I love to read, since the age of 15 (I’m not sure if I really love to read before that). With the purpose to improve myself outside of regular academic subjects, I bought plenty of books ranging from self-help, fitness, finance, management and marketing.
Yes, since the age of 15. It was like 10 years ago.
But I was just a student during that time; I have all the spare time I need to read as I desired to. Until I started to work, I stopped to read.
I still told peers around me that I love to read, simply to make myself look knowledgeable (and cool! Reading is kind of cool for me). But the truth is that I only finish one book I bought, in the past 4 years – 2012 to 2015.
**I bought about 14 books in the past 4 years.
At the end of 2015, I decided to pick up reading again – for real. I decided to stop telling others I love to read. Instead, I decided to do it for real!
Till today (read: April 2016), I have completed 9 books. That’s averaging 2 to 3 books a month. Below are how I did it and a few tips to help you do the same:
I’m following a system that helps me to read more. It’s stupidly simple and comes with only 2 parts.
#1 – Allocate time to read
That is the first step. I believe there are many people do like to start reading more. And since you’re reading this, I believe you’re one of them.
But telling yourself you wanted to read more doesn’t help at all. You need to take a step further. Allocate a time or schedule for reading. You and I both know this very well – if reading doesn’t appear on your daily schedule, most probably it will never happen too.
For me, I set reading as one of the first few things to complete in a day before I start to work. Simply because 1) it’s the time I’m the most productive and 2) it’s the time my willpower is at its peak to do things that matter the most.
To give you a better idea, my day usually starts with:
There are times I can’t make it (reading) in the morning. I will then do it at night before going to bed. Or I will simply skip for a day and do it the next day.
Never beat yourself up by not able to cope with the schedule. There are always days we’re simply too busy with tasks or too tired. Have a clear defined plan but be flexible at the same time.
#2 – Read for 20 pages
After I define my reading schedule, I define my routine. My reading time starts roughly at 9am every morning, and I will read for about 20 pages every day.
Defining how much you’re going to read is going to help you to have a clearer picture of the action (reading) plan itself. When you know when to stop, you are going to find it easier to start.
20 pages are a rough guideline for me because it’s not taking too short to make me feel like I’m not reading at all, nor too long to take a big chunk of my time. I took about 35 minutes to complete 20 pages of reading.
Of course, I’m not reading exactly 20 pages most of the time. Sometimes I did 15 pages, and sometimes I did 30 pages. It depends on the content and my schedule on that particular day.
The key is that, at least, you start. With 20 pages a day, you can easily finish a decent-sized book in 10 to 15 days. Now you see, 20 pages a day makes up a good number in a month or a year.
You can pick your own number that’s comfortable to you. If you’re new to reading (making reading as a habit), start small. The purpose here is to reduce your inner resistance to reading.
I hope my quick two tips help. Give them a try. I believe you have already known the benefit of reading, and understand why you want to read more.
As you can see, I don’t use any speed-reading techniques or hacks to read more. What really matters here is consistency. By the way, I do enjoy reading slowly and digest a book word by word. Simply a personal preference.
On top of that, I compound every single book I read into a bulleted format summary. I started to do this since the beginning of 2016 (So the list doesn’t include any book I read before that unless I re-read them).
If you’re interested, check them out here.