I was the worst book reader there could be – I just didn’t read books. Ok, maybe a few, max 5 a year. All my reading was focused on articles, quite a few of them, but still only articles (see the differences between reading books compared to articles).The thing about books is, because normally they take a lot of time to write, there is a dedicated editor and you have a bigger volume available to say what you need to say, books normally get more in depth for any given subject. Articles are more up to date with the current events, but books give you a deeper understanding on long-standing subjects.
Last year I started reading more books. In fact, I increased my reading by about 500% – form an average of 5 books to 25+. As mentioned in the 2015 annual review:
Going through those books fuelled my understanding and broadened my view. It also gave birth to many ideas that went into what I wrote about in the blog as well. After all these months I feel like I have grown a lot because of establishing this habit and the year for me was definitely better because of it.
How to read more books
Simply read. There’s no hidden magic to it – to read you need to read (the level of wisdom here is unbearable). But it really is true. I simply committed to one simple thing:
I will ready a few pages every day.
That’s all. I started with reading 20 pages a day but because I am a really slow reader (which has it’s own benefits) I realised that 20 pages a day was a struggle for me. I was falling off the habit too often and after two months I reduced the number to 10 pages a day.
You might be thinking “10 pages? Are you kidding me, it is better not to do even it if it’s that few!” Believe me, they quickly add up. You can be reading 300 pages a month, which is basically a book a month on average. Also, if you have time you can read more. It doesn’t mean that if your 10th page is in the middle of the sentence you should stop and not finish your chapter or the next even. However, what 10 pages do is they establish a habit.
I’ve noticed that reading just a few pages a day has it’s own benefits. For example, I have more time to think through the subject that I am reading and the effect of spaced repetition also comes into play. This lets the information sink deeper and become part of my thinking and actions rather than if I just skimmed through it. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of benefits to speed reading, but for me 10 pages a day, slow reading have worked incredibly well so far.
As with writing, reading is another skill that has one simple way of improving it – by doing it. If you want to read more books just read. The key is to make it a habit so that it’s not a struggle anymore, but rather a part of your day.
P.S. Here are some books to read: