I’m a huge fan of reading. Last year I read 50 books! To be exact, I read 58 books in 2016. And 53 in 2015.
You may think that to read 50 books in only 365 days requires a lot of time! Believe me, it isn’t hard!
The quantity of the books that you read isn’t what matters the most. But the quality! Because if you are reading 20 books per month, but you didn’t extract a single idea or insight from it, I’m not sure if you’re choosing the right books to read.
In the first 6 months of 2016 I read a lot of books, most of them were fictional. Because in that time, it was something I wanted to read.
It that doesn’t mean that all the fiction books I read were really good. No. There were some that I didn’t enjoy.
What I am trying to say is: read the genres you are willing to read in the moment. But instead of choosing poor quality books, do your research and find what the most successful and cult leaders are reading.
Yes, I also read books sporadically, that I haven’t seen any recommendation, but I was willing to take the risk. The cool thing is, if you don’t like a book, don’t finish it! But we are going to talk about that later!
So if you are interested in learning my method to read 50 books in a year, here’s how you can do it:
1#: Read Every Day
This is really important! If you’re really trying to read more, you need to create a habit of reading. Just as you do with anything else, right?
If you want to start working out, you simply start going to the gym and you create a routine around it. You need to do the same thing with reading.
Establish the hours of the day that you want to read. In my case, I would go to bed early and read, at least 30 minutes.
Sometimes, the book is so good that you will not be able to stop. Which means staying up till you finish it… But that’s a problem all readers face!
You can also read during your lunch break, or when you are in public transportation. It doesn’t matter where or when, the key is to read consistently every day, and turn reading into a habit. To make sure you are actually able to read 50 books this year!
As I mentioned before, you need to read at least 30 minutes per day. What if you want to read more but the time is running low?
That’s why audiobooks are a big part of most people’s routines. They are a part of my routines too, because of the value they bring me every single day.
Basically, you need a subscription audiobook service. The most well-known is Audible. I also use Ubooks.
The best thing about Audible is the quantity of audiobooks they have for you to listen too. You can also enjoy a free audiobook, if it’s the first time you are signing up.
We all have those times, when we are doing tasks that don’t allow us to read at the same time. Still, those tasks don’t require much of our attention.
For example, have you ever read a physical book while cleaning your house? I’m pretty sure you haven’t. And that is why audiobooks are changing the world!
The next time you decide to clean you house, you can read at the same time! Just decide which book you want to read, put a pair of headphones, and that’s it! Let the knowledge come to you!
For some people, it’s difficult to read a book in public transportation, because of all the noise or headaches they get. With audiobooks this problem is eliminated.
There’s no more excuses to those people who complain having no time to read.
I also set my audiobook velocity to 2x, which allows me to “read” in half of the time! It is one of the best trick I’ve found, because it takes me the same amount of time to read 50 books or 25 (in normal speed).
3#: Read what you feel like
This is really important, because sometimes, I would oblige myself to read a book to its last page. Even though I wasn’t enjoying it.
This is a really bad habit that most people have. The need to finish a book even if they are hating it! I am fighting to combat this habit, because it makes me bored!
Sometimes, you really feel like starting a book that is sitting in your shelf for months. And you do it. What happens next?
- You hate the book
- You don’t hate the book but you don’t feel like reading it
- The book is really good and you want to keep reading it
Those are the 3 things that can happen. What to do in each of them?
If you chose the number 1: give up on the book! That’s easy. If something isn’t interesting to you, don’t force it. Put the book in the shelf again, or even consider giving it to somebody else.
Sometimes we force ourselves to read books that we don’t enjoy for school or college assignments. And that is one of the main reasons some people claim they hate to read! Because they are reading books that don’t interest them. Stop reading those books, right now!
If you chose number 2: it’s ok to not feel like reading a specific book. Even if you’re enjoying it, sometimes you feel like it’s not the right time to read it. Put the book in stand-by and make it wait for your interest again.
The important thing is, if you feel like reading a specific book, go ahead and read it. But if in the next day you don’t, don’t read it!
If you chose the number 3: you are fine. Keep going!
4#: Read book recommendations
Sometimes you are looking to start a new book, but you aren’t sure of what to read.
In this case, I recommend you to find book recommendations from important and successful people. That doesn’t mean it’s certain you are going to love the book, but at least you know someone who enjoyed it.
There are a lot of really successful entrepreneurs, bloggers, podcasters, writers, etc, that share their favourite books with their readers.
I usually like to choose books from those people recommendations. Because if they are recommending it, it is mostly because they learnt things that might be useful for me too.
Also, by reading what successful people read, makes you feel closer to that person. Consider maybe sending them an email, thanking them to the book recommendations they made. And how those books changed your life too.
You can apply this principle to people who you personally know, and are also big fans of reading. They will probably know some books titles you should read.
5#: Read books with intentions
This is something that I recently started trying. As I’m a really fan of setting intentions to everything I must do, why not being intentional with books too?
Before I start a book, I write (or just think), about what I’m trying to learn with it.
For example, if I grab a copy of a book that teaches me, how I can write faster and better, I set my intentions of what I pretend to learn with it.
Here’s how I would set my intentions for that specific example:
- Learn tips on how I can write faster
- Understand how I can improve my writing quality
- Find Tools that might be useful on the writing process
If I’m in the middle of the book, and I haven’t learned anything of I wanted to, I simply gave up on that book.
The key is to know in the first place, why are you reading a certain book. And if it doesn’t fit your intentions, put it away.
When I read a book without setting my intentions first, I have no expectations. And so, whatever the author decides to teach seems ok to me.
Here’s another example of how I would set my intentions in a book about “how you can be more productive doing chores.”
- Tips to be more productive doing chores
When I feel like I had enough insights, and my intentions are fulfilled, I stop reading the book. And I consider it finished! I’m not waiting to see what other tips the author may give me about being productive at work or gym.
Like I told you, this is something I only start doing a few month ago. And the results are incredible! Because I don’t need to read more, if I already learnt everything I needed to!
As you know, most publishers force writers to repeat the same content over and over again, just to make sure they fill all the pages. And most of the times, a 300 pages book, has only a quarter of pages with new content (non-fiction books). The rest, is just repetition and the content being told in different ways.
So if you feel you already got what you were looking for in that book, mark it as complete!
6#: Track your Progress
This is really important if you are committed to read 50 books this year. Because yes, it is possible to read that much.
I keep a record of the books I read in the month, the time it took me to finish them, and other considerations I might want to track.
In the end of the month, you must check your progress and see how many books you read. And if you are actually enjoying reading them. If you aren’t, you need to do your research in order to find better books.
For example, if in the end of January you only read 1 book, than you need to read more in the next months, in order to achieve your goal.
That’s why I try my best to read at least, 3 books a month. But in Summer, I read way more than that. Which is enough to complete my annual goal.
I do not read 50 books just because it seems like reading a lot. I read because I love to read, it’s one of my favourite things ever!
And I do not believe in people who say: “I don’t like to read”.
Believe me, if you find a book that you enjoy, you will never say that again. So don’t give up finding books that you will enjoy, that is what matters the most.
7#: Knowledge & Entertainment
I do love to read fiction (addicted to J.K.Rowling). Last year, I read a considerable amount of fiction books, because I was feeling like it. I do not regret it though, because I found great books!
But, sometimes we read too many fiction. And it is also important to read non-fiction books that will bring us more value and knowledge.
Since I started reading non-fiction books, I haven’t stopped. Because I discovered the potential of those books, and the impact they have on me.
I love to read, and I know I love to learn and get more insights and ideas. If I can combine those two, I’m a perfectly happy human being.
Seriously, reading non-fiction books completely changed my life! All books have the power to change your life, but finding a fiction book that changes your perspective is much difficult to happen, than in a non-fiction one.
If you never gave those books a chance, you have no idea of what you are losing. You can find books in whatever topic you want to.
Maybe you are a huge fan of gardening, makeup, marketing, organisation, biohacking, etc. Believe me, there will be enough books to cover your passion.
#8: Read 50 books!
In resume, whatever you feel like reading, read! If you are here, it is because you are interested in reading more by creating a habit from it.
There’s no such excuse as: “I don’t have time”. Because audiobooks are going to fulfil your needs! You can read a book anywhere, at any time. Even using your smart phone to buy a copy of a digital book (e-book).
Just think of all the positive benefits you could be getting if you read more than you do right now. If you can’t find any, think twice, and rethink the books you are choosing.
We all have, at least, one friend that enjoys reading a lot. You could ask him/her books that he/she recommends. It’s an easy way to find powerful and interesting books.
Do you want to read 50 books this year? Here’s how:
- #1: Read Every Day – read at least 30 minutes per day
- 2#: Audiobooks – listen to an audiobook while you are doing other things
- 3#: Read what you feel like – if you feel like reading a book today, go ahead. If tomorrow you don’t want to read it anymore, just don’t!
- 4#: Read book recommendations – search what are the most successful people’s favourite books.
- 5#: Read book with intentions – why are you reading that book? What do you want to learn and gain from it?
- 6#: Track your Progress – keep a record of the books you read each month.
- 7#: Knowledge & Entertainment – if you like to read fiction, read it! But don’t forget the benefits of learning while you read non-fiction books.
- 8#: Read – the most important of all, read! And if you want read 50 books this year, go ahead!
Make reading a habit for your life! That’s what the most successful entrepreneurs are doing.
Actually, if I could I would spend my whole day reading!