How I Read Less Than A Book A Month
Sharing thought on one of the most popular internet advice.
4 min read
The Internet is the place where all smart people spread their fame, but no one cares about setbacks.
“How I read a book a week?” this is one of the many internet glories we see nowadays. This is grown with the fact that people who read books are considered smart. Yeah, they are smarter than the average because books provide a different perspective to the individual. So it increases the knowledge of the reader.
But there is one thing made famous by the online “influencers” that you should read plenty of books. This is a good piece of advice. Reading for knowledge is a good thing, but reading for the sake of reading or increasing the count to show off on social media is dumb.
Through a simple YouTube search, you can find a ton of people who will tell you how to read a book per week. These people can be right in their ways of doing things because they have to get views and show others the numbers and be considered “smart”. But learning is not a number game.
I have two main concerns for reading a book a week:
Let’s say you read a book per week. I don’t think most books are simple enough to be understood in a single read.
I read a tweet by Kunal Shah where the gist was: Reading a book is not about remembering everything you read. It’s more about acquiring a new perspective.
One read cannot change the perspective. To get the whole about the book you have to go a little slow and deep and think about it.
This takes me to the next point,
Reading is time-consuming. Unless you are reading a short book like “Who moved my cheese?” you can’t just wrap up a book in a week. The majority of the books are decently long and need a focused mind to read.
I don’t think you are free enough to read the whole day. As a developer and a student, I have to manage time between work, college, and personal things. The people making videos are also taking out time to make videos. Right?
3.Are you a Scanner?
When I started reading books, YouTube suggested videos on how to read a book quickly. These are seductive titles and as Naval said in Joe Rogan Podcast “You have to buy that stupid car to understand it is stupid”.
The main point of them(videos) was that you don’t have to read every single line. You just have to SKIM/SCAN the book and read the interesting things.
This may be applied to highly repetitive titles like “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind”, but I don’t get what these smart folks can learn by scanning or skimming “The Psychology of Money”. They’re probably smarter than the writer… I don’t know.
What's my way?
I am sharing my way, but I strongly recommend finding your way rather than blindly following someone. While writing this article I was reading “The Psychology of money”.
I sit, read the book without a highlighter or pencil and read for about 30mins. You can do it chapter-wise as well.
The main thing is that you just need to read the book and don’t care too much about understanding everything you are reading. It may sound counterintuitive, but give it a try. It’s like skimming and scanning but at a lot slower pace.
This will give you an idea about what is interesting and what is not. This can take you approx. a week or two depending on the book. Then you can post on social media LOL
After the initial phase, take a break of a day or two and after that, Take a pencil or highlighter, start reading the book with full focus and start marking the important quotes, lines, ideas, vocab. This will be helpful as you already have an idea of what is important. Also, sometimes you don’t get what the writer is trying to say in the first go but when you re-read with concentration you get the point. You can get that Aha moment.
I do this for around 30mins, again depends on the book and you. This is the part where you extract the most out of a book.
One more thing I do is write the small points I find in the book in the Sticky Notes app, then later tweet them. This increases my understanding and also writing skills, this helps me to understand and write better.
Whenever you are learning something it is better to follow “Spaced repetition”. The tweets or the small notes you will make will support that. This way you don’t have to read the whole book again, but will be able to get all the useful information out of it whenever you want.
Playing the number game is not always a good idea and people on social media are obsessed with this game. Reading for fun and learning is what you should look for, not for Social Validation.
A tweet about social validation I wrote after watching a video by Mark Mason.
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