Useful Tips

How to learn to read more books?


A book is centuries-old wisdom. Wonderful worlds, interesting adventures, exciting love stories, consideration of current philosophical issues, entertaining polemics - all this and many more heart-breaking stories and intricate stories on the pages of books.

But not always among a ton of literature you will immediately find the answer to your question. Therefore, there is an interest in learning how to read more books. Although in fact, you would have a strong desire, and the occasion is very easy to always find. It is on stimulus and motivation that we will work.

Have you ever seen people who are popularly called Book Worms? If you need to make up a characteristic for this category of people, then the eternal reading of books will be the hallmark.

Children who fall into this caste can delightfully read the nights over the span, climbing up under the covers with a flashlight. Adults take books with them on public transport, read on the bus and metro. It seems that no power in the world can tear them from the book. What became a catalyst for them?

First of all, they all found themselves in the literature. Perhaps someone was carried away by action-packed detectives, but someone closer to the poems of Alexander Pushkin, while others adore Sergei Yesenin. Try to clearly define your tastes. Try reading different books. Starting from short stories and ending with novels.

The first rule of those who want to learn to read a lot of books is, paradoxically, to learn how to throw literature that they don’t like. If you make your way through the jungle of letters, then you have flipped through one, second, third page, but it still does not go.

Feel free to set the book aside. Most likely she is not yours. Try something different. Find information that interests you in another source. To confirm this theory, I will give a work that is studied according to the school curriculum.

Surely you read this classic - Daniel Defoe "Robinson Crusoe". So, it is surprising, but the fact that not all children are interested in reading about life on a deserted island. Many cannot overpower even half of the material, while other children “swallow” the whole novel in a matter of days.

It would seem that the plot is the same. The audience of schoolchildren is approximately the same, all children of the same age have similar interests, so what's wrong? Teachers also thought about such a strange trend (one of them just shared her observations - author's comment).

As it turned out, the problem is not in the aesthetic taste of children, everything is much simpler. The children come across a book of different publications, where, naturally, different translators worked on the text. The most popular and successful was a literary translation, with the division of the novel into chapters, rather than a continuous text. It is easier for children (and adults too) to perceive the text in smaller sections than in a large piece.

Why such a long story, you ask? But it is of great value. This case once again emphasizes the importance of choosing quality books. Take the time to read the annotation and reviews before making your choice as a home reading. Thus, you will be able to save your time, and not spend it on frank consumer goods.

In conclusion, I would like to make a few rules that will help you read more.

Develop a habit read every dayat what not less than one hour.

Always determine the purpose of reading - search for the exact date (then look with your eyes for numbers, and do not focus on all the material), advanced training (it is important not the number of pages read, but how much useful you have learned from this), rest (you can read the book by skipping some scenes, as if diagonally )

Bring a book with you everywhere. Now it’s not difficult to do this, due to the advent of electronic gadgets, where you can download at least the entire library. Try to read in your free time. For example, when standing in a long line or going home.

Throw uninteresting books and those that are difficult for you to read. Do not torment yourself with a “high” style that you cannot understand. Each book has its own time.

Chat with people who read a lot of books. They will be able to give you advice on what is better to read, and you can also discuss what they read with them.

Make book lists. This may be a list of books read per month. Or a list of the books you want to read. Or a list of books in the fantasy genre. And do not let your imagination run thin.

Answer yourself the main question

First of all, you need to honestly answer yourself to a difficult question: do I really want to read, or just think i want of this? For all the seeming strangeness, this question is important, but not only - it is also inconvenient, since it requires some psychological work on oneself. It may well be that the answer you receive will be unexpected. For example, like this: “in fact, I don’t want to read anymore, but want to want read more. "

The fact is that more recently, reading books was considered the responsibility of every educated person. But the world has changed, and now it’s not so much “readiness” (that is, “storing” in the memory of a huge amount of information) that matters, but the knowledge of where this information can be found (in other words, the ability to quickly “google”). Reading has become one of the options for spending time, but at the same time, the installation of the fact that you need to read books continues to firmly own the minds of many people. For this reason, some people feel uncomfortable - because they don’t read, but are afraid to admit to themselves that they don’t really want to read. Like other negative psychological attitudes, it is worth getting rid of this, having realized and accepted your desires.

But even if you suddenly realize that you don’t want to read, then this is not a reason to refuse books - perhaps your discovery will help to realize that reading is not an obligation at all, but a real pleasure. And then you can look at books differently.

Well, in the event that you decide that you have a sincere desire to read more books, the matter will remain small - to find time for this and a little motivation.

By the way, the fact mentioned above that reading has lost its binding does not mean at all that literature is no longer important. She continues to fulfill her function as a source of information and entertainment. And most importantly, literature today, as in previous centuries, largely forms national cultural codes, immersion in which is necessary for full socialization.

Read what you are interested in

People are very fond of compiling ratings and lists of “compulsory” literature with titles like “One Hundred Books Every Educated Person Should Read”. Of course, sometimes such things are useful, as they allow us to structure information and somehow orient us in the vast literary ocean. But often, these lists interfere, giving rise to "reader frustration" - a rare phenomenon, but not as much as one might think. This happens something like this. A person takes a science fiction novel, begins to read, but in the background he feels shame (often unconscious) for spending time on “empty entertainments”, while it would be more correct to join Shakespeare in the original or read something that has applied value.

So: this installation harms. Read what interests you, and not what is considered “necessary” and “important” (by the way, who exactly “appoints” some books as “useful” and others as “useless?) Literature division (as well as other areas of art) to "high" and "low", "serious" and "entertaining", in many ways conditional. Every genre has its pearls. And here, as always in life, it is worth relying on your desires and preferences.

Fiction, memoirs, biographies, non-fiction, books on self-development, sentimental prose - choose what you want. First find your book, and then - time for reading it.

We make a reservation that ratings, reviews, literary awards, reviews of critics, bloggers and other readers are all very important, as it allows us to navigate the world of literature. But the main thing here is to realize that the final choice of books remains with you, and no one else will do it for you. Use someone else’s opinion as a compass, but choose your own direction.

Carry books with you

This is the main rule of every avid reader. Even if your day is scheduled in seconds, it is not a fact that a window will not appear in this schedule. Use time well.

And if you are uncomfortable wearing thick volumes everywhere, then maybe you should think about electronic or audio books? About this in the next paragraph.

Decide on the media format

Paper, electronic "readers", tablets, smartphones - these are all different types of text carriers. Is it really important which surface you are reading from?

For some, yes. Everyone knows that many people prefer the classic paper books. This is easily explained - the book is pleasant to hold in your hands (especially if it is of high quality), the rustling of the pages and even their smell give pleasure. This attitude to books is worthy of respect. But it is not always possible to carry heavy tomes with you. Electronic media allows you to take entire libraries on the road, so you can choose what to read on the way to work, on a walk or on a trip.

It is easier for many people to perceive information by ear - in this case, audio books come to the rescue, which can be downloaded to a player or smartphone. This decision has an important advantage - your hands in the process of "reading" will be free.

Gamify the reading process

In other words, add a reading element to the game. Again, the option is not for everyone. But if you are not alien to the spirit of competition, then you can try.

Now on the Internet, various book "challenges" are very popular (from English challenge - challenge) and reading marathons. It is easy to learn about them on thematic sites and in social networking communities. Within the framework of such “challenges,” people give each other “tasks” to read certain books, or to read a certain number of books in a certain time.

It is not necessary to receive tasks from other readers - you can completely come up with them for yourself, and then tell your friends about it on social networks (for example, letting them know that you intend to read one new book every week and share your impressions - it is possible that some of your friends will pick up your initiative and also join in such intellectual fun).

The main thing - do not turn reading into a duty. If you feel that the promise to read something will hang over you with a sword of Damocles - it’s better not to.

Surround yourself with readers

Build your environment, and in response, it will form your useful habit of reading more books. Join book publishers, chat with literary bloggers.

If you prefer "live" communication, then attend meetings with writers, reading clubs, various events like the "Library" and a variety of literary quests. Fortunately, there are plenty of such things in large cities. And if in your village there are no such events - maybe you should think about finding like-minded people and organizing them yourself?

Main rule

Finally, we got to the universal recipe promised at the beginning of the article. True, he has already appeared in one form or another in each of the points listed above. This recipe is simple: read with pleasure, do not turn reading into a burdensome duty or work.

And finally, a few books about reading, literature, and how interesting this can be. Here are books by writers and critics, oriented to the reader with any level of training. For the widest public - books by Galina Yuzefovich and Dmitry Bykov, for the more sophisticated - Umberto Eco and Dmitry Sergeyevich Likhachev. If you want to understand more deeply what literature is, read these works.

1. Throw books that could not interest you

Many are sure that they show weakness when they quit reading in the middle or after only a few dozen read pages. Therefore, they continue to read the book, even if they absolutely do not like the plot. However, this approach is erroneous. If at some point you understand that the book does not bring you any benefit or pleasure, feel free to put it aside. This will allow you to devote more time to the literature that is really capable of inspiring you and giving incredible emotions.

2. Use your free time to read.

Many successful people claim that one of the secrets of their outstanding achievements is books, the study of which they devoted at least a few hours a day. If you are very busy, then always take the book with you so that you can read at least a few pages during the free minutes that arise. For example, reading can brighten up time spent in traffic, queues or public transportation. Sometimes people complain about the lack of time to read books, but spend whole hours on social networks. It all depends on your priorities and desire to develop.

3. Minimize the impact of external factors that prevent you from focusing.

The reading process will be much less effective if you are distracted by various external factors, such as a working TV or laptop. As a result, you will spend all your strengths not on concentrating on what you read, but on fighting the temptation to postpone reading and check social networks or watch an interesting story. If you are forced to read in a noisy and crowded place, use special anti-noise headphones.

4. Choose paper books

Paper books - this is the best option for those who can not resist the temptation to go online when reading on various electronic devices. It’s not worth checking once again how strong your willpower is. Paper editions not only help to completely immerse themselves in reading, but also experience the pleasant tactile sensations arising at the moment of contact with the paper.

5. Learn to treat reading differently

It is difficult for many to read books because they perceive this process as a duty, a task that must be fulfilled. With this approach, turning reading into a habit will be extremely problematic. You must strive to ensure that books become an integral part of your life, become something natural and as important as sleep or air. To do this, choose only books that interest you, reading which you can completely immerse yourself in the world described on paper, forgetting for a while about reality. If it’s still difficult for you to achieve this state, start at least a few pages a day. Such daily practice will teach you to read. After a certain time, you will not even notice how you can read dozens of pages at a time.

6. Do not be afraid to use various lists of recommended literature

If you don’t have time to independently choose a book for reading, choose literature using various book collections. Today on the Internet there are many book lists, the literature for which is selected by authoritative publications or famous and successful personalities. For example, you can choose a book from a selection of people whose activities delight, motivate and inspire you.

Do not chase the number of books read, it is better to focus on the quality and assimilation of what you read. Not everyone is able to master a hundred books in one year or hundreds of pages in one day. However, if you use the recommendations in this article, you will definitely start reading more.

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The main trick for reading more

When people ask me how I manage to read so many books, they usually expect some quick reading technique that will help their brain swallow the whole book. A quick read does play a role in my reading (more on this later), but this is not my main secret.

Move closer. I will whisper to tell you the secret of how to read more books. Ready?

Need to spend more time reading.

I spend a lot of time reading, as it is part of my work. To prepare for the podcast, I read a book written by my guest. When I write articles, I read books for research. Reading is among my job responsibilities.

To be surprised at how many books I read during the year is the same as wondering at how many current taps a plumber fixed in a year. Not so impressive when you have such a job.

Considering all this, except for the books that I read last year to work on our blog, I still manage to read 2-3 books a month for fun. These are more than two dozen non-work books in 12 months. Я думаю, что такое количество большинство людей даже с самым загруженным графиком сумеют переварить за год.

Получается, что первый секрет того, как читать больше книг – тратить на чтение больше времени. Где взять время?

Запланируйте время для чтения

Найти время для чтения нельзя – время для него нужно выделить. И лучший способ выделить подо что-либо время – внести это в ежедневный план. Не нужно выделять сразу целый час только для чтения. If you are just starting to devote time to reading, you probably will not be able to devote so much attention to it, and if you try to read so long in one sitting, you will most likely only be disappointed. Instead, set aside 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening for reading. Yes, you can even allocate 20 minutes, if half an hour seems too long for you. Instead of killing time on your smartphone as usual, read on. You will be surprised how many books can be processed in a month by reading hourly a day.

Use all free minutes to read.

Even if your daily schedule seems too tight, there will always be small empty stretches of time that are usually lost. A few minutes of rest between classes or meetings may seem like a trifle, but they quickly add up to hours and to entire books read, great opportunities are hidden in free moments!

Are you waiting in line at the post office? [It seems that this is something universal / approx. trans.] Read the book. Cooling in line to the dentist? Read a book. Sitting on the potty? Read a book. Waiting at school to pick up a child? Read a book. I even read between weightlifting approaches.

The easiest way to be ready to read when you have a free minute is to download the Kindle application to your phone. You almost always have a telephone with you, so you will always have a library with you. And it's also inexpensive - you can always download thousands of classic books for free.

Avoid reading from a smartphone

So I just advised you to use the Kindle app on your smartphone to read more. And now I will completely refute this advice, advising you to avoid reading from your smartphone as much as possible. Let me explain.

I found that when I read from a smartphone, I’m constantly distracted. I read it for 5 minutes, and then I feel like checking my email or flipping through Instagram. I will check other applications and get back to reading. Five minutes later, the need returns, and I repeat this cycle. I never get a good, focused reading when I read from a smartphone.

As a result, I try to read paper books as much as possible. Moreover, studies claim that reading comprehension increases if you read an analog book compared to reading from digital devices. This may be due to the fact that you just concentrate more using paper.

Another advantage of paper books is that it’s easier to make notes and notes in them than in electronic readers (more on this later). And although I try to read as many paper books as possible, there is a place for digital ones in my schedule. I use the Kindle app in my free moments. Such moments last from 5 to 15 minutes, or approximately as long as I can read until I have the desire to check other applications.

Of course, I read different books on the phone and on paper, it would be too much a headache to switch between the digital and paper versions of one book. At any given time, I am reading one paper book and another book in the Kindle application, and often the latter will be “easier” to read, because I will not be able to concentrate on it for a long time.

Take advantage of travel time

If you go to work by metro or bus, use this time to read. Before our editor Jeremy started working with us, he went to work every day by bus and used this time for reading. During this time he read several books.

My favorite time to read is on the plane. You will be surprised how much you can read in an hour or two in the absence of distractions depending on WiFi. During this time, you can manage to read the whole book. Short, naturally. During the two-hour flights, I managed to read books like The Road, The Great Gatsby, The Death of a Salesman, Bhagavad Gita, and The Innovator's Dilemma. The next time you plan to fly on an airplane, do not load the phone with movies and applications, download it with books. Better take one or two paper books with you.

Listen to audio books

I do not listen to a lot of audio books, this is not my favorite method of consuming literature. But if I go on a long trip, in which I spend most of all behind the wheel, I will buy a couple of books on Audible to spend time. If you spend a lot of time on the road, your time behind the wheel can be a great opportunity to consume a large library of books.

Professional advice: increase the playback speed by 1.5 - 2 times. You can understand everything, but it will allow you to finish the book faster.

Strategic Speed ​​Reading

As I mentioned, when people ask me how I read so many books, they often assume that I use speed reading. But when I use the methods mentioned above, I usually read at normal speed (I think that my speed is slightly above average, but not so fast as to be called speed reading).

Speed ​​reading courses advertise as an opportunity for amazing understanding while reading a million words per minute. It is not true. With a lot of training, it is possible to increase the reading speed, while maintaining a good perception of the material, but the more you accelerate, the more material will inevitably be lost. Therefore, I do not like speed reading.

But sometimes I really use speed reading or scroll through books. Only I do it strategically. Certain types of books are well suited for speed reading. These are business books and popular self-help books - those sold at the airport bookstore. Such books are usually formatted so that they are easy to run through. They often use headlines, bold sentences, and use bulletin lists. These books can be read and flipped through quite quickly, while understanding the material. The additional text in them usually does not add much meaning, they usually contain stories from life that demonstrate how certain principles can be used. Such stories may be interesting, but usually they are just commonplace.

Another reason why such books are easy to read quickly is because they mostly talk about the same thing. If you read one book on personal growth, you read them all. I can’t calculate how often I read about the “marshmallow experiment” or the “invisible” gorilla on the basketball court. As soon as I meet the mention of the “marshmallow experiment” in the book, I immediately flip through all the pages with its description and the obligatory explanation of the importance of deferred remuneration, because I already read about it dofigliard times.

And although I quickly read / leaf through books on business and personal development, I do not leaf through books that require concentration and attention for a complete understanding - philosophy, history, science. For example, the book “After Virtue” by Alasder McIntyre is very difficult to understand, even if you read it at the speed of a snail, it would be impossible to understand it at high speed.

Also, I do not use speed reading in fiction. Firstly, in such stories there are many nuances that can be lost when scrolling. Secondly, they are often filled with literary embellishments that need to be read slowly and intentionally in order to truly enjoy them. If you read Dickens or Austin quickly (yes, there’s a place for Jane Austen in the men's library), you’ll miss all the prose that needs to be appreciated. And finally, reading fiction should be fun. Why would you have to rush in a hurry, driving a pleasant experience? I remember how upset I was when I first finished reading the novel "The Lonely Dove", I wanted to go on and on.

So, yes, use speed reading - only rarely and strategically.

Create notes and memorize what you read

Another question that I am asked along with the question of how I read so much is whether I have some kind of note taking system. And it is - but there is nothing unusual in it, and it may not even be called a system. If I read a paper book, I emphasize the sentences, put key paragraphs in brackets, and if something seems to me especially important, I draw an asterisk next to it. Finishing the book, I leaf through it again and study my notes again.

If I use the Kindle, I mark the paragraphs, and then re-review them at the end. Sometimes I download these notes and save them on my computer. This is how I take notes. Stupidly simple. Use the method that suits you best.

The last frequently asked question for me on reading is how I remember everything I read. Short answer: I do not remember! I'm trying to remember what is important to me. I mentally reinforce these important things in several ways.

The main thing you need to memorize what you read is the generalization and application of the material as quickly as possible. For me, this means that I am either writing an article or writing questions for a podcast based on notes. It helps me better remember what I just read.

As for books that I read for pleasure, I share interesting details with my wife or friends. It’s much easier for me to keep in memory what I spoke with others.

Another way to remember what you read is through repetition. For years I read a lot, and watched the same ideas come up again and again. For example, I know a lot from the history of World War II, since I read many books on it. I know a lot about Theodore Roosevelt, as I read many books about him. I know a lot about psychology since I read many books on psychology. And regarding the genre of self-improvement, although it is useful to get acquainted with the various points of view of the authors, nothing particularly new was invented under the sun! Each time you come across the same ideas and sets of facts described in slightly different contexts and in slightly different ways, they become stronger and stronger anchored in your memory.

So, if you want to remember what you read, look for ways to summarize, apply and talk about it soon after. This can be a book review summarizing key points, or a discussion of some ideas from a book in a conversation with friends. You can even make news about books you read, what Jeremy does, and he says that this incredibly helps him to keep in mind the main ideas of the book, summarize them and form a concrete opinion.

Another way to remember more from what you read is to read more books on the subject until it takes root in your memory.

That's all. How I read so much and how I remember what I read. There are no special secrets. Read a lot, apply what you read, and repeat. Wish you read more this year and beyond!