Since 2016 I’ve been reading at least 24 books a year. If you’re an avid reader like me, that might not seem like a lot, but in the US the average person reads just 4 books a year. So it’s not surprising that 2 books a month can seem like an insurmountable task. In fact, I always get questions like, “how do you have the time?” Or reactions like “I always lose interest and quit”.
So what do I say when people ask how I read so much? Something I’ve been doing unconsciously for the last few years has really helped be build a discipline around reading and it’s simple.
First, take the total number of pages and divide by ten.
Example: 323 page book divided by 10 equals 32.3 pages
Second, every time I sit down to read, I commit to reading that number of pages. If I don’t think I can read that many pages in one setting I’ll not read that book. Similarly, I’ll use this logic when deciding WHEN to read. If I’m not in the mental space to read 32.3 pages, I’ll simply pick another activity and read some other time.
It might seem like this practice would incentivize reading shorter books. In practice, I’ve found the exact opposite. Once I commit to reading 32.3 pages… I get into the book and often read far more than the 32.3. I’ve used this technique in reading every book in the Stormlight Archive in which each book is over 1,000 pages… every sessions I read 100 pages or more I got more used to the reading length and my discipline/focus got stronger.
Like anything, success in life can be found in daily discipline. I encourage you to try this practice and see how it works for reading and other parts of your life like exercise.