How To Read Books In Minimum Time: There is a wealth of information available on the internet about how to read more.
Furthermore, much of it is beneficial—particularly if you’re a beginner looking to read more frequently and more broadly.
However, much of the advice overlooks the needs of working professionals trying to balance their personal and professional lives.
That’s exactly what I’m going to talk about today.
As a result of this article, I’ll share the seven strategies I use to read 30+ books per year while also working on my career, growing my online business, and raising my daughter and son.
Let’s get this party started.
Table of Contents
Shift from “must” to “get to” mode to Read Books
When I was in college, I had to read a lot of material. A LOT, in fact. The problem was that the vast majority of my recommended readings were academic in nature, which meant that they were both boring and incomprehensible.
By the time I graduated, I had made a pact with myself that I would never read or write anything longer than a text message again.
Oh my goodness, how I was wrong.
Reading is now one of my favorite pastimes. It’s one of my favorite recreational activities. However, it is not a result of what I read (although that does help). Instead, reading is something I enjoy doing because I consider it a privilege.
Reading was a requirement for college students. It was a task that I had to complete. There were ramifications for failing to complete the task. I was in danger of falling behind in class if I didn’t read. And that put a tremendous amount of pressure on me while I was reading.
On the other hand, reading is now a privilege, an activity that I get to participate in. The opportunity to hear an author discuss their work in a concise and well-organized manner  I have the opportunity to learn from those who have already mastered the subject matter that I am attempting to master myself.
You are not required to read. You will be able to.
Get rid of anything that isn’t absolutely necessary
Because of my newfound responsibilities as a parent, I told myself that I didn’t have time to read any longer. I also told myself that reading was no longer necessary.
Although I did have time to read, the reality was that I spent the few minutes of free time I had each day on non-essential activities such as mindless online browsing, binge-watching television, and excessive mobile screen time on my phone and other devices.
Once I realized where and how I was wasting my time, I made a few changes to reduce the friction associated with getting started with reading, including the following changes:
- I changed the layout of my environment to make reading more convenient (e.g., by downloading the Kindle app on my phone) while making browsing more difficult (for example, by installing Freedom on my Mac);
- Making a reading list (more on that below); and Identifying the factors that contributed to my laziness.
- Subtraction, not addition, is the key to learning more.
Create a reading list for yourself
Keeping a reading list is something Dan Kenndy stresses in his memoir, My Unfinished Business, which is available on Amazon. “I’m confident that only a small number of people [commit to a planned reading program],” Kennedy writes. “Most people read at random if they read at all,” says the author.
Keeping a reading list not only inspires future reading choices but also reminds you of books that you were once enthusiastic about but have since forgotten about.
Of course, you shouldn’t be too rigid with your reading lists; your reading preferences will change and evolve over time as a result of your interests and the experiences you’re going through.
Having said that, it is beneficial to have some level of intentionality when it comes to reading, such as reading two pages of a book every day, as suggested above, as part of a reading regimen.
Make use of Amazon’s Kindle
When you’re relaxing at home, commuting to work, or flying across the country, e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle have made it possible to read on your phone, tablet, or computer at any time and from virtually any location.
For a variety of reasons, I enjoy reading on my Kindle. First and foremost, as previously stated, it is possible to always have a book with you, even if you do not have access to a Wi-Fi network.
To start, Kindle books are significantly less expensive than print or hardcover books. In fact, I frequently purchase Kindle books for as little as $0.99, saving me an incredible 90 percent over the cost of other formats.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, Kindle books make it simpler to take notes and highlight passages, as well as to export them. This is particularly important if you want to compile a commonplace book and retain the information you have learned from reading.
Listen to audiobooks
As a regular reader, you are probably aware that I am a big fan of the Amazon Audible service.
However, while listening to audiobooks on the go is an obvious benefit, my favorite way to get the most out of Audible is to listen to books I am considering reading before I actually read them.
Reading does not have to be a difficult task. If you prioritize your reading and reduce any friction that prevents you from starting, you will have enough time to read, despite what you may believe.