I often get asked this question – How do you find the time to read so much? How do I find the time to read so many books?
Way back when in my early teens I just couldn’t stand the thought of reading. When reading was tied to homework it was like a punishment – no fun at all. I would get quizzed on every single character over and over again. I couldn’t even enjoy the books. But then, I spent a summer with another family and they had no television! That was such a life changing experience. I was introduced to reading for fun – so many books. Around that same time I got my first job. This was way before the days of electronic readers and the internet – we had actual books. I spent half my salary every single week buying books – my collection became voluminous quickly. But even then I couldn’t get enough…
First, I did quite a bit of self study for speed reading. I became pretty proficient at it but learning to speed read is so much easier on a e-reader/tablet. I can tell you that I use several apps on each to practice and stay fine tuned. I will not refer to any one in particular because I have found that they are all pretty similar – just search “speed reading” and you will get many results – many of which are free.
Do I speed read everything? Absolutely not. Generally I speed read just pieces of what I need to. It is hard to really become emotionally invested in characters while speed reading. I can get the gist, understand the plot and all the twists and turns but I prefer to slow down and enjoy every aspect of the books I read. I am sure even when I slow down I am still pretty speedy simply out of habit. Some books I read are previews and not final copies. Lack of final editing slows me down significantly. When speedreading you can’t backtrack and grammatical issues or spelling issues instinctively result in backtracking.
In addition to reading, I listen to many audiobooks – But even on audible I listen to the books at 1.5x speed or even 2x speed.
Think of speed reading or reading quickly like learning how to type. We can all read if we are in no hurry – just like we can type with a hunt and peck method if we are in no hurry. But as we practice we learn to type more and more quickly. Reading is no different – the more we read and practice reading quickly the quicker we become.
When I am not “practicing” I am playing game apps that are tied to brain games. Games that encourage speed and focus and constant thinking like Word Stacks (my favorite).
Remember way back in the day – Cliffnotes? Well they were available on very limited books but nowadays the options are so much better with Blinkist. Check it out – it is a nonfiction book summary service with thousands of options and new books are being added all the time. Each of the books can be read or listened to in 15 minutes. Think about how many books you can read at that rate! Each piece is 7 to 12 sections long and available in both text and audio form. Books are available via a browser, app (Android and IOS) or even kindle direct link.
With Blinkist AND speed reading – think about how many books and how much information you can consume in a year?