If anything was ever accomplished on this site, I hope that I could inspire you to challenge yourself in the area of reading and learning. I genuinely believe that there is knowledge and even singular pieces of knowledge that could drastically change your trajectory and quality of life. So with that being said, here are some quick tricks that could help you read more and read better.
1. Pray About It
Nowadays, when people ask how I read as much as I do, my first answer is to ask “have you prayed for God to help you?” “Have you asked him to change your heart?” Seriously, you should Ask him to make you passionate about learning, and personal growth. I believe God cares about this because learning (both about Him and in general) is part of our mandate to love God with our mind. So ask him to change heart so you can genuinely desire reading and knowledge. When it becomes something you enjoy you will be able to read much more than if you’re gritting your teeth through each page turn.
2. Read Less
Rather, this is better said, read more to read less. I got this concept from the book called How to Read a Book. Really? If this didn’t sound silly enough, this book was the first book I was assigned to read as part of my Doctoral program! You would imagine that by now all the students in this program would know how to read a book! And yet I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the tips presented in this book to garner more understanding and retention. One of the most helpful takeaways has been to simply read the chapter outline thoroughly, then beginning of the book, and then the end of the book, before actually diving into the full reading of the book. This may seem like a lot more work as opposed to just opening the book and start reading it the way is was written. But this type of active reading will show you exactly what the author is trying to communicate throughout the whole book. This, in turn, enables you to pick the chapters you actually need for the situation you’re in and then skip the rest. It’s also advantageous to pre-read the end of a chapter before the beginning so you can see what exact point the author is trying to prove. Then you can skim portions of the chapter you know you don’t need and slowly analyze the more relevant parts. So read a little more at first, then read a lot less by only reading what you need.
3. Don’t read.
Well I mean, Don’t read things you don’t want to read. of course, there are obviously some things you will have to read. Work assignments, social obligations, whatever… there will probably always be things we will have to read. But one thing I noticed about my stack of books I have around my house is that the books that I’m not excited to read get left in the stack the longest. But worse yet, is that the books I feel like I’m supposed to read, but don’t really want to, make me dread the idea of reading altogether. My trick has been to simply accept this tendency about myself, only read things that I really want to read and forget about all the other stuff as much as I can.
4. Have someone read to you
About half the books I read each year are actually books I listen to, and nowadays that is 95% through the Audible app. Incorporating audiobooks has helped me take advantage of all sorts of previously untapped time, like my commute, my workouts, tedious busy work, peaceful yard and even the occasional time I play a mindless video game. The best part of using Audible for my books is the Speed-Up feature built into the app. This allows me to read books at 1.5x, 2x, or even 3x speed. I normally stay at about 2x speed unless the book is really deep, then I drop down to 1.5 speed. This may sound like cheating but the reality is that people can listen and process words much faster than they can speak words. So when you are listening to a slow but beautifully articulated reading, and you find yourself not enjoying it, or drifting off, this is because your brain is actually getting bored from the lack of stimulation! I suspect many people who have tried audiobooks and not liked it, do so because they have not tried listening to it at a higher speed.
If you’re like me you only read the bolded points of this article. and I totally understand that. You got enough to get the gist of it, so now close this window and go read something you actually want to read! 😀
What book are you reading right now? How many books do you read a year?