Hacking & Reading: 6 Tips to Start Reading More Starting Today

“What is the last book you read?”

Can you answer this question?  If not, why not?  If so, what is it?

If the answer to this question is a Shakespearean play that was forced down your throat in high school, this article is for you.

Typically, I average AT LEAST a book per week.  AT LEAST.  Here are a few helpful tips to aid you in your journey of reading more starting today:

 1.  Commitment

A sure fire way to read more this week than you did last week?  Read.  Actually read.  Common sense is not always common practice.  Go to a brick and mortar or Amazon and purchase a book.  For all you Amazon Prime lovers, invest in a recycle unit.  Mother Nature thanks you, and you will need one.

2.  Infidelity

It is 100% okay and legal (I just verified) to cheat on your cellular device with a spine-bound book.  You already read a novel’s worth a week worth of status updates from people you despise and do not like.  Social media is engineered, ENGINEERED, for your attention.  What you value is a derivative of what earns your attention.  Mindlessly sharing an article, political belief adds little to no value and robbed you of your greatest resource – time.

3.  Consistency

Carve out a period of time each day for you and your book.  5 minutes.  10 minutes.  15 minutes.  Meditation and mindful practice is all the rage these days.  I can not begin to describe the value of losing myself in a book for a few moments.  5 minutes later, I was centered.  I highly recommend reading first thing in the morning as part of a routine.  Step 1 – Get out of bed.  Step 2 – Make coffee.  Step 3 – Read for (insert time).

4.  Ambiance

Once I am ready to read and mellow out to a current read, I set the mood.  Noise cancelling headphones playing white noise is a strong recommendation.  Particularly the composers Hans Zimmer (I listened to the ‘Inception’ soundtrack while writing the herniated disc blog post) or Brian Eno.  If Brian Eno’s work is good enough for airports to mellow out frantic passengers, it’s good enough for you as you take a few minutes and read.

5.  Move On

Be prepared to move on from a book that is not working for you like you would any other relationship.  Does the author’s tone, delivery, or diction not resonate with you?  F*ck it.  Move on.

A friend recently did not enjoy a read and was powering and laboring through a read.  I recommended he move on since he understood the author’s thesis and another 100 plus pages of case studies was not going to deepen his understanding.  So, he moved on.

He moved on to a book that immediately resonated with him and one in which he strongly recommended to a group of his peers.  Moral of the story:  you’re not married to a book.  Understand the concepts and move on to the next one.

6.  Listen

Always have an audio book in the queue for your commute or low intensity steady state cardio.  Personally, I subscribe to Audible, and listen to at least one new book each month.  February, I made it through 3 in 10% less days (that whole 28 versus 31 days thing).  Playback at 1.5x.  You’ll easily turn a 10 hour book into 6 hours and 40 minutes – 3 hours and 20 minutes of saved time listening.  If you can not listen to 1.5x playback I would offer that you are not fully invested and all-in.  Go all-in.

Read.  Read some more.

Let me know what you’re currently reading!







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