People think I’m crazy when I say I read a book a day. Today I can say I’ve read about 3 books. This is a basic framework to reading books that I’ve been using for years.
First off when I say I “read a book a day” I don’t mean I read the book from page one to page done in a single day. That is unnecessary for non-fiction books. I still do it sometimes if it’s worth it. For example, I read every page in Zero to One but not every page in The Four Hour Work Week or The Grain Brain. It depends on the type of book and what I’m trying to learn.
By the end of the year I will have fully read The Daily Stoic. If you follow my twitter account you’ll see I post excerpts from that book every day. It’s a one page a day type book.
Some books are designed well enough to kind engorge in a buffet like fashion. This is how Tim Ferriss writes his books, purposely. You’ll spend most of your time jumping around to different and interesting topics or resources, especially in something like the The Four Hour Body and Tools of Titans.
Most books are written in an old school fashion. That is the wall of text followed up by a couple of chapters to break it up a bit. This is great for fiction books, not as favorable for non-fiction. But that’s okay. For example, the booked Riveted by Jim Davies is written like this, but his explanations get more in depth as they go and the book is engaging. It really all depends on what interests you at the time.
But… this also makes it trickier for when you’re really looking for specific information. This means the Index is your friend in this scenario, and also the table of contents.
When I buy books. I buy them usually in this format, three books at time;
One book covers something generally skill based
– Ex: The Charisma Myth, The Productivity Project, Never Eat Alone, The One Thing, etc…
Either a book that’s specific to a niche skill or a very broad knowledge buffet type book
– Ex: The Consulting Bible, Tools of Titans, Riveted, Zero to One, Trust Me I’m Lying, The Foodtruck Handbook, #AskGaryVee, DotCom Secrets, you get the idea.
Then I’ll buy a book that revolves, empirically or not, around building core, fundamental knowledge of yourself, that helps you become a better version of you. (“Self Help”)
– Ex: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Ego is the Enemy, The Obstacle is the Way, The Daily Stoic,You Are a Bad Ass, etc…
Be careful, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you buy just one book, let alone three. But there’s another reason why buying three is a good idea. You can switch off to each book whenever you want. I NEVER read an entire book all the way through without reading like 2 to 4 other books in between. Quite frankly, I don’t even really count how much I read, or how many pages there are or any of that stuff that just distracts you from the bigger picture.
The big picture is to just read, to learn, to see what’s there, be curious! If you read just 5 pages of a book a day, it would make a huge impact.
So here’s how you read a book a day.
Just grab a book and start reading, if you don’t like it, move on or skip around, treat it like a newspaper, I mean… that’s kind of what it is anyway. But also realize, when you read something written by people like Sam Walton, or Ray Croc, or Elon Musk, that you’re entering the mind of some very smart and successful people and you will see the world through their eyes, and you will learn what they knew. That’s powerful.
It’s very easy to become distracted when reading. But like most things in life, if you do it, you get better. Reading has helped me focus a lot better, which was always a problem for me growing up. I also never make reading a chore or a to-do type task. I’m at the point where I just enjoy it and understand its true value. When it comes to most books at this point I can sit and read them for very long time. I will admit, my reading habits are a bit unusual… but up until I was about 21, I never read a book unless I was force fed it like they do in schools.
Here’s another thing. It only takes one book to change your life. Just start reading, like you are now.
…forever a student.