Successful People Read—A Lot. Here's How You Can, Too.
Buffet. Winfrey. Gates. Zuckerberg.
According to an article on The Mission, these top business leaders and entrepreneurs all have one thing in common: they make reading a major part of their daily lifestyle. Warren Buffet reads 500 pages a day. Bill Gates reads a book a week, for a total of 50 books per year. Oprah Winfrey leads one of the most influential book clubs of our time (of course she does).
So, how can we incorporate this habit for ourselves?
1. My "Three Chapters" Rule
I have a rule if I'm reading for pleasure: give every book three chapters to win you over. If by chapter three you are bored to tears, chuck it. It's an author's job to entice you—to keep you wanting more. If they can't hook you in three chapters, move on. I know, it sounds obvious! But I think we have a tendency to self-impose guilt for not seeing a book through. We "grin and bear it" just so we can check an invisible box. Time is precious—don't waste it. There are so many wonderful books, but if you consistently associate reading with slow, painful torture, that could be one reason you're not making a dent in your reading list.
2. Check books out from the library
I confess: I used to be a book snob. I wanted brand new, crisp books sans dog-eared pages that I didn't have to worry about returning on time. But here's the catch: when you have the freedom to read at a leisurely pace, three months pass and you've only gotten a third of the way through a book. Now that I only read library books, that looming due date keeps me motivated to get 'er done. My wallet is also a lot happier. Don't let a tight budget keep you from reading alllllllllll the books!
*Tip: Popular books will have waiting lists. Check out a title that is available and put the others on hold. That way, when you finish it, the others will be ready for pick up!
3. Make books as accessible as your iPhone
We've made it a habit to keep our phones with us everywhere we go. Why not our books? Keep them by your bedside. Carry them with you when you're out and about. On a train. On a plane. In a house. With a mouse...you get the point. I promise, you'll look a lot cooler riding in an elevator reading a book versus having your nose glued to your smartphone. Who knows, if you're lucky you may even make it onto the Hot Dudes Reading Instagram Account. ;-)
4. Join a book club
Being part of a book club has a lot of perks. For starters, you no longer have to scour the Internet for book reviews—you're given a curated list of books to read. Secondly, it makes reading a social habit, which can help keep you accountable. Don't have a local book club that interests you? Join one online! I'm loving Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf book club on GoodReads.
5. Set a timer and unplug
Say you watch your favorite Netflix show four times a week. Try cutting back to two and replacing it with reading sessions. To keep yourself on task, set a timer for the amount of time you wish to dedicate to reading each day (30 mins, 1 hour, etc). We all read at different paces, so try not to dwell on page count. Instead, focus on the sense of accomplishment you feel when that timer goes off!
Curious about what I've been reading lately? Follow along here.