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How to read 10 books in a year

How many books do you read every year? For a lot of people, this might be two, one, or even none. Why is reading important? It exposes us to new ideas, information, and new points of view. Books can be a great source of imagination and adventure, especially for fiction. Non-fiction books can introduce you to new practices and concepts; sometimes these can be stranger than fiction. Reading is something that is easy to procrastinate on: too tired, too busy, too many other things to do. Perhaps you have a shelf of books that now is just too intimidating to start.

In a previous post i talked about goal setting and tracking. This can be done in much the same way. What does it take to read 10 books in a year? Reading around 10 pages a day. This assumes the average book length is just over 300 pages. That’s it. You can read 10 pages, right?

The best way is to set aside some time each day. Figure out how much time you need to read 10 pages. For some books, those with complex yet poetic prose and complex ideas, this may take an hour; that is okay, since it is part of the enjoyment. For simpler passages, and perhaps on average, you can expect to take about 1 minute per page. That’s 10 minutes in total per day.

If you can’t read that quickly, no problem. Perhaps your first books can be one on speed reading. It takes practice reading at speed. This includes practising how to retain the main points the passage.

There are also other ways to “read” books than looking at paper. Say you have a long commute, you could get a book on CD. Listening to books being read is a great alternative to music in terms of entertainment value, and beats talk radio any day of the week. The selection here is more limited, but there is still many to choose from. While this is slower and doesn’t train your reading skills, is does maintain many of the benefits of exposure to new ideas. Give it a try, you local biblio will have a good selection of these.

And, if you paid attention to the other article, you’ll also realise that if you miss a day it isn’t a good idea to catch up. Just go with it and keep your 10 page pace today: you’ll be more likely to read you goal of 10 books in the coming year.

That’s it. All it takes is a 10 minute per day commitment to read 10 books in a year. You may have more time or read faster — great, feel free to set your goals at whatever level you think is achievable.

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