have 48 hours so you can read more books? I know the feeling! Looking at how many books others have devoured, I often feel like there is not enough time in the world. And in fact… there is not! So, I going to show you how to read more.

My own story

Look:

I really started reading in Dec. 2014 when I heard about people like Tai Lopez and Ryan Holiday for the first time. They read a lot. I followed their story and was inspired to change something.

What did I change?

My attitude towards reading physical books. Until then I was more of blog-reading-guy.
I decided that when it makes such a huge difference to read books, I don’t want to miss that opportunity.

I bought some books on amazon and started reading during my holidays. I had three weeks for reading and I think I read three books on different subjects but never fiction.

It became a habit really fast. Since then I bought many more books and kept reading.

Do you know what’s funny:

I believe you can get tired of reading. When this happens you should take a break until you feel like picking up a book again. It may take 2 or 3 weeks, don’t panic! That way you will protect your interest in your newly formed habit!

Ok, now that we gave covered my story a little bit, let’s cut to the chase.

Ryan Holiday on reading

Here’s some advice from Ryan Holiday, author of ’the obstacle is the way’ and ’ego is the enemy’, on how to read more books:

TL;DR

So where do I get the time? (Well for starters I don’t waste any of it asking dumb questions).

Look, where do you get the time to eat three meals a day? How do you have time to do all that sleeping? How do you manage to spend all those hours with your kids or wife or a girlfriend or boyfriend?

You don’t get that time anywhere, do you? You just make it because it’s really important. It’s a non-negotiable part of your life. – Ryan Holiday

Source: How to read more

Maria Popova on reading

Maria, the extremely talented writer and owner of Brainpickings.org was interviewed by Tim Ferriss in 2015.

Half way through, she answers the question on how to decide what to read and what not to read. Pretty interesting!

Listen to the whole episode here

Both are ’reading machines’ and as far as I know, they read almost exclusively physical books.

Which brings to my next point:

3 things about reading tons of books you come across on the web

  1. Physical books vs. Kindle vs. Audiobooks
  2. The Anti-Library-Concept
  3. Guides on How to read a book a day

Physical books vs. Kindle vs. Audiobooks

Do you want to know the truth?

There is no right and wrong to this. It’s like iOS vs. Android… It just depends on your preferences.

Physical have one important advantage over the others, though:

It is way easier to take notes and underline words or paragraphs. Try that on an audiobook or with the same detail and speed on the Kindle.

(Btw. iOS wins and so do physical books!)

Let’s move on!

What is the (in)famous ’Anti-Library’?

Here’s how Nicholas Nassim Taleb coined the term:

Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know … Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.

So, basically, this is your license to go nuts on amazon and buy books. Lots of books! Books are the only physical belonging you should have in abundance.

With a big private library comes big pressure:

Those books want to be read and people will be starting to ask how many books you read per month or year. At some point, you might turn to the social web to ask for advice on how to read more. When the time comes, you’ll find an article and even youtube videos where people are sharing their tactics to accomplish your goal. How to read a book a day is a very common theme amongst wannabe-entrepreneurs and 20-year-old lifestyle-coaches.

I hope you catch my sarcasm here 😉

To me, these tips are bullshit, and here’s why:

What’s wrong with ’How to read a book a day’?

Here’s Tai Lopez explaining how he reads a book a day:

{SPOILER he really doesn’t…}

He even says it’s a myth that you don’t need to read it cover to cover.

My thoughts?

First of all, everybody is free to do anything he or she pleases but don’t spend 10 minutes on a book with 500 pages and pretend you’ve read it!
Second, you really don’t need to read the whole thing cover to cover, if it contains a chapter which doesn’t bring you value, skip it!

But I’d argue that scanning through a book does not provide you with the same level of knowledge or deep understanding.

Real and practical tips on reading more

  • Listen to the audiobook while reading
  • Learn speed reading
  • Reading Challenge on Goodreads, make it public
  • Challenge yourself: Proclaim that you read at least one book mentioned in the book you’ve read previously

Ressources

Reading Lists

tbc.

Books

Final thoughts

My life changed completely after picking up that first book in Dec. 2014 and I wished I had started sooner but the past is the past and I enjoy every new book I discover.

Reading more was, therefore, the best decision I could have made.

Do you want to read a book a week? Try to listen to the audible version while you read. This speeds up the process 2-3x, easy!

How much do you read?
Let me know in comments what your thoughts are, and what your reading routine looks like.

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