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 you haven’t read yet, 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 blather endlessly about studies and anecdotes 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—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.