Learning Archive

How to Read More Books

How to Read More Books

I read 81 books last year. I had a goal of 100. I also wrote three novels (Books 2-4 of the Age of Dawn) while holding down a full-time job in IT.  I’m not saying this to pat my own back. I wish I could have read more, but I also don’t have kids. I know people who read 200+ books a year. I also know people who can hardly manage to read a book a quarter. This post is for those of you who want to read more, but aren’t sure how exactly to do it.

How did I manage to do it?

There are two things I do that have made a huge difference in the amount of reading(listening) I do every year.

1) The first is audiobooksThere are so many little spaces of time where you could either be reading or listening to an Audiobook. Cleaning, walking the dog, bike riding, working out, weeding the garden. If you’re serious about reading and educating yourself then you will make the “sacrifice” to listen to an audiobook rather than listening to music or anything else that you might consider more enjoyable. I am torn between having times of quiet contemplation and learning new stuff. That’s a decision you’ll have to make. During the weekend, I’ll keep my phone in my pocket with the headphones plugged in. Whenever I’m going to do something where there might be some time gaps, I’ll throw in my headphones and start downloading a book into my brain. It’s pretty damn to close to the Matrix.

2) Waiting in line at Starbucks/bus stop/cafeteria? Open your phone and read on your Kindle rather than checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. It’s amazing how much time people waste on social media when they could be reading. If you’re on Facebook for twenty minutes a day, that’s at least a full novel a month you could’ve read.

Just like writing my biggest tip for reading everyday is to TIME IT. Everyday when I set out to read I put a 30 minute timer on my phone and do nothing else but read until the buzzer goes off. This way I can guarantee I have carved out at least 30 minutes a day to read.

If you give these tips a shot, please let me know, I’d love to hear it. What do you do to read more books?

Top 10 Quotes from The Lessons of History by Will & Ariel Durant

I recently read The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant. The book is amazing. Here are just a few of my favorite gems from the book.

1. “But a tornado can ruin in an hour the city that took a century to build; an iceberg can overturn or bisect the floating palace and send a thousand merrymakers gurgling to the Great Certainty.”

2. “Generations of men establish a growing mastery over the earth, but they are destined to become fossils in its soil.”

3. “The startled animals scurry away at our coming; the birds scatter; the fish disperse in the brook. Suddenly we perceive to what a perilous minority we belong on this impartial planet, and for a moment we feel, as these varied denizens clearly do, that we are passing interlopers in their natural habitat. Then all the chronicles and achievements of man fall humbly into the history and perspective of polymorphous life; all our economic competition, our strife for mates, our hunger and love and grief and war, are akin to the seeking, mating, striving, and suffering that hide under these fallen trees or leaves, or in the waters, or on the boughs.”

4. “Animals eat one another without qualm; civilized men consume one another by due process of law.”

5. “Inequality is not only natural and inborn, it grows with the complexity of civilization.”

6. “Even when repressed, inequality grows; only the man who is below the average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom; and in the end superior ability has its way.”

7. “If the human brood is too numerous for the food supply, Nature has three agents for restoring the balance: famine, pestilence, and war.”

8. “In every age men have been dishonest and governments have been corrupt; probably less now than generally before.”

9. “We must remind ourselves again that history as usually written (peccavimus) is quite different from history as usually lived: the historian records the exceptional because it is interesting— because it is exceptional.”

10. “Laws which were once presented as the decrees of a god-given king are now frankly the confused commands of fallible men.”

Buy the book! It’s short and jam packed with more stuff like this. You won’t regret it.