One of the questions Self-Publishing School founder and CEO gets most is: “How do you have so much time to read books?”
He shares his insights in this video.
Reading books is an incredible way to boost creativity, grow as a writer, and educate yourself on specific topics that interest you or you need to learn more about.
Chandler has made a habit of reading one book a week. This single decision resulted in him reading four books a month, and fifty-two plus books a year. One book a week compiles to a lot of books at the end of the year. Sound inspiring yet daunting?
Maybe you don’t consider yourself much of a reader.
Maybe you’re simply not used to reading or don’t read often.
Don’t be discouraged. It might surprise you that not that long ago, Chandler didn’t read much either. In fact, he was a C-level English student and a college drop-out. Regardless of his English grade, he realized the importance of reading. Rather than make an excuse he had two thoughts:
One: “I don’t have time to read.”
Two: “How do I make time to read?”
More important than even those two thoughts was his third thought, “I’m going to find a book on how to read faster.” It might seem counterintuitive to read a book on how to read a book, but Chandler’s first step in his process of reading set the tone for all the books he would later read.
He realized that if he spent purposeful time reading a book that educated him on how to read books, all the books he’d read in the future would be much more profitable.
In this post, we’ll cover what he learned from the book “10 Days to Faster Reading.”
The fundamental principles we’ll talk about are:
· Where To Read Books To Get The Greatest Benefit
· How To Track What You’re Reading
· How To Read More Books
· The Secret Of How To Read Faster
As you read through these points, take note of the ones that will most benefit your own goals and lifestyle.
Number 1: Where To Read Books To Get The Greatest Benefit
A good rule of thumb to follow is to never read in bed or on your couch. Of course, when it comes to fiction this is a different story. When reading fiction, pick the most comfortable place to read. Reading can and should be fun!
But when reading for educational purposes, you want your brain to be on full alert. Your brain goes into lazy mode when sitting on the couch where you just binge-watched that last Netflix series.
On the topic of where to read, it’s helpful to never even work from the couch. Blurred boundaries on work/life balance are not healthy and certainly not helpful.
It’s important to read with intentionality. Make it a point to,
· read at a desk with a comfortable (but not too comfortable!) chair
· read in a chair where your brain is used to being alert
· read at the coffee shop you love working at during the week
These seemingly small choices will go a long way in how much content you’re able to cover and how well you retain the information you read.
Set yourself up for success by choosing a place to read where your mind is already on full-alert. You’re doing yourself a disservice trying to read in bed. It will probably take you just as much energy – if not more! – to stay awake as it will to read.
When starting your new reading habit choose a well-lit chair or desk where you’re used to being productive. This will help your reading sessions be much more efficient. Ultimately, it will also allow you to make more time for reading because what you’re reading can be read and retained in a much shorter amount of time.
Number 2: How To Track What You’re Reading And Read Faster
Tracking what you’re reading is a tremendous benefit when it comes to speed reading. Wondering how to do so? It’s much easier than you might think. There are three different methods for tracking your reading:
· Simply cover up the words as you go
· Uncover the words as you go
· Or put your finger in the middle of a page
Chandler’s favorite method is to sit at a desk with his finger in the middle of the page he’s reading. This keeps him looking back and forth and scanning the page as he goes. He’s gone from hardly reading to reading a book a week, and recommends you try this method out for yourself!
Number 3: How To Read More Books
Finding time to read on a daily basis can be difficult. You likely have work, family, and friends, not to mention working out, meals, and sleep to consider. However, even finding 10-15 minutes a day has a compound effect on how many books you’ll end up reading.
Chandler has established a specific morning routine that allows him 30-45 minutes of reading every single work day. If you’re wondering how to make time for reading be sure to put it in your morning routine. You don’t need to start with 30-45 minutes a day, but even reading for 10-15 minutes every morning will impact your own, self-education in a positive way.
Not only will establishing a morning routine allow you the time and space to read more books, but tracking what you read will speed up your reading and allow you to get more read in the same amount of time.
Bonus: The Secret Of How To Read Faster
We’ve covered where you should be reading, how to track what you’re reading, and how to read faster. But you might still be sitting there thinking,
“I’m really not a reader. I love learning but when I pick up a book, it takes me so long to even turn one page. Reading is so important but my day is packed. I only have 10-15 minutes to read, on the weekends!”
Short on time to sit down with a book? Chandler has another method of reading that will greatly benefit you, especially if you have a long commute to work or a workout you just can’t miss.
Get those books read on audiobook!
Whether you’re on a flight, walking to a meeting, headed to the gym, or even at the gym, listening to an audiobook gives purpose to time that could be spent passively listening to the radio.
Reading doesn’t need to be viewed as simply a time with your eyes on the page, scanning word after word. Reading can also look like you on the treadmill, earbuds in, keeping your brain healthy and growing as you keep your body healthy and fit.
Chandler prefers to listen to audiobooks on 2 or 2.5 speed. This allows him to track faster with what’s being read and additionally get more books read in less time. He even listens to audiobooks as he scooters to his next destination!
If you’re just starting out listening to audiobooks, start listening at the normal speed. As you get used to actively listening and working to retain the information, try upping the speed to 1.5. As you grow as a reader/listener, you can up the speed even more.
If you already have a habit of listening to podcasts, simply swap some of your podcast time out for audiobooks. Chandler’s a fan of listening to audiobooks over podcasts because often, podcasts are a stream of thought. They aren’t as centralized or focused. On the other hand, books are way more intentional, practical, and laid out.
If you’re a writer yourself, you know the work it takes to create a book.
You have to get the idea, expand that idea into chapters, and then write it all down. That’s before the multiple drafts of editing! It’s only after countless hours of time, energy, thoughts, and lots of typing that the book’s theme is laid out in a reader-friendly way.
The privilege and opportunity of listening to a book while driving to work or running at the gym should be taken advantage of. Even if you’re not a reader, you can still get a lot of reading done.
How To Read More Books, Recap:
Making more time for reading and reading faster are goals that will change you as a writer and as a business person.
Yes, it takes effort to read, but the benefits far outweigh the effort it takes to get the habit started.
Establishing a specific amount of productive reading time into your morning routine will make the effort seem even easier to accomplish. Those 10-15 minutes of dedication will grow you as a person, in your business, as a writer, and as a reader. Your self-disciplined education will take you further than you realize.
So you’ve committed to reading.
You incorporated it into your morning routine.
You downloaded an audiobook app and are ready to go.
There’s one important question to ask before starting the first chapter of your next book.
What should you read?
Some questions to ask when considering what to read next are:
· What’s the field I’m working in?
· What subject most interests me?
· What’s a topic I’ve wanted to brush up on?
For a more in-depth video on how to pick which book to read next, click here.
The number one thing to consider when starting your reading journey is to be intentional with your reading.
It’s one thing to read every book that crosses your path. People love recommending books, and many of those recommendations are good, quality books that should be read.
However, it’s important to consider your own goals and aspirations when choosing the book you’re going to read next.
You could easily spend 10-15 minutes on your daily commute to work learning about a subject that will never be directly beneficial to you. While learning stretches and grows the mind no matter the topic, how much better to read a book that will directly impact your work/relationships/personal goals right now, today?
This is why choosing the right book is so important.
We all have the time to read. Whether that time looks like reading early in the morning as we work through our morning routine, or listening to an audiobook as we work out at the gym, we all have time to prioritize what’s truly important to us.
Choose the right place to read.
Let your mind be alert and ready to go.
Track what you’re reading so your time spent will be productive and efficient.
Read all the books you can, but make sure they support your goals and dreams.
Let us know what book you’re currently reading and how it’s impacting you. We’d love to hear!
Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Self-Publishing School may earn a comission if you click through to make a purchase.