Opinion: How to Read More

Sufyan Maan, M.Eng
Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible. — Barack Obama

Undoubtedly, reading improves your knowledge, attention, and perspective.

I was completing 10–12 books every year. When I saw the statistics, I figured that was the average number for any reader. And I used to believe I was a voracious reader.

Then, in 2005, I developed the practice of reading two books at the same time and making a point of quitting if I wasn’t enjoying it. That was one habit that encouraged me to read more.

I was disappointed that I did not learn this habit sooner in life. Why did I wait for a long time?

Based on anecdotes, here are my top five reading habits.

#1 Share with your friends and family

I know it seems weird, but this simple method will trick your brain into being more accountable.

Maybe your cousin or buddy will ask you how many books you’ve read so far at the next get-together. Would you be willing to provide any suggestions?

For example, in my company’s Slack channel, I post brief book reviews or one-sentence habit builders.

Yes, we have a book club channel where all voracious readers share what they’re reading and what they’ve learned from the books.

#2 Change your mindset about completing a book

I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with me. To put it simply, if you don’t love doing something, it’s unlikely that you’ll not build sustainable habits.

I promised myself that if I didn’t enjoy the book after the first 10–15 pages, I’d put it down and move on to the next one. This method accomplishes two goals.

i) It’s okay to leave if you do not enjoy it.

ii) I don’t feel bad about giving up. Because I literally give a solid shot.

#3 Read on Kindle

Kindle is a life-changing experience. You can carry as many books as you want and also create lists, highlights, notes, a built-in dictionary, listen (audiobooks), etc.

I take my Kindle Signature Edition (Amazon Affiliate link) when I go to the cabin/cottage to spend a week without internet.

I used to read physical books and digital on iPad mini. I traveled a lot before the pandemic and it's going to start again after the pandemic. It's hard to take physical books with you and they are expensive too.

I am actually trying to convince you to buy Kindle based on my experience. I am using this new Kindle for more than 6 months, and I must say it will add value to your life in the long run.

In the worst-case scenario, you can always return within 15 days if you do not like it.

Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition features

Waterproof (Being an avid hiker, I love this feature)
Listen to audiobooks via Airpods or wireless headphones
Battery timing is insane 8+ weeks — one charge for an avid reader
Wireless charging
Auto-adjust light — it feels like a book
Your eyes will say thanks to you

I enjoy traveling and spending time in nature, particularly mountains, so packing a few books was difficult. Kindle solved that problem.

#4 Read 2–3 different topics

This tip will help you to keep going on your reading journey. At any given time, I read 2–3 different subjects.

For example, nowadays I am really trying to comprehend the investing, personal finance, and crypto journey therefore, I bought 10+ books on investing to understand the subject.

I picked this habit from Indra Nooyi’s book, My Life in Full (former CEO of Pepsi), a great inspirational piece and easy to read.

I love reading about personal development, investing, entrepreneurship, and new technologies. Therefore, at any given time, I have 2–3 books going on, as you can see in the above image.

#5 Keep your books in front of your eyes

This tip will always remind you to read more. You can keep physical books on the desk, bedroom, or living room.

I am fortunate to have a tiny cozy place called study, where I have my small office room where books, especially Kindle, are prominently displayed, as shown in the image.

Reading benefits

For me, reading plays a pivotal role in getting financial freedom in the next couple of years. It’s all about learning and applying.

I always read on the topic which I want to improve my knowledge. I believe that reading should be purposeful. A simple Google search will help you to find more in detail. Here are some benefits of reading.

reading improves your mental health
boost your focus in life
reduce stress level
lower your blood pressure
study shows that reading also helps you to sleep better

Thank you for reading!

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