How to Read a Book a Day

How to Read a Book a Day

When asked how I can read a book a day, many expect a long discussion of speed reading techniques from me.

And indeed, if you want to read a lot of books, doing it at 600-700 words per minute instead of the usual 200-300 can help you a lot.

However, they are a must two clarifications.

First of all, of course, I don't read a book a day every day, but only in certain periods. I think that, unless one does it for work or has nothing else to do, always reading a book a day is almost impossible.

Then, speed reading is the least important part equation. Because even the fastest of readers actually do little if, even before reading quickly, they don't have:

  • Motivation
  • Mindset
  • Organization

Anyone who runs knows the kilometers he travels every year they depend more on the three attitudes I just described that not by the actual speed with which it is able to do this.

Or in other words: one runs fast because he runs a lot, not the other way around!

The same way reading works: being fast is a consequence rather than a cause. 

So if you want to read a book a day, either a week, or several books a year, you need several combined strategies.

Below I share the 6 that I use, starting with the most important: understand that reading books must be a priority, not a pastime.

1 - Make reading books really important to you.

Study, work, children, friends, boyfriends, sports ... but not only!

If you read a personal growth and mental performance blog like mine, chances are you already have one long list of goals, habits, techniques that you grow or want to cultivate on a daily basis.

Meditate, write a diary, solve the Rubik's cube, memorize a deck of cards, learn 3 languages, walk on your hands, read minds, teleport yourself into a parallel dimension (joke ...) and so on.

It is clear that, in the midst of all these duties and desires, there may not be much time left.

In the rest of the article, we will then see some ways to make the most of when you read.

In the meantime, however, let's establish a fixed point: if you don't decide that reading is really important to you, not only will you not read a book a day, but I miss one a month.

So I suggest you some reasons why you may want to read so many books:

  • They teach you a lot of things
  • They take you to a space only yours, where you can reflect freely
  • They stimulate your creativity
  • They relax you
  • They help you understand and interpret the world
  • They increase your sensitivity
  • They make you dream, hope, think, cry, laugh

For all these reasons, just reading one book a week can change your whole life for the better.

If you don't convince yourself of this, everything else is useless. You will never read.

2 - Make a commitment to read every day

We all know how this kind of thing goes: you start the diet with great enthusiasm, then you go wrong one day, you go wrong the second and the diet goes to bless you.

Or maybe you join the gym, go there every day for a week, then 3 times, then never again.

Good intentions are by definition destined to remain so, unless you can turn them into a habit.

Pliny the Elder, in his Natural Stories, tells us the simple secret of the painter Apelles, the Leonardo da Vinci of antiquity: "Nulla dies sine linea".

That is, "Not a day without a line".

Phrase that, in the first place, recalls the need for daily exercise to achieve excellence.

Second, it marks the difference between what we make a habit, and then it becomes part of ourselves, and what, on the other hand, does not last long.

When small, even seemingly insignificant activities they add up to each other day after day, you can get great results

And so it is enough to do the math to see that, with about twenty pages a day (less than half an hour even for a slow reader), you can read a couple of books a month.

And if the pages become 40 and you use some simple quick reading technique, here it is with only 20 minutes of effort a day  you can read a book a week, or more than 99% of Spaniards.

And, when you have enough time and you are fast enough, reading a book a day is more than feasible: I guarantee it to you, who every year I dedicate a week of vacation to reading (if you can, do it, you will come out transformed) coming to easily "grind" 15-20 books in 7 days.

3- Create space and time to read

To make reading a habit you need to connect her to rituals and to create a specific space and time for her.

While if you read "when it happens and you have time" inevitably in the end you will never read.

Creating a specific space and time to read means entering into the mentality that, at X hours and in Y place, you have an appointment with your book every day.

An appointment you don't want to miss.

This type of Mindset:

  • It will defend you from the intrusions of the outside world: if others know that at that time and at that moment you are not available, they will eventually adapt (see the article on how to overcome the difficulty in concentrating)
  • It will help you keep the commitment to read with yourself

But if you really want to try to read one book a day, you still have to go one step further, surrounding yourself with opportunities to read:

  • Leave a book in the bathroom, one in the office, one in the car, one near the bedside table.
  • Do not be afraid to read several books at the same time, you will see that, on the contrary, it will be pleasant to connect them together.
  • Buy books that are as “portable” as possible, so that you can take them out at any time.
  • Wake up very early in the morning, even at 5 if necessary, and you can read with total concentration (on the great power of waking up before dawn I wrote an article that you can find here)
  • Follow the other rules you see below

4 -Put technology at the service of your reading

If all the dead times in which, by inertia and absent-mindedly, you check emails and social networks, became the time you dedicate to reading, here is than reading so many books it would be much easier.

Make sure you always have some books downloaded on your mobile phone, perhaps to be read with a Fast Reading App, such as:

  • Spreeder: Very user friendly, it is among the most used of all.
  • Acceleread: Almost a quick reading course. Full of tutorials, exercises and training tools

Then consider buying an e-reader.

I have been using the Amazon Kindle for more than 10 years, I have had all the models, and I really like the current one, the paperwhite.

Thanks to the Kindle (or other e-reader of your taste):

  • You will spend much less (ebooks have low prices, there are many free, you can make very affordable subscriptions)
  • You will be able to transport and consult entire libraries with great comfort
  • You can use some technological trinkets to make your reading work to the maximum: for example, all the phrases you underline on your Kindle can be consulted, book by book, by logging in with your amazon account and going to this link .com / notebook. 

Also the audiobooks sam an option that I recommend to anyone who wants to read a lot of books.

You can listen to them in the car, on the subway, and on all those occasions when pulling out a book is uncomfortable or when, perhaps, you are simply tired of reading. I don't really understand why they haven't "taken" yet, in Spain, since they are so comfortable.

By playing an audiobook at 3x or even 4x speed, you will also be able to simulate fast reading effectively and clearly (also because the starting speed of an audiobook is normally much lower than your reading speed)

5- Don't finish reading a book just because you started it

Some books must be tasted, others swallowed, still others, a few, must be chewed and digested. Sir Francis Bacon

That is: some books may be enough to read some fragment or part. Other books are to be read all in one go, without however needing to dwell too much. Finally, few should be read entirely, with diligence and attention.

There are millions of books, authors, genres, topics. So many that, who loves reading, suffers even just simply at the thought it is impossible to read them all. 

First of all, therefore, be well informed before buying a book and starting to read it.

To me, when I decide to read a book on a certain topic, it sometimes happens that I invest even more than an hour of time to choose the right one:

  • I look at the reviews (hardly ever those of customers, because they are often false; instead I look for those of specialists or authoritative sites)
  • I inquire about the author
  • I download a short free extract (one of the many advantages of the Kindle)
  • If I'm in the bookstore, I run it through my hands a bit by reading here and there (normally it is not forbidden, if you treat it with care)

In any case, as Bacon says, a book does not necessarily have to be read in its entirety: you can leave it halfway through, skip pieces, abandon it after a few pages or even - almost-quoting the Fleeing Moment - rip it off and then stand up in a chair if it really pisses you off. 

Get used to thinking of a new book as a new acquaintance: it is normal not to develop the same intensity of relationship with everyone you meet.

There are those who like to see an aperitif and a few dinners every now and then, who would be a weekend of fantastic passion, who would carry you around for a lifetime and who, finally, makes you turn away every time you see.

6 - Learn fast reading and skimming

And finally, but only finally, try to read faster.

To read a typical 50-60-word book, if you go at an average speed of 200 words per minute it will take you about 5 hours.

If you read at double the speed it will take you two and a half hours; if triple, just over an hour. They are not impossible speeds, but they certainly require a lot of training: the concepts of speed reading can be learned in a few hours, while applying them well takes weeks / months.

But maybe you don't want to invest all the effort and time it takes to get that kind of result, because it seems to you that even reading a book, in that way, becomes a stress.

I can understand it. Then simply try to use the easiest and most immediate techniques:

  • Read by scrolling the text with your finger or a pen, to give you a high rhythm and avoid regress saccades (these are the movements of the eyes backwards on the staff, which we do without even realizing it)
  • Just barely widen your field of view, to see even half a word more than you usually see

Go to my free quick reading guide to find out how.

Read, Understand, Memorize

I think we all agree that reading a lot of books only makes sense if you understand and remember what you need.

This does not need to happen at the same level as when you study.

However, even when you are reading for your own pleasure, at least some general ideas, more relevant than others, must stay in your head, otherwise you have wasted time.

As you read a book then, get used to doing at least one (but possibly all) of these things:

  • Underline; not so much, even just one concept per page or less is often enough. You don't have to take an exam so you really just need to focus on the essentials
  • Take notes in the margin; to rewrite a concept in a simpler way or to write down an idea that came to you
  • Make a mental summary, at the end of each chapter, of what has stuck with you; in this regard, I love those books that give a summary at the end of each chapter! It helps you to immediately make the active recall so useful for memorization

A last very valid exercise is that to tell someone, briefly, what you have read.

For example, my wife, always seeing me there with my nose on my Kindle, often asks me "What are you reading today?"

When I can tell it to him in 2 minutes with clarity and enthusiasm (see Feynman's Technique), it means that I am enjoying the book and leaving something inside.

But when I start mumbling a couple of concepts without rhyme or reason and in doing so I am the first to get bored, here I know that something, in the relationship between me and the book in question, is going wrong.

Greetings, Armando.

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