For starters, if you’re reading this, well congrats. Because that means you can read…as crazy as it may sound, there are 32 million American adults that are illiterate. Click here to do something about that.
We’ve all probably heard that reading books is very good for your brain, social, and personal growth. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that we actually read books consistently. If you’re like most guys, it’s difficult to include reading in your daily routine, especially with your busy schedule. This article exists to help you find time in your schedule to read regularly.
Through reading, you’ll expose yourself to new ideas, concepts, and perspectives. All the new information your brain is receiving will cause you to have a different, more-evolved outlook on life, thus, transferring to your professional, social, and personal life. Reading also helps with understanding. Even if you are reading about a seemingly obscure topic, you may find later on in life that it helps you better understand another matter. Being habitual with varied reading material can help you see in world in an informed, holistic way.
So, if you’ve decided you’d like to start reading more, the first thing you have to do is figure out what books you’d like to read. If you don’t already have a note taking app (such as Evernote), we suggest you check out www.goodreads.com and their mobile app. Good Reads is specifically designed to help you find interesting books and help you keep track of them. As your list becomes bigger and bigger, you’ll need to decide which book comes first.
Next, you’ll need to prioritize your big list down to ones you’re going to read in the near feature. We recommend this categorization: Finished, Reading, To Read, and Backlog. Finished: books you’ve read. Reading: books you’re currently reading. To Read: books you’re excited to start. Backlog: books that you’d like to read in the near future. All the books that don’t fit into any of these categories, just leave on your big list. Don’t be afraid to move books from To Read to Backlog, or even from Backlog back to your big list. Again, by prioritizing the books you’d like to read you will stay organized and focused.
This is most obvious step. However, there are a few things you can do (or not do) that will make you be able to read more books. Some people say to read only one book at a time. Others say to read as many as you’d like and put them down once you get bored. We recommend a bit of both: don’t read an overwhelming amount, but also don’t get stuck on a book you hate and cannot finish. The right amount will vary from person to person so we suggest finding your own balance.
Next, it is important to fill the gaps in your day with reading. Even reading during a 15-minute bus commute to work or school will really add up over time. You’ll be surprised at how many pages you can consume if you actively find gaps in your day to read. Every minute counts. Another important step is to cut the time you spend on the Internet and TV. While these two things are not inherently bad, majorly cutting down the time you spend on them can help you find more time for your reading habit.
A Few Tips
- Look into speed-reading. Check out Peter Kump’s book Breakthrough Rapid Reading. He’s taught his method to Fortune 500 companies as well as White House staff. If you’re looking to increase your productivity while reading, definitely buy his book.
- Get a Kindle. It’s easy to carry and the battery lasts forever. The iPad has its strengths but reading novels ain’t one of them. So, get a Kindle.
- Schedule a reading block in your schedule (30-60mins). By putting reading time on your calendar, you’ll greatly increase the amount of books you read.
- Listen to audio books. There are different modes to take in information and when you get tired of reading, you can listen.
We’d love to hear from you! Any great books you have read recently or are on your big list? Comment below!