Friday, July 14, 2017

How Do You Read So Many Books?

I thought I would have a little fun with this blog post as it is the question I get the most from my friends.

How do you read so many books?

I often have a few silly answers ready to go:
1. I am a genius. A real life genius.

2. Reading is my super power after getting bit by a radioactive book worm.

3. It is a burden and a curse. If I stop reading, I die instantly.

I also have my serious answers:

1. My parents were avid readers and we had books everywhere. My wife nearly fell over the first time she came to my house because she did not believe me. There are bookcases everywhere.

2. I didn't really start reading until my Senior year of High School as I didn't enjoy it. Now I am catching up for lost years.

3. In seminary, we were required to read hundreds of pages a night and I just never stopped.

4. I started slowly and eventually my reading skill built up.

5. I really am a genius. For some reason, no one believes me.

The thing is, I am not a fast reader, but I do have a routine that works and it is really simple. So, I am going to teach you my routine in this blog post.

If you try it, know that you are going to be giving up some TV/movie time. I also don't have kids, so I recognize I have a bit more self time than most. If you are going to try my routine, adjust as you see fit. 

First I pick out about 3-5 books for the week. 

I make one my morning book, one my afternoon book, and one my evening book. My morning book has shorter chapters and can be picked up and put down. My afternoon book is my meat and potatoes book. My evening book is a book where I know I will read a solid chunk of it, but I also know I will get sleepy and put it down eventually.

In the morning, I commit 30-40 minutes to reading my morning book. Once 30-40 minutes is up, I don't touch it until the next morning. This book isn't too plot heavy. Poetry is great, mysteries, top 10 books, etc. I find non fiction works best for me in the morning as I feel I am learning something first thing in the morning over coffee and it becomes a great brain stimulant. Thirty to forty minutes seems quick, but it is about 40-60 pages when you think about it. If it is a 200 page book at 40 pages a day, you will be done in 5 days.
For my evening book, I commit at least 40 mins straight and then pick it up and put it down the rest of the night until I fall asleep. This book has some substance to it because I am going to have a block of time where I could read on a good night. On a typical night, I can get through 80-100 pages in one evening. On a really good night 100-150.

Now the afternoon book. This is my go to for most of the day. I bring it with me everywhere- at work, during waiting times for appointments, during lunch, or any time I have a bit of free time. You will be surprised how often you find yourself waiting. I sometimes show up 15 minutes early to appointments to have that precious reading time. If you look for moments, you will find time to read. 

Once I finish one book, I swap it for a different one in the pile. 

Now, I am a slightly crazy person, so I throw one in that I am going to start for the weekend around Wednesday and flip between two books for my evening books. I just tease this book and don't get to into yet. This gives me a head start for the weekend selections.

I find with my system, I can generally finish 3 books definitely by the end of the week. On really great weeks, all 5 are done and I have a weekend to finish two more.

Now you know how I read so many books! Give it a try and then you too can be a genius! 

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