"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." -- Confucius
Reading books is an essential habit if you want to reach your full potential. Even if you haven’t thought of yourself as a “reader of books” in the past, it doesn't take much to start. Here are a few tips I have found to be effective at helping me fit book reading into my day.
"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." -- Frederick Douglass
For the first two years of my career, I commuted two hours a day. And like good sons do, I asked my mom for her Audible login and then selfishly used all her credits every month before she could. When I moved close to my office, I suddenly had a lot less time in my schedule to listen to all of the unread audiobooks that my mom would never read.
My point is, whether it’s a physical book, audiobook, E-Book, or some combination of these; find which formats are the least disruptive to your usual routine.
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” ― Oscar Wilde
You don't have to put aside significant amount of time in order to become a book reader. You only have to read one page a day, or even less, in order to make progress.
After overcoming this mental hurdle myself, I began to view this one-page reading requirement as a daily game. If I couldn't hit my requirement, then I'd have to make up for it the next day. Pretty soon, I found myself reading more and more pages each day.
"A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read." -- Mark Twain
Have you ever been waiting in line and noticed that everyone else in line is standing like a mannequin scrolling on Twitter or Instagram? Waiting in line is one of the many gaps in our day where we're not really using our brain or body for anything productive. These gaps offer excellent opportunities to fit in a few paragraphs or pages.
These few minutes may seem insignificant but I guarantee you will be surprised by how many books you’ll have read by the end of the year by making this a habit.
Some great times/places to read:
- In the bathroom.
- Waiting in line.
- Before you fall asleep/lying in bed.
- During commercials.
- While you're having lunch.
- On your commute.
- While walking your dog.
- When you're at a restaurant and they're singing happy birthday to someone at another table and you don't know whether you should sing along too or politely ignore them.
“Somebody who only reads newspapers and at best books of contemporary authors looks to me like an extremely near-sighted person who scorns eyeglasses. He is completely dependent on the prejudices and fashions of his times, since he never gets to see or hear anything else.” – Albert Einstein
This one may seem obvious, but it's important, because it will be much more difficult to find time to read when you're reading a book you don't like.
Choosing a book is a much bigger commitment than trying a new show on Netflix. Do some homework beforehand by reading reviews online (Goodreads, Amazon, etc..) and by asking for recommendations from your friends, colleagues, or people you respect. I love it when people ask me what books I recommend, because these books have changed my life so meaningfully, it's exciting to think it may have a similar effect on someone else.
Most importantly, don't be afraid to abandon a book if you give it an honest try and aren't feeling it. Not all books are a good fit for you. Not all books are good, in general.
“My alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.” – Malcolm X
I hope that you found some value in these tips. If you have other tips to suggest or need book recommendations, please leave a comment!
“How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” – Henry David Thoreau