How I Read a Book a Week

by JR Griggs

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books in a stack (a stack of books)

I can’t stress enough how important it is to be reading as often as possible. It is shown over and over that it is not only a great way to learn, but a natural by-product is increased brain power and productivity. Staring at a television all day is not the greatest thing for your brain and energy.

The statistics on reading levels of  high school graduates is seriously disturbing. So many, will never read a book again after high school.

I am constantly reminding clients that they need to be reading and learning. Learning should not end after school. It should begin!

When I read, I read nonfiction books. I want to be learning something. I rarely will read fiction unless it has some other purpose or is highly recommended to me.

I do read a lot, and not just books. I am often asked how I am able to do so much reading. I average about a book a week. Last year when I first started this, I did not start off that well but finished the year strong. This year I am right on pace with a book a week. This doesn’t factor in blogs, news, magazines, newsletters and plenty of other reading material that comes my way.

So how do I do it?

40 Pages a Day

I read a great post from Julian Smith on how he reads a book a week. This is where I got the idea and motivation to do so. I had always loved reading and tried to read as often as possible. But I did not necessarily have an actual goal.

Julian talks about how the average book is 200-300 pages long. So 40 pages a day will average out to a book a week. Depending on how much you read now, that may seem easy or really hard. I get mixed reactions when I mention it to someone.

It is not that difficult if you really want to stick with it. Make it a goal and schedule it into your day. Try to get it done early in the day if possible. Reading before bed is a great way to get a better night’s sleep. Try reading 20 pages early in the day and 20 before bed. This makes it a little easier and 20 pages before bed is a cake.

Start slow if needed. Start with 10 pages a day and gradually increase each week until you are at 40.

I recently bought a Kindle Fire and have not really looked into a way to do this on there. Being that there are no pages with a kindle. But I am sure you can just divide the sections by 7 and come up with a plan.

Turn Off the TV

One of the ways I find time to read so much is that I do not watch much TV. I see so many who waste time watching TV all night and say they have no time to read. The same excuse is used for those who say they have no time to learn something new. Turn off the TV!

If I do watch TV, I do not watch  it live. I record everything to the DVR and watch it later. That way I am maximizing my time by skipping the commercials. Even with sports I will often times wait an hour to start watching. There are plenty of wasted hours in the average home, spent on watching TV.

Use Every Opportunity

I use every opportunity I can to get in some reading time. I bring my book or Kindle with me whenever I am going somewhere that there may be waiting involved. You’d be surprised how many chances there are to knock out a few pages here and there.

Don’t forget about the times you are sitting around in the bathroom. This is a great place to knock out some reading.

The point is that if you really wanted to do it, you could. It’s really a matter of commitment, just like any other goal. If you want it bad enough and you make it a priority, you will do it.

If you get behind or need a break, try a smaller book. Maybe even an audio book. You can knock one of those out in a day sometimes. It’s ok to cheat. :-)

So how many books are you reading this year?

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