With all of life’s distractions, here’s how to make time to read and get through more books:
- Don’t make reading a chore. Read because you want to, and like to.
- Become more selective. Choose topics you know you’ll enjoy—topics that have engrossed you previously.
- Rather than choosing a book that you haven’t read yet, opt to reread one of the more helpful books you’ve read in the past. It usually takes multiple exposures for an idea to sink in.
- Never be without a book; have one at hand wherever you are. Then, squeeze in some reading whenever you have a few minutes to spare—whether on the bus or while waiting at the dentist’s. (Charlie Munger, a voracious reader, has said, “As long as I have a book in my hand, I don’t feel like I’m wasting time.”)
- Don’t feel obliged to complete everything you’ve started. The more enjoyable your read, the quicker you’ll get through it. If a book doesn’t hold your interest (“spark joy” to borrow Marie Kondo’s concept,) say, by page 50, stop reading.
- Be decisive with the no-good books. Turn four pages at a time if you have to. Frequently authors just blather endlessly about studies and anecdotes that are of marginal relevance to the book’s premise.
- Take a respectable speed-reading course to learn how to use your eyes to focus and gloss over groups of words (“chunking”) while making sure you dwell on what needs to be retained.
- Make reading social. Join a book club—it’ll help you get more out of a title. Hearing other people’s interpretations—whether you agree with them or not—makes you think more about your own reading and synthesis.
- Have a system to jot down, record, summarize, organize, and recall whatever you’ve read.