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

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.

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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.

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Why you should embrace books

Reading is essential for a healthy brain. Reading continues to develop the brains of adults and might help slow down or even stop cognitive decline.

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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).
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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