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Seven Easy Habits to Read More Books Next Year | Scott H Young

30 minutes before sleep

Set aside 30 minutes before sleep for reading. This habit helps to relax you for better rest. You will also have read a lot of books by the end of the year.

If you read 25 pages a night, you can finish more than 30 books a year with this time alone.

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Seven Easy Habits to Read More Books Next Year | Scott H Young

Seven Easy Habits to Read More Books Next Year | Scott H Young

https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2019/12/23/7-habits-read-more-books/

scotthyoung.com

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Key Ideas

A habit of compounding growth

Reading is a habit of compounding growth. When reading, you'll learn more, and you'll generate ideas and motivation for making other changes.

Reading books means you're getting more concentrated thinking on a topic. It's also harder and requires patience and attention than reading an article for example.

Put the book down

The real cause of reading too few books is that you don't enjoy it enough.

Don't feel compelled to finish a book that has become boring, predictable or unhelpful. Start a new one. You can have many books through various states of completion. Some won't be finished, and that's okay. Reading less is worse than having a few go unfinished.

Build an online library

An obstacle to your reading habit is not having enough interesting books waiting to be read.

Create a list of potentially good books. If you have a Kindle or eReader, get samples of any book you might want to read — Source your wishlist from suggestions from other writers and authors. When someone recommends a book on a blog or tweet, add it to your wishlist.

Listen to more books

Audiobooks tend to increase your overall quantity since listening is possible in situations when reading is not.

Since voice conveys more information through tone and pacing, audiobooks can be great where you want an emotional resonance with the ideas.

Don't do easy

Reading takes more effort and attention than mindless scrolling. Don't allow attention-grabbing media to compete with your reading time. Limit your media use to specific times in the day.

When you are weaned from the habit of continually checking in, you'll find it a lot easier to sit and read a book without getting restless.

30 minutes before sleep

Set aside 30 minutes before sleep for reading. This habit helps to relax you for better rest. You will also have read a lot of books by the end of the year.

If you read 25 pages a night, you can finish more than 30 books a year with this time alone.

Replacing social media

Turn your habit of continually checking for social media updates into something useful. 

Apps on the phone are attention-grabbing. If the apps are removed or limited to only certain times in a day, you can reduce the need to check your phone.

A deeper learning project

A project that spans multiple books is helpful to really explore a topic in-depth.

What’s a topic that fascinates you? What would you like to know much more about? The science of persuasion? The history of espionage? Pick a topic and make a cluster of books to add to your list.

Creating systems

Change begins with a system. The key to reading more books is to modify your environment to support these habits now.

  • Take steps to limit your social media.
  • Talk to your family about starting a reading habit 30 minutes before bed.

Take action now, and you'll read far more in the year ahead.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Why you should embrace books

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How to fit in more reading

We often struggle to find time to read. That's why we need to start small.

  • Read five pages of a book that interests you every day. When you are comfortable with five pages, try ten, then twenty.
  • The book should interest you. Reading a book of your choice makes the activity a pleasure to look forward to.
  • It helps to keep the book, audiobook app, or e-reader on you. Then, when you have some downtime, you can read instead of playing a smartphone game.
Audiobooks

Research found that audiobooks stimulate the brain differently but just as deeply as reading.

With print books, you need to provide the voice, imagine the tune and rhythm of speech, the intonation, stress of syllables, and so on. All this gets provided for you when listening to audio. With audiobooks, you're using different methods to decode and understand it. But it still deeply impacts your thoughts and feelings.

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Strategies speed readers use
Strategies speed readers use
  • Skimming: quickly going through passages to find the main points.
  • Meta guiding uses a pointer, such as your index finger or a pen, to guide your eyes along the lines...
Effectiveness of Speed Reading

Regardless of which reading method you use, the evidence points towards the fact that speed comes at the sacrifice of understanding.

Depending on what you’re reading, this might not necessarily be a bad thing: If you’re trying to get through a dry piece to capture a few key points or you are going through a short piece that’s easy to understand, speed reading strategies might make sense.

Make the most of what you read
  1. Choose different reading pieces for different occasions: articles and light reads can be reserved for short periods. Books that require less focus can be listened to in audio format etc.
  2. Incorporate reading into your daily habit: put a book on your bedside table.
  3. Share your reads with others, to help you to better understand and appreciate what you read.
  4. Reflect on your reading: take notes or check out films that are based on novels (to compare interpretations).
Tsundoku
Tsundoku

Many of us have a desire to read. We buy books, but then the demands of work and family catch up with us, and we never get round to reading the books. The Japanese calls it tsundoku

Finding the time for books

To give books the attention and time it deserves in your life, you need to make it a higher priority. It means you have to change your habits and routines to allow more reading.

Sometimes, your reading needs only a little encouragement to displace something that should be lower down on your list. For example, to forgo watching television and reading a book instead.

The reading habit: Succeeding long-term
  • First consider why you want to read more books. Reading should be enjoyable for you because you find them entertaining, calming, stimulating, and fascinating. Once the habit is set, you can also read other things you "should" read.
  • Change your surroundings to make it easier for you to grab a book. Reading apps can be prominent on your phone. Physical books should be in places that you most often frequent.
  • Create modest reading goals. Permit yourself to start with reading one page a day. Once the habit is established, you can increase it.
  • Once you have laid the foundation for your new reading habit, create an action association, such as reading on the train to work or with your mid-morning coffee or dinner.

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Warren Buffett
“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can..."
Warren Buffett
Learning constantly

To get better results in life you need to learn constantly. And the best way to learn is to read effectively and a lot.

Upgrading your brain

A new idea, outlook on life, mental model, is all it takes for something to click inside your brain.

Your brain will start making connections between books that seemed to be on different topics. The more you read, the more links you form and the richer your understanding becomes.

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Read to someone

One of the biggest obstacles to reading books we enjoy is that we think we should read books even if we don’t enjoy them—specifically, the idea that if we start a book, we must fi...

The To-Go Box Method

For a weight-loss hack, it goes like this: As soon as you order a meal at a restaurant, ask immediately that half of it be put in a to-go box once it’s ready and only the other half served to you. It’s basically a stricter version of portion control.

We can apply the same technique to get ourselves to read more.

Instead of 2 hours of Netflix each night, cutting it in half would still give you the satisfaction of watching Netflix in the evenings but also free up time to read as well.

Book Summaries

Preview the book in order to vet whether or not it’s worth investing your time in.

  • Use book summaries. Find apps that give accurate and concise summaries of many of the most popular books out there and are constantly updating their library.
  • Use podcast interviews with the author. Authors often go on the podcast circuit to promote their books. 

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The Essence

It’s important to have a deep willingness to read and grow in the process. Approach reading as a fun, enjoya...

Determine Your Reading Goal

Start off by setting a goal. This goal should be articulate and backed up with a purpose.

For some, it could be a goal of reading 24 books in a year. Once you’re done placing a target figure to your reading goal, then divide them into smaller goals.

Make a List of Books for Each Month

Write out a list of the amazing books you want to read. Ask for recommendations from friends and mentors. 

By being intentional about your reading list, you’ll stay focused on your ultimate goals and avoid lurking at any book that passes you by. 

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Ways to improve your life
Ways to improve your life

There are a few different ways you can go about setting a goal or creating a new habit.

  • Target the minimum output. You focus on always doing at least a little bit so t...
When to Focus on the Minimum

Minimum targeting works well for establishing long-term habits.

A goal of, for instance, doing fifty push-ups every day might not be ideal for fitness, but doing something is better than doing nothing.

Another reason to focus on the minimum is that it assumes the difficulty is in starting. To start a process can often be the hardest. Then you want to set a lower threshold to make starting as easy as possible.

When to Target the Average

Focusing on the average makes sense when you're hoping to sustain something, even if it is not always a perfectly easy and consistent output.

It works when you are already putting in a bit of effort, but want to improve that effort over the long-term.

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Reframing excuses we make for not reading:
  • Time: Stop thinking of it as some activity that you do when you feel like it. It should be a reflex, a default.
  • Money: Reading is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.
  • Purpose: Whate...
The purpose of reading
The purpose of reading is not just raw knowledge. Reading is part of the human experience. It helps you find meaning, understand yourself, and make your life better.  
Reading more
If you want to read more, there’s no real secret. It’s about adjusting your priorities and your perception so that reading becomes an extension of who you are and what you do.
Unfinished Books

Due to unlimited distractions, shorter attention spans and increased boredom, we aren't finishing the books we start to read. Our impulsive and fickle nature is also to blame.

Add Some Variety

The mind needs variety and diverse types of stimuli at different times. Reading several books at once, of different genres is a smart way to be able to cater to the mind's different needs at different times. It is also a good idea to not have more than a few books in your current reading list. The recommended number is 3.

Let Go Of Certain Books

If reading a certain book is beginning to feel like a burden to you, you are free to let go. The reason can be any, but it is no use wasting your time in a book that isn't speaking to you.

Letting go of a book provides closure and unburdens your mind.

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The Issue Behind Reading Hacks

Often manifesting as techniques for faster reading, nowadays, there is a mass illusion that reading many books by itself can bring about change into someone’s life. 

Many try to do it as...

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr Seuss

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr Seuss