Tips and Techniques for the Reading Process

This is an extract from a long form article I wrote. I you would like to access my full reading journey, click here.

  1. Read only one book at a time — It is extremely tempting, for some of us, to read multiple books at the same time. Focus on one book at a time. Switching from on book to another requires additional brain effort to do the switch. Remember, it is not the reading only your brain will remember. Your brain will try to recreate the last setting when you were reading this book or any important highlights. It will drain your brain before you start reading
  2. Same content different inputs — We all have a preference of physical, digital, audio, etc. Choose your flavor. I have made a full transition to eBooks to the point that I prefer an eBook above all. However, I’ve been experimenting with Audiobooks as well (more detail tips on audiobooks next) and sometimes get back to Hardcovers. I realized that what I really care is about the content. So expand your possibilities. Explore Podcasts, Magazines, Blogs, Short articles, tweets, etc. You will be surprised that sometimes you are not interested in becoming a subject matter expert. You just need a quick piece of information and you can move to the next item
  3. Your Hand as a Pointer — I learned this tip from @jimkwik. When you are reading any content, use one of your index fingers as pointer to follow up your reading. It sounds simple but there is a trick. If you are right-handed, like me, use your left index and vice-versa. Why so specific? Typically only the hand that you are using to hold the book is focused on reading. This translates in only one side of your brain focused on the reading. By using your other hand as pointer, you are forcing both sides of your brain to focus on what you are reading. Practice will make you better at this. But believe me, it works.
  4. All Senses in Reading Mode — I learned this trick from @fghtmediocrity YouTube channel. Here is the ideal. Buy the book (physical or digital) and also the audiobook. As you read the book, play the audiobook at the same time but the audio should be between x1.5 to x2.5 normal speed. The fast-paced audio will drive your reading and will make you read more effectively. I have been able to read a full book in 3–5 days (and this is conservative as you can actually read a book in a day if you put the time) by reading approximately 45–60 minutes a day. Remember, the key is the audio speed. I have to admit that at the beginning the idea sounded ridiculous but it actually works.

So, here you have them. I hope this really adds value to your Reading Self in some way or the other. If you have any other tip or technique, please feel free to include it in the content.

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