How to read more books -- with this one weird trick!
Did the crappy clickbait title get you?! Did it?! The 'one weird trick'?! Yes, obviously it did. You're here.
Great. Welcome to the first of the productivity posts focused on reading and writing.
There's no 'weird trick' or magic blue pill to strengthen your book-libido, but wait! Don't leave yet! I do have a few tips which might help you read a hell of a lot more, a hell of a lot more often. I was reading 2-3 books a year for the longest time. All of us bookish people know what it's like to not have enough time to read. Last year I had a goal to read 12 books. One per month. I ended up reading 21. (Yes, they vary in size but most were novels.) Here I want to talk briefly about some things I tired to make that happen. And the best part is, I didn't really have to 'make' much time. I just had to find it where it already existed. Hopefully, you can find something below you might find useful.
A Car Book
I always have a paperback for the car. Lunch or break at work? Read. Getting an oil change? Read. In a waiting room? READ. Standing in line to buy a book, or new piece of tech? REEEAAADDDD. In line at the grocery store before a massive storm hits town and flings you into an ice age for a week? Freakn' READ. Own it. That beautiful paperback baby GOES PLACES. IT GETS AROUND. But that's OK. She's with you the whole time.
Keeping a book in the car to fill the boring moments of life is 10,000x better than mindlessly scrolling through the wastelands of social media. Forget that noise.
SHHHH! Can you hear that?
That's right. It's Neil Gaiman in your car. His beautiful voice is reading his book Neverwhere. Or, maybe you've got the mighty Wil Wheaton reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Audiobooks. Yes, it's not "READING", but it's still consuming. You're consuming that story! This isn't the best way to consume all books but it's a great way to fill the dead silent air in your commute to and from work. If a book sits at 80,000 words, it's usually just under 9 hours in audio form. Look at that. Hour commute? You consume a book in under a week. Even faster if you speed the book up from 1x to 1.25x the speed.
Multiple Books. Multiple Places.
The real key to increasing your reading is to STAY CONSISTENT. Does the thought of having three or four books going at the same time scare you? It scared me at one point. But the super-secret key to making it work, is to consume the books consistently. Don't listen in the car for a couple days, then take a week off and listen to Lil Wheezy or whoever the heck the kids with bad taste are listening to these days. You. Will. Forget. What's. Happening. In. The story. After you start, stay consistent.
As of this moment I'm listening to a Patrick Rothfuss book in the car. I'm trying out a newer author for my car book. I've got a book I read before bed each night, and another audiobook for the gym. Some days, it feels like I have the memory span of a brain damaged goldfish, but ya know what? It's never affected my reading three or four books at a time. If I can do it, you can too. It just takes the discipline to stay consistent.
There you go.
Maybe my little rant gave you some ideas or encouragement. Or it didn't. Nevertheless, reading is important. Everyone should be consuming stories. Why? That's another blog post.
Until the next one,