Reading isn’t a to-do list item

The power of deep reading

Aytekin Tank
The Startup
Published in
6 min readDec 13, 2018


Originally published at

Each one of our precious brains processes 34gb of information a day.

That’s 100,000 words a day.

And that’s only in our leisure time.

More Information. Quicker. Faster.

Everything is whizzing by at such a speed that to simply stop and pay attention to something is hard. Even to the act of reading.

Tim Ferris has even developed a comprehensive technique to make us read ‘300 x faster’.

But do we really care enough about reading?

Nearly a quarter of American adults say they haven’t read a book of any kind in the past year. And on average, most adults read 17 books per year.

But how many of us actually appreciate the true value that reading brings?

For many successful entrepreneurs, reading has mostly been seen as a way to increase personal progress, productivity and business growth.

When I first started JotForm back in 2006, I was approaching reading like I approached any other task. I’d make lists of books that were recommended to me or topped the bestsellers in the business section, and I’d try to read as much as I can.

I’d either try to be super fast, using a technique similar to that of Ferris, or I’d try to hit aggressive goals like reading 50 books a year, like Bill Gates.

Yet over time, I started questioning a few things about my reading behavior:

Why would I give one of life’s greatest enjoyments a KPI, a deadline, a target? Our world is already full of rules and benchmarks — do I need to regulate this too?

Here’s what happens when you read for the sake of reading:

You barely retain any of the knowledge.

You sacrifice reflection and introspection.

You absorb very little.



Aytekin Tank
The Startup

Founder and CEO of || Bestselling author of Automate Your Busywork. Find more at (contact: