You Too Can Read a Full Book a Day
Reading is drinking wine…of thoughts.
The hard part is: reading it.
I used to hate reading. But when you’re bored, you find something that changes everything.
I read Ryan Holiday’s book, Ego Is the Enemy after I didn’t feel like working on anything, not even writing, for nine days. I found some hacks of reading books that I never thought of earlier — nothing from the book, just from the process of reading it.
The cool thing about trying something new is it gives you some evidence you’re valuable and that inspires you to try something new again.
That’s the reason I’m working on a story for Better Humans today, for the first time. And I’m ignited to try some more new things soon. Earlier I used to experiment in a safe zone. Now I’m ignited to experiment outside the comfort zone — after reading the book.
You too can read a full book a day.
Start with this.
The first step is the master step. We do it wrong. That messes everything.
I used to search for the best books, find the perfectly formatted pdf, and then start reading the book from the first page right after downloading it. It messed everything.
Don’t make the first step so hard you feel like quitting already. I learned this from a video I watched the same day. The explainer is like Albert Einstein. I thought I can try what he says. It might work. It worked cool.
- Get the book in hand, slowly flip through all the pages of the book. Read the titles and everything that stands out. Don’t worry much yet.
- Finish reading the introduction, preface, and the last few pages. Sometimes those pages are acknowledgment and those are unnecessary. But it still feels good to finish a few unnecessary pages and you also have a grasp of how many pages might be remaining. Plus, it takes less time to finish those unnecessary pages.
A video I watched the same day made me excited about Kindle, especially because of her lovely cover. I had $0 to buy books or get a Kindle. And it feels like someone pulling my eyes out when reading from mobile. I had a Samsung Galaxy Tab E I didn’t use for more than a year. I forgot about it. I pulled my Tab. It felt like her Kindle. I started reading with that and was excited about the book for the first time.
The weird part was: I didn’t feel like finishing the book. I wanted to enjoy reading.
Making the process easier is finishing half the task.
This is the way it works.
Tim Denning, my writing mentor, made Ryan Holiday a God.
I read Ryan’s work and it’s nothing against him — it felt worse than mine. Maybe there’s a reason: I wanted my words to flow. He wants his content to connect. But, I wasn’t convinced. I was excited to read the whole book because I still believed Ryan is a great writer. I believed only the first few pages might be bad. That kept (and tripled) my motivation to keep reading.
The next book I read will be by Tim Ferriss, another writer I love. It can become boring to read the same genre or another book of the same author one after another. There’s boringness in similarity. You can become biased about ideas. The idea is to be open.
Start with some author you love. You’re more fascinated to learn from him/her. Then, choose the next book of some other author you love or are somehow fascinated with. The trick is to develop the process and interest in reading as quickly as possible.
- The author can be your mentor or a loved one.
- They can be your favorite social media celebrity or a YouTuber.
- They can be someone you hate. There’s an added benefit to this: they increase your excitement to read the book fully focused, because of your ego. The ego is not the enemy. Ego increases your value in front of you. You want to figure out ways the author could be wrong. Add a dash of self-awareness into it and you’ll get everything out of the book with ease. You develop an ego before reading the book by achieving some small wins before reading the book. You have self-awareness when you know you want to grow.
This happened to me with Ryan’s book. I love Ryan. I watched a few YouTube videos and learned amazing hacks to read books. I finally pulled out my Tablet and started reading. I flipped through the pages and read the things that stand out. The book now felt easier to read. I finished some unnecessary pages in a short time. I felt proud of myself — that’s ego. I now wanted to find fault in Ryan’s work. I was so fascinated with the book I couldn’t sleep without finishing the book that day.
But I had to go to sleep.
People made reading feel like a job.
The important thing is to make a process of reading that you enjoy. If you can develop the interest, everything else becomes easier.
Unless you want to read a novel, which you probably don’t, because everybody loves a novel (I don’t?) and you don’t need motivation for it, you have to make the process easier to persist.
People say you wasted your time if you don’t learn something from the books. They just want you to quit reading. I fell into the trap too. I used to only find books Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos recommends. I was never able to go up to the 10th page.
Here’s why I now read books: To hell with implication, I need growth. At least spiritual growth. So I read everything I can. If anything, maybe you find yourself with other’s words. Words make you think and make sense of the world. That’s my main focus while I write too.
Making sense of the world is good enough. Stories help you make sense of the world. Wisdom often takes years to connect the dots, as Tim Denning says, but I want to reduce the gap of wisdom connection by understanding other’s stories to then understand my experiences or reexperience my memories with profound wisdom that I might have missed.
People grow without reading books anyway. Learning something worth implementing from every book you read isn’t a must.
Here’s the problem and good part:
Writing doesn’t let me read. A writer reading is like a husband dating. The cool thing about that is, it’s easy to switch.
I thought I can finish Ryan’s book on the same day because it’ll only take a maximum of 5 hours and I had that time, but I couldn’t. Reading his book made me think deep. I made some assertions, then a few assumptions, then made some connections with my life. I already had two ideas to write on. I got fascinated with writing so I stopped reading that day.
That’s the fun side of having a creative outlet you can switch to. It could be anything — art, design, cleaning, writing. The best part is this: you never feel you suck because you can always switch tasks. Another best part? Doing one thing helps you inspire on the other thing so there’s nothing wasted.
I also thought I can write an article of this kind (how-to) and on this (takeaway from the book) if I can finish the whole book a day and figure out why. This acted as a motivation to find something that works — something that’s realistic and practical in actual life that’ll be helpful for my reader.
Having a creative outlet you can switch to makes the task less intimidating.
There are problems with Goodreads or book summaries.
I used Goodreads a few times in my life casually and never understood the purpose behind it. You get bogged down with numbers (no. of pages read, etc.). I’m still not sure what this is about. Maybe I’m biased, but Goodreads makes you feel bad about reading.
And book summaries suck the joy out of your reading. People miss this: we become zombies when we know everything. Being a zombie means uninterested in what we do. The trick is to ignite curiosity before reading the book. Book summaries turn on your ego and throw your self-awareness (desire to grow) out of the gate because your curiosity dies and growth is incomplete without curiosity: You feel like you already know what is in the book and reading it is your time wasted, so you already feel like quitting.
The better way is this:
- Flip the pages. See the titles, subtitled, bolded texts, and anything that stands out.
- Come back and read the introduction, preface, and last few unnecessary pages.
- Then start reading the book from start. To finish.
This helps because it doesn’t give away everything but increases your interest to learn everything from the book by reading it.
You only need one goal.
My initial goal was:
One book. One day. One takeaway (from each chapter). One share. Impact one person. Get one thank you (if possible, hopefully). To motivate me for one lifetime.
I tried reading everything in a day. But I couldn’t. So I didn’t kill me. I forgave me. I targeted 1 book every 7 days. “I have 6 more days. Yay.”
We get stuck with the basics.
You don’t need to take notes yet. You don’t have to have written takeaways to have evidence of you actually reading the book. You aren’t reading to show off your book read count.
You don’t even need to count time. But it helps to count. I measured how long it takes me to read one page. I tried it on 10 different pages. I now assume I just need two minutes to read a page doesn’t matter the length. I just keep that in mind to maybe count later if needed.
Write a takeaway after every chapter (but you don’t have to).
I note down my one takeaway after finishing reading each chapter now. Sometimes I don’t write it down right away. I mentally store the takeaway and read a few chapters altogether. Then, I look back at the titles of the chapter and remember my takeaway and write it down. This is helpful when you’re in a reading flow.
My plan is to think deeper on these takeaways when I’m not reading the book and probably write a Medium story on these takeaways.
Writing down what you think about each chapter increases future motivation. Your value increases in front of you and that’s powerful.
No, you don’t need to set a time block.
I didn’t try 1,2,3-hour time blocks to read books. Because measuring time sucks the joy out of what you’re doing. I don’t want to enjoy after marking a task done. I want to enjoy while doing the task.
I tried a few things:
- Read every 20 minutes. I finish 8-10 pages that way. Reward yourself with distraction if you can finish 10 pages in 20 minutes. Distracting is something that doesn’t add value but you don’t need the motivation to do it because you want to do it, for example, Facebooking. My distraction is getting to read Medium stories.
- Read in the 5 minutes of class break. 2 pages are done that way. The best part is, I’m more excited about the book after those 5 minutes. Interrupting a pattern doubles your excitement.
- Read before going to the washroom. 1 page is done. Integrating book reading into your daily chore makes it easier.
The trick is to make reading less work and more fun challenge. Working is hard. Taking action is hard. Playing games isn’t.
The good news is: Task switching helps you get the most out of the book too. Your mood can be the same or maybe even duller if you read the whole book in one sitting. Different timing gives you a different mood. Interrupting the pattern gives you time to ponder on what you have learned. Switching tasks constantly gives you wins in other areas, like finishing the dishes and that helps a lot. Focus isn’t enough. You need motivation too. Constant wins in other areas increase that motivation.
Jumping from books to books is the dead end.
I’m a pro jumper when it comes to books. I used to quickly jump from one book to another if I’m bored of the bad formatting in one book after I have just read 3 pages.
Every book can teach you at least one thing that might not make sense today but tomorrow it might. Don’t jump from one book to another without finishing it. You lose the motivation and momentum to read. You feel like you suck because you can’t finish a book.
Kindle will make your life easier if you want.
I would love to try Kindle for 14 days. But I can’t. I don’t have a debit card or PayPal. Someone said me these are excuses. But if something doesn’t work for me, I try something else. Nobody knows that. I try to keep it a secret. But I’d love you to try Kindle once. 14 days is all it takes to fall in love with something so much you can’t live/spent time without it (that's why most free trials are 14 days). 30 days of Kindle is free. Kindle saves you both time and money and Kindle feels fun.
You can be the God, the patient, the gardener, or a toilet cleaner.
I read while lying down. That works best for me. Sitting or standing means someone asking me to murder someone.
You have to figure out what makes your reading easier. Maybe a shopping mall is a perfect choice. Park? Petrol pump? It’s different for different people because everyone is different. Maybe green grass sets your mood. Perhaps the odor and noise of the shopping mall make you high. Probably sitting down on a toilet floor breaks your worries apart.
Get this down from your heart…before it tears you apart.
I used to think “Book reading? Everyone is doing… nothing unique worth trying.”
I was wrong. Buddy, it’s more unique than your DNA. It helps makes sense of your life. You understand the book wisdom based on your life situation and everyone’s life is always unique.
The best part? You suck.
Success feels fulfilling because we fail a lot to achieve that success. Failing leads to learning something. In actuality, learning something in the way to success is fulfilling. We get that wrong.
Usually, everything from a book makes sense at the end. Getting to the end takes more time. The more time you spend on the book, the fulfilling the learnings from the book will be.
Learning something from a book increases your desire to live longer in this beautiful world. Stack it up for long enough and your life will feel blessed when angels want you to take them with you to play.
Book reading automatically reduced my urge to come to Medium and refresh every minute for reading the stories by my favorite writer…especially for inspiration. I stopped spending time on social media looking for inspiration. It now feels more relieving. I’m now more productive and happy.
I hate long blog posts too. Here’s everything for you.
Start with some author you love. She makes reading the book fun. Then find ways you can hate the author.
The trick is to realize ego is not the enemy. You need ego. Ego helps you find fault. Finding fault makes you do the task. Doing a task is the goal accomplished.
The easy way to build an ego is to have small wins before starting to read the book. Then start reading the book. Ego is bad without self-awareness. Have self-awareness and you’ll get everything out from the book like a sponge. Self-awareness is just the internal realization or dire urge to grow.
Goodreads make you feel bad about reading by bogging you down with numbers. Book summaries suck your joy and curiosity of reading the book by already giving you the spoiler for free.
Get the first step right and everything else will be automatically right:
- Starting to read the book right after picking it is the dead end. Flip the pages. See what stands out to you. Look at those for some time. Get all the way to the end of the book.
- Finish reading the introduction, preface, and the last few pages so you know what all and how many pages are remaining. It takes way less time to finish reading those few unnecessary pages.
You don’t need evidence of you finishing the book. Learning something from the book worth implementing isn’t a must. Counting the read time, taking notes isn’t a necessity. The goal is to enjoy the read and have a think.
But, taking notes increases your value in front of you and that’s a powerful future motivator.
Have a creative outlet and you add superpower to your reading. The advantage of having this superpower is you can move to read a book if you don’t feel like doing that creative work. When you come back, you feel inspired and fuelled even more. Book reading is linked to creativity and vice versa.
You just need one goal. Here’s mine you can steal:
One book. One [or as many days you want to read one book] day. One takeaway (from each chapter). One share. Impact one person. Get one thank you (if possible, hopefully). To motivate me for one lifetime.
It’s best if you can’t finish the book in one sitting. You need different moods to get the most out of the book. One sitting read can be dull. Different timing gives you a different mood. Interrupting the pattern gives you time to ponder on what you have learned. Focus isn’t enough. You need motivation too. Constant wins in other areas outside of reading increase that motivation.
Every book can teach you something. Jumping from one book to another for any reason makes you feel you suck and it’s the best way to lose momentum and motivation.
The best place and position to read books are what works for you.
Everyone reading the same book and getting the same knowledge doesn’t matter. You understand the book wisdom based on your life situation and the good news is everyone’s life is unique.
The more time you spend on the book, the fulfilling the learnings from the book will be.
Today is the 8th day. I broke my promise to at least finish the book by the 7th day. I couldn’t. I wanted to write rather than read. I didn’t kill myself for it.
You don’t need to kill yourself when you can’t stick to a commitment.
You too can read a full book a day.