How I Read 700 Books in 2 Years — The Secret, The Strategy, The Structure behind the Madness
When I tell the fact that I read 700 books in 2 years, they find it hard to believe me. I suppose the reasons are:
- THE BIGGEST QUESTION
Who keeps a tab of how many books they read per day, week or month? And why would someone keep a tab of how many books does one read?
- THE HOW OF ALL THINGS
How do you read books when there are so many distractions? Given today we can’t even sit still for 10 minutes without being bombarded with 100 notifications per hour, how does one sit still with a book?
- THE REASON?
Why would someone read so many books? What do you achieve by reading so many books? A Prize? Money? Fame?
- FALSE CLAIMS?
How does anyone know if the claim is true or false? I mean come to think of it, you (or someone with a rented Lamborghini in his garage) can claim to have read 700 or 1,000 or even 7,000 books.
- IF IT WAS POSSIBLE — WOULD EVERYONE DO IT?
Here’s the biggest criticism. If it was possible — wouldn’t everyone do it?
So now comes the moment of truth — how did I read 700 books in 2 years — which is approximately 1 book per day for 2 years. So here is the secret, the strategy & the structure behind it.
- SIZE DOES MATTER — CHOOSE WISELY!
Trust me when I say this, there is a difference between reading a book on psychology: The Science Of Mind And Behaviour by Richard Gross which is a MASSIVE 875 paged text book with super tiny fonts versus reading The Unwritten laws of Business by W. J. King which is hardly 100 pages. To give you a size difference — the former book weighs 5.3 pounds while the latter weighs 4 ounces!!! So if I were to read the massive book on Psychology — it would take me roughly 3 to 4 months of nearly 6 to 8 hours everyday. While reading the book on Business — the light one would take me roughly an hour.
- SIMPLICITY VERSUS COMPLEXITY!
Try reading ‘Who moved my cheese’ by Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard fast and then try reading ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel fast.
I can tell you one thing — the storybook format of ‘Who moved my cheese’ — even a 10 year old boy could read it and understand it. However, a technical (medically well-researched) book like ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ will take intense concentration & focus
- WHAT YOUR REASON?
Imagine for a minute a group of dangerous gangsters placed your hand on a wooden table. And then one of them held a machete over your hand and told you — if you didn’t read 10 pages an hour, every time you missed the mark — you would end up with one finger being chopped off.
I am 100% sure that you would not only read 10 pages — you would read 100 pages to save your priceless fingers.
Why? Because there is a reason, a purpose, a sense of urgency and an incredible drive.
Now even though no one had a machete over my fingers — I had a gun to head. Because in 2011, I had not only lost my job, I didn’t have any savings, any money, any friends, no career — nothing. I literally was penniless. And I needed to figure out a way to survive. And the only way to succeed and survive was to carefully and creative craft a career for myself — otherwise I wouldn’t survive. And given that for nearly 32 years of my life I was just fooling around, I had no choice but to take my career very seriously. And that is why, I read, studied and educated myself with a sense of urgency. How would I survive otherwise?
- WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE?
Trust me when I say this — I was once upon a time EXACTLY like you. I wouldn’t read a book for more than 5 minutes at a time. And if I were to spend time to read a book — all the possible reasons and excuses would pop up — from feeling sleepy, to being distracted, to suddenly switching on a youtube video to see what was new, to checking out the latest new notification or update on my social media feed. But the day I was down in the dumps and didn’t have any means to survive — there was no excuse. So if you are unable to read due to whatever excuse you are giving — it is nothing but an excuse. And keep in mind — this is coming from a guy who suffers and lives with a very severe form of ADHD
- THE INCENTIVE
Once again, I want you to imagine this hypothetical scenario.
Imagine that if you completed reading one book within a week — you would be awarded $1,000 in prize money. If you read it within 3 days, you would be paid $10,000. And if you read it in 24 hours, you would be paid $100,000.
How long do you think you would take to read that particular book?
I am 100% sure you would read it within a few hours and claim your prize money! Why? Because there is incredible incentive to do so.
When you have an amazing incentive that really drives you — you will do whatever it takes to succeed.
My reason to succeed was — I need content to post on youtube as I had none, I needed articles to post on my blog for which I had none, I needed to be positioned as an expert where Coaching was concerned and there also I had no qualifications or credentials. So the only reason to read aggressively was to survive and create a career. And I knew — the faster I did it — the faster I would succeed.
Isn’t that incentive enough?
Oh and when you get your 1st paycheck — trust me when I say this — you will be even more motivated to read.
- PEER PRESSURE
When I started posting on Social Media that I read X book today. And the following day I updated my profile with the book review of Y. And on the following day I gave my thoughts of book Z — all of a sudden there was demand for my services. People would ask me questions. In fact, when I wouldn’t update or talk about a book on a particular day — people would literally send me an email stating — so what happened? Didn’t read a book? Where is the book review?
Added to this — I also had classes happening once a week where I would share the information I read from books. So all this put tremendous pressure on me to read a book.
- YOUR ENVIRONMENT MATTERS
Imagine trying to read a book when you are in front of your iMac or Desktop that can connect to any youtube video with an iPad that has access to games, an Smartphone that is constantly buzzing with notifications. Added to this you are in a house where children are running, your spouse is demanding your attention and your phone is ringing with questions from the office.
Do you seriously think you can succeed in an environment like this?
Have you ever noticed the strange principle?
why do you think when a person goes to the toilet, he is able to read much more meaningfully even though that environment is, need I say is NOT the ideal place you would visualize while reading a worthwhile piece of literature?
However, guess what — that is the most effective place to read?
- THE SECRET HACKS
There are techniques on how to read fast. I mentioned and stated them in this article here on Medium itself titled “How I Read A 300 Pages in One Sitting” https://medium.com/@loymachedo/how-i-read-a-300-pages-in-one-sitting-ce5ac609d585
- PERFECT & CONSISTENT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Ever tried playing a new game online or on your Device? At first you were clumsy but eventually you got better and better at it until the day arrived where you were the best at it. And with this non-stop sessions of doing it again and again — you reached a point of being the best at it.
The same goes into the Art of Reading.
If you dedicate day after day to reading dedicatedly & consistently, you will reach a point where you are so good, so skilled and so fast, you will wonder why didn’t you do this long ago?
Agreed, there are a lot of people who think I am making dummy claims — but this has been possibly only because I developed this skill over years and years of practice and that too what I call “Deep & Purposeful Practice”.
If you make it your lifetime obsession to Read, Improve your skills while Reading & become the best at Reading — I can assure you, you will not only master this art, you will become so good that too would find a statement like “Reading 700 books in 2 years or 1 book a day” something as normal as eating, drinking or reading this article.