There are many things I want to write about, but one question I got asked more frequently over the past couple weeks is: “How do you read so much, or find the time reading?”.
I changed my approach on how I read a book a while ago which since then has helped me to complete more books than I ever imagined. (obviously it’s not just about completion)
I read because it opens my eyes, it makes me less judgmental and more open to new thinking outside of what I already know.
A couple years ago I always struggled to finish books. I had this set concept in my head on how I’m supposed to read a book, like many of us do. One after one, from start to finish. We think we have to honor the book as a work of art and follow it’s pages one after one.
My approach mostly applies to everything non-fiction, but some points also work for fiction books.
My 7 rules:
1. Always buy multiple books, ranging from 3–10 at the same time. Never just get just a single one. (if you use a Kindle thats very easy to manage). Try to have at least 5 unread books available to you at any time, this will take away the excuse “I got nothing to read right now”.
2. Start reading 3–4 books at the same time, I rotate either depending on the day or on the mood I’m in.
3. Even if a book has numbered pages, you don’ have to follow them. Read a book the way YOU want. The moment you got a book, it’s fully yours and you can do whatever you want. If you don’t like a certain page, rip it out. If you don’t like a chapter, skip it. If you like to just browse a book and read the chapters that interest you, just do it and on to the next book. No reason to feel guilty.
4. If you started to read a book and you feel like you don’t like it at all. Put it away for some time and start a new one instead. Try to read it again a month later with a different mindset. If you still can’t read it, throw it away and forget about it. You don’t have to finish a book just because you bought it. Most of us are stuck with one book and don’t do anything about it for months.
5. A book is always as good as you think it is. Buyer reviews are great, but even if we both bought the same book, we read a different one. That’s what is so magical about books, we read and interpret them completely differently depending on the situation we’re in.
6. Carry a book at all times. (which can also be your Kindle) Every time you look at your phone in the bus/train/lunch break you could also read 3 pages of a book.
Finding a way to read a book twice can be hard. Here is a trick I use for books I want to memorize. After I started reading a book for about a week, I purchase the exact same book on Audible and start listening to the audio version on my commute or other situations.
By doing this, I consume the same book just slightly delayed. The audio version is usually 20–40 pages behind the actual book but still close enough to feel like it’s a good reminder of what I just read.
These seven rules help me not only to read more, but more efficiently. Anything tricks you like to share? Please tweet me!
Today I launched a little page with my current & future book recommendations, all in once place. Since you’re on this email list, you will be of course informed once I add a new one. Feel free to share with anyone you like.
Have a great week,
Hi, I'm Tobias, a German designer living in New York. I'm the founder of DESK, nice to meet you!