The much-celebrated Italian writer and philosopher Umberto Eco famously had a personal library containing a whopping 30,000 books. While of course, even the most voracious readers wouldn’t come close to reading anywhere near that number of books in their lifetime, for Eco, this library served a different purpose.
Rather than being about bragging rights, the library was there to act as a constant reminder of the many, many things that he didn’t know, and to strive to read as many of them as he could.
In the age of constant upheaval and change that we’re living in, the number of things that we don’t know is growing by the day. So, if you’re not reading, and reading constantly, you can be sure that your competitors who are reading know something that you don’t.
As reading becomes more important, it’s also becoming less common
It is no secret that as access to other forms of entertainment is rising, people are reading less often.
In 2017, 27% of Americans did not read a single book. Those who still read don’t read as much as they used to. In a world that’s becoming more and more complex, we should be reading more, not less!
Whether you’ve fallen out of the habit of reading and want to pick it back up again, or you want to read more, here are 4 ways for you to up your reading game!
1. Make reading your default downtime activity
Ideally, reading should be what you do when you’re doing nothing. For many people today, this time tends to be taken up by their phone, or social media.
If you have a spare minute, open a book.
About to go to bed? Get some reading in.
On the way into the office? Reading time.
Take stock of how you typically spend your spare minutes. Unless you have more valuable ways of spending those minutes, if you’re serious about getting ahead, then this time can be better spent reading.
2. Start small
If you’re out of the habit of reading entirely, it may be tempting to try to make up for lost time and set ambitious goals.
As with any overly ambitious goal, this approach is almost certain to fail. Instead, start small and work your way toward reading more and more. If you want to read every day, set the goal of reading one page of any book. Start with something easy. A page-turner, or what many would call “guilty pleasures” until reading becomes habitual.
As the founder of AngelList Naval Ravikant says:
“Read what you love until you love to read”
From here, you can build up to reading more in-depth topics, more quickly, and more often.
3. Schedule reading time
Another option is to add reading time to your daily schedule. Even if it’s for 15 minutes or an hour-long block in your day. If you’re struggling to fit more reading into your life, planning to do so, either before, during, or after your workday is finished, can make it much easier to fit it in.
4. Listen to Audiobooks
Perhaps the easiest way to fit more reading into your life is with the magic of an audiobook. If you are poor on spare time or mental energy, audiobooks are the perfect way to engage in a range of books on the go.
Whether you’re working out at the gym, on the way to work, or heading up the street to buy some milk, making a habit of listening to audiobooks is a great way of fitting more reading into your daily life.