Book Lovers: Some Helpful Reading Techniques I Use

Some have asked how I’m able to read the number of books I read in a year while holding down a full-time executive position at a startup and simultaneously building 2 other ideas into dedicated startups.

This has taken me a long while to put together because I was trying to finish up #Book1_2018: Americanah. Now that’s done with and I’m on some other book, here are the 4 ways I read.

Caveat though: I’m lazy and don’t read as much as I tell myself to; these techniques haven’t gone through rigorous tests so feel free to experiment and/or discard.

1. Paged.
2. Timed.
3. Bursts.
4. Marathon.

They’re quite self-explanatory. Still I’ll explain.

When I use this technique to read, I calculate the number of pages I’ve got to read within a month (oftentimes, within a week) and divide by the number of days within the month.

This means I’ve got to have the book already. And if I don’t, I find the page count on Amazon or on other websites via Google Search.

Say, based on my reading target for 2018, I’ve got 3 books for January and they’re 1,264 pages in all. I’ll divide the aforementioned pages by 31 days in January = 40.77 pages.

This means I’ll read 41 pages per day to meet up with my reading target for January. Whether it takes me 30 minutes or 5 hours don’t matter here.

Oftentimes, I read by timing myself.

Since resuming for 2018 from work leave and knowing the many tasks and objectives for this year because we need to scale fast and also, because the bulk of my earning at Specuit is tied to our startup performance (more on this in a later post), I set out an hour each workday to read.

The only time I miss this is if I work late into the midnight or if I spend time with a loved one who needs me at night and it goes late or right into midnight.

Else, I wake, I pray (still working on this…I forget, I forget) and I read for an hour.

Or 45 minutes.

Or 30 minutes.

In contrast with the above technique, the number of pages I read, be it 2 or 50, doesn’t count here.

Oftentimes, I’m not able to employ the 2 techniques above because of less time or more workload than regular.

When any of the above occurs, I read in bursts: 10 minutes here, 25 minutes there; 15 minutes this, 20 minutes that.

Sneaky reading, sort of.

In the sense that it happens within work hours whenever there’s a slight chance in what I’m up to for the day.

Because opening a book in itself is a task, to be able to burst read, I leave my book open by placing it on my tablet stand.

My work table and some other furniture I use were built by me (sizes, shapes, edges, spacing, et al.), ergo, I wish to make this open_book stand more dedicated and flexible (more on this in a later post).

For marathon reading, it happens for me within weekends, public holidays and company leaves.

Since public holidays and company leaves aren’t common for me, I marathon read on weekends.

There’s not much for me to within weekends so if I’m not hanging with Joy or Muna, I go marathon on reading (half a book, 3/4 of a book or an entire book…Saturday and/or Sunday), often taking breaks to game.

Wake up, look around and do things I can’t account for, then read for so long…my laundry is usually done within the week, so I’ve always got nothing to wash.

So…these are the ways I read, the techniques I use, the techniques that have worked for me.

Hopefully, you — or someone you know — can extract one or more that fits from any of these that I’ve used for 5+ years and on over 62 books:

If you’ve got other techniques you use, please share for the #BookCulture