The average CEO in America reads one book a week. That’s 50+ books a year! Ever since I read this stat, I’ve made it a goal to read at least one new book a week as well.
After seeing all the positive effects that reading has directly had on my life, I’ve made it a goal to get other people reading more so that they can experience the same positive effects that I have.
This is one of the reasons why I started writing and why I started an online book club. Since I started this, one question I get a lot from people is how do I manage to read a book a week? It would be nice to have something I can point to when someone asks me this. So here are 10 tips you can use to help you read a book a week. I hope at least one of them helps you.
1. First things first: you have to prioritize reading
Bill Gates reads one book a week. The billionaire investor Warren Buffett reads 400 pages a day.
How do they read so much? Easy. They prioritize it.
“Reading books is my favorite way to learn about a new topic. I’ve been reading about a book a week on average since I was a kid. Even when my schedule is out of control, I carve out a lot of time for reading.” – Bill Gates
If you want to read more, then reading has to become a priority in your life. If you don’t prioritize it, then watching Netflix, YouTube, and scrolling through Facebook, will always take precedence.
We all have 24 hours a day. There’s no difference, time wise, between you, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett. Some just know how to maximize their time more efficiently than others. If you don’t prioritize reading, then the rest of this article won’t help you much.
2. Listen to audiobooks
If you struggle to read more books, I highly suggest you try listening to more audiobooks. In fact, nearly 30% of the population are auditory learners. By listening to audiobooks during your commute to work, school, or the gym, you can easily get through one book a week without much effort.
3. Join a book club
I’m part of a few book clubs, and each one is different. Oprah has a book club you can join, and so does the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Being apart of a book club is great because you’ll be introduced to books that you probably would have never read. Being in a book club is also an opportunity to learn about new ideas that could positively change your life. And it can also be a great source of motivation to get you reading more.
Each book club, whether it’s mine or Oprah Winfrey’s has different processes. Look at a few of them and figure out what works best for you.
4. Take your books with you everywhere
I take my books with me everywhere. If you ever see me somewhere, no matter where it is, you’ll most likely see me holding a book. This is because there are always opportunities to read. Are you waiting in line at the DMV? Take advantage of that time and read your book. Have 10 minutes between meetings or classes? Take out your book and read a few pages. If you have a book on you at all times, you’ll start to find that there is actually a lot of moments throughout your day where you can grab your book and get some reading done. A little reading done here and there throughout your day will add up to a lot over a week’s period.
5. Read multiple books at a time
This is something I do all the time. Currently, I’m reading two books. I’m reading “Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die,” by Chip and Dan Heath and “The Happiness Equation,” by Neil Pasricha. The reason I do this is because I find that reading multiple books at once helps keep my mind and thoughts fresh. I get bored easily. So instead of taking a break after I’ve been reading a book for an extended period of time, I’ll choose to just read a different book instead. Doing this keeps me engaged and more productive when it comes to reading more.
6. Share what you read with others
There’s no point of reading a book if you don’t remember what it is you read. Retaining what you read will help you not waste time going back to reread books.
This is why when you read an important idea from a book, you should always teach someone else about it. You have a 90% retention rate if you teach other people what you’ve read.
7. Keep a list of books you want to read
I find that when I don’t have a list of great books I want to read, I tend to not feel inspired to get through the book I’m currently reading. When you keep an ongoing list of books to read, you’ll always feel motivated to pick up the next book, rather than falling into a long non-reading period in which you’re looking or waiting for that next perfect book to appear.
8. Read books you love
Do you know how many times I’ve picked up the book “Thinking Fast and Slow” and tried to read it? A lot of times. It’s one of those books I feel I should read, but I’ve never been able to get through it no matter how hard I’ve tried.
Typically, whenever I feel pressured to read a book because it’s considered to be a classic or it’s a bestseller, I tend to procrastinate reading more.
Whatever your case for reading a book is, it’s better to read books that sincerely interest you, rather than waste weeks trying to read through a book because you feel you should.
Start with books that interest you. As a result, you’ll get more pleasure and value out of the experience. If you aren’t enjoying a book, stop reading it immediately. If it feels like a chore, then you’re not doing yourself any favors.
9. Set aside time to only read
I like to read 30 minutes every morning and 30 minutes every night. In the beginning, this wasn’t easy to do. New habits never are. But when you discipline yourself to read at a certain time every day, this will help you create a habit. And creating a habit will help you do more of it and do it more easily.
10. Read 15% of your book a day
The reason I think 15% is a good goal is because 15% of a book is typically 20-30 pages, which is small enough that it’s not intimidating.
When you’re sitting down and reading, as long as you’re not being distracted by your phone, most people can read 20 pages in 30 minutes. 20 pages may seem small, but all it takes is 20-30 pages a day to equal a book a week.
Regardless of what is happening throughout your day, always try to get at least 20 pages of reading in each day. You’ll be surprised how much that adds up day after day. Week after week. Month after month.