People are astonished when I tell them how many books I have read. Especially my mom. You couldn’t have bribed me for money or chocolate to read a book growing up. Can you blame me? There was world class surfing a few blocks away.
When people ask me why I read so much now, I jokingly say “I’m overcompensating for not going to college.” (I have to get my education from somewhere if I want to change the world.)
Well, maybe it started off that way, but that cannot be the truth now. I’m infatuated with reading. Whether it be a cutting edge business book, a time tested 1000 page classic novel, or the latest distopian quick read trilogy. Reading has become one of my absolute favorite past times and a daily part of my life.
It’s hard to give people the “reading bug.” It does take a bug to turn a non-reader into a reader. I’ve found that a good “can’t put this down series can help” turn someone into a reader. But once you do have the bug, you can learn how to find the time to read as much as you want.
How do I find the time? Here's the answer.
[box] My 5 secrets to reading everything you’ve ever wanted:[/box]
1. Read at night.
The kids are finally asleep and you finally have a moment to wind down. You just watched a tv show and you need to rest your eyes from a screen so you pick up your paperback or kindle (Not ipad, kindle fire or backlit screen. Those are bad for your eyes and keep you awake) and you read until you get sleepy. Watch one less TV show and read instead.
2. Read in the morning.
Get up early, before your kids or the rest of the house wakes up and read something positive. Make a cup first if you depend on it like me. But then sit there and start your day with something uplifting like a devotional. I like to progress to something that makes me start thinking productive from the start of the day like a business or self-development book.
3. Read at least two books at a time.
Always have a business/ learning book and a Novel or light reading book going on at the same time. Most people only want to read one book at a time, but I think that is the wrong way to do it. Let’s face it, if you don’t feel like reading that one business book when it’s time to read, you may not pick it up and decide to do something else like watch TV instead. I always have a novel that I’m reading for the times when I want to be entertained. I read novels at night or on the weekend, but I read the learning books in the morning to get me motivated. I don’t want to start thinking at night about these things because it will keep me awake. And adversely I don’t want to start reading a novel first thing in the morning because I won’t want to focus on work that day, I’ll be anxious to find out what happens next in the story. When it’s time to read, I always ask myself “is it time to learn, or time to be entertained?”
4. Listen to audiobooks.
This is perhaps the greatest secret of them all. I listen to audiobooks almost all day every day. I listen to audiobooks while I’m driving and while I’m doing the dishes. We all have nominal tasks that we do everyday that is more or less wasted potential. You can multitask while you sweep up the kitchen or make breakfast. Some of us even have jobs where we can do busy work and listen to books at the same time. Sometimes while I’m editing photos, if the task is simple enough, I can listen to a good novel at the same time. Which means I could listen to a whole book in a day or at least a good chunk of it. If I can’t fall asleep at night, I will lay in bed with my headphones and listen until I get tired. (my wife won’t let me read with the light on while she's sleeping) Listening to audiobooks can easily double, if not quadruple, the amount of books you read each year. It’s also a good way to get through a section of a book that is boring or hard to follow. The reader keeps on talking, therefore you keep listening. If you just push through things start to make sense. (I wish I had done this for Les Miserables because holy cow can Victor Hugo go on 100 page tangents)
If I can and it’s reasonably priced, I always try to get the audiobook as well as the kindle version. Amazon will sell you both for cheaper and you can use their “whispersync” service which will find your place in the audiobook when you switch from your kindle, and vice versa. Any books that were published before 1923 are in the public domain. Amazon has free versions of these books for kindle and Librivox has free audiobook versions.
5. Readers are leaders.
Lastly, I realized that if you’re not growing you’re dying. You are in charge of your own destiny. Don’t fill your head with TV and gossip magazines. The brightest minds in the world have written down their discoveries and shared them in books. Learn from the masters. YOU MUST make time for them.
I hope this helps you find time to read all the books you’ve been putting off.
What about you, do you read a lot? What are your secrets?
ADDED LATER BY POPULAR REQUEST:
Here are all the books I finished in 2013. I probably started over a dozen more books last year and several of which I will finish soon.
Have any great book recommendations?
Learning/ Self Development/ Spiritual:
Permission marketing – Seth Godin
The Icarus Deception – Seth Godin
Amazing things will happen – CC Chapman
The Dip – Seth Godin
Crazy Love – Francis Chan
Book yourself solid – Michael Port
Platform – Michael Hyatt
You are a writer – Jeff Goins
Today Matters – John Maxwell
Love is the Killer App – Tim Sanders
Entreleadership – Dave Ramsey
All Marketers are Liars – Seth Godin
iPhone Photography – Misho Baranovic
Wrecked – Jeff Goins
The In-Between – Jeff Goins
It's all true – Jeff Slaughter
The Virtual Assistant Solution – Hyatt
Great by Choice – Jim Collins
Do the Work – Steven Pressfield
The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy
The Reason for God – Timothy Keller
Contagious – Jonah Berger
ReThink Marriage – Tyler Ward
Advertising Headlines to make you Rich and Famous – David Garfunkel
The Art of War – Sun Tzu
Earth unaware – Orson Scott Card
Earth Affire – Orson Scott Card
Divergent – Veronica Roth
Insurgent – Veronica Roth
Allegiant – Veronica Roth
The Giver – Lois Lowry
Gathering Blue – Lois Lowry
Messenger – Lois Lowry
Son – Lois Lowry
Life of Pi – Yann Martell
The Great Gatsby – Fitzgerald
Enders Game – Orson Scott Card
Speaker for the Dead – Orson Scott Card
Xenocide – Orson Scott Card
Children of the Mind – Orson Scott Card
Enders Shadow – Orson Scott Card
Ender in Exile – Orson Scott Card
Shadow of the Hegemon – Orson Scott Card
Shadow puppets – Orson Scott Card
Shadow of the Giant – Orson Scott Card
Shadows in Flight – Orson Scott Card