What does Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, Peter Thiel, and the most successful entrepreneurs have in the world?
They read more books.
The average CEO reads over 4–5 books per month, which comes out to 60 books per year.
Tim Ferriss refers to his books as his “secret weapons” as books can act as your personal mentor for your life and business decisions.
If reading is so crucial to leading a more successful and enriching life, how do we read more to double our knowledge?
1. Learn to read faster
If you’re like most entrepreneurs reading this, then you probably have a backlog of books you have been putting on hold.
Since the average reader reads around 250–300 words per minute, being able to double your reading speed at 500–600 words will allow you read twice the number of books in the same amount of time.
With that said, there are two simple techniques to read faster according to Ferriss.
a. use a pointer
Use either a pen or your index finger to keep track of your speed when reading. This will be useful for the second technique.
b. expand your peripheral vision
Start reading 3 words in from the first word of each line and end 3 words in from the last word.
Don’t worry about comprehension at first, because the goal is to have your eyes adjust to the new reading speed compared to your normal speed.
As Ferriss states, you should aim to spend 0.5 seconds reading each line.
Repeat the process until you feel more comfortable with the speed, and your comprehension starts to improve.
2. Use technology
Although there’s a limit to how fast we can learn how to speed read, technology can help us speed up the process.
Spritz allows you to read faster by taking articles on the Internet and spurring out one word at a time at your desired speed.
Here’s an example:
You can embed it into your bookmarking bar, and read anything online using their speed reading tool.
Blinkist is a platform summarizing books into 15-minute reading summaries done by humans. Currently, they focus on non-fiction books. Although you technically won’t be able to read more books, since they’re summarized versions, you can gain the same benefits in half the time by understanding the critical points of the book.
There’s two ways I’ve been using Blinkist:
i. Read non-tactical books
Non-tactical books that are based around a high-level idea do not need to be read cover to cover. Having someone go through it for you can save you hours worth of time, while receiving 80% of the necessary information.
ii. Skim before reading the full version.
You can use Blinkist’s summary to get a feel of what’s inside, before you decide whether to purchase and read the full version of the book.
3. Schedule it
Reading more books can simply come from making more time for it.
With a simple tool like Google Calendar, you can set organize your day around your learning schedule.
It can be as little as 15–30 minutes in the morning before your work, or during lunch hours.
Google Calendar will also set reminders for you, and you can have this integrated into your phone.
The app that we recommend is CalenMob, their friendly UX and interface is intuitive and straightforward to use.
4. Use audiobooks
If you want to get read more books, why read at all?
You could have someone narrate the books for you using Audiobooks.
The best part about Audiobooks is that you can be doing more than one thing at once including commuting, exercising, and working.
Audible.com, a company owned by Amazon, has over 850,000+ titles you can choose from, and you can expect to find almost every book you have in mind.
5. Drop it if you don’t love it
According to Psychology Today, our brain is more likely to recall uncompleted tasks than completed tasks.
This explains why we continue to read books that don’t interest us or wastes our time.
If you want to read more books, retain more, and double your knowledge, you need to have a passion for what you’re reading.
Even the fastest speed readers cannot sustain their reading speed for books they detest without losing some levels of comprehension.
Don’t be afraid to quit if you don’t love it.
It’s what will lead to what you love.
Over to you
How many books do you read each year?
Which of our tips will you implement to read more books this year?
P.S. If you liked this post, you might also like:
Ultimate Guide to Learning Anything Faster
How to Double Your Reading Speed (Without Losing Comprehension)
Complete Guide to Achieving Any Goals in Life Faster