How to Read 50+ Books a Year (Without Giving Up Your Social Life)

For the past 7 years, I've managed to read 50+ books a year, every year. In 2017, I read 89 books. I don't read every day, I don't know how to speed read, and I'm not a fast reader. This is what has worked for me.

This is an edited and expanded version of my original tweet.

πŸ“š - Commit to only reading the first 5 pages of any book. If the book doesn't click with you, put it down and repeat with the next book until you find one that does.

Often, there is a time and place for a book. Life is too short for books you're not resonating with at the moment; and chances are if you really do want to read that book, you'll come around to it another time.

I find bookshops and libraries really useful for this type of browsing. You could also keep a physical 'To Be Read' shelf for this exact purpose.

πŸ“š - Schedule time in your week, not your day, to read.

A lot of people try to force reading as a daily habit. For me (and maybe you), that's not always optimal. The analogy I like is going to the gym; for some of us, it makes sense to go to the gym daily. For others, 3-4 times a week is enough.

It can take me a while to get in the zone, so I tend to prefer reading in large chunks. Β 

πŸ“š - Don't force yourself to finish a book if you don't like it.

I've definitely wasted far too much time trying to finish books that I didn't like. Give yourself permission to discontinue books. If you're over 50% in, that revelation you're holding out for is unlikely to come - not this time anyway.

πŸ“š - Skipping pages is OK.

This one hurts, but the truth is there are some books where 80% of the value is in 20% of the words. There are also books that would be more valuable if they were flashcards. It's OK to skip pages to get to the interesting parts; you can keep the full journey for books that resonate better with you.

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