S ome practical advice today. I read a shit-ton. And I occasionally get asked about it, particularly from college students. “How can I read more? How can I read faster? How can I remember and use more?”
Although I’m technically a blogger, writer and internet marketer, I actually see my occupation as synthesizing and sharing information in unique and efficient ways. A big part of that, therefore, is reading a lot of cool stuff and then being able to share that cool stuff easily.
Most people don’t realize that the way we’re taught to read when we’re young makes us poor readers when we’re adults. There are practical and logical tactics one can utilize to read non-fiction material more efficiently.
In my book Models, a passage that surprisingly drew a lot of attention from readers was the section where I described how I challenged myself to read 50 non-fiction books in 50 days when I was 19-years-old. In the book, I described this experience as one of the most useful of my life. University courses became a breeze. My writing got better. My ability to consume information increased drastically. And I gained tons of new insights and perspectives on my life and the world around me.
What seems to catch people’s attention is that they assume it was some massive feat of willpower. It was at first, but within a week or so, I adopted a few strategies to make the whole process more efficient and more enjoyable. Once you get the hang of it, consuming a typical popular science book should take no more than a few hours (exceptions if the book is either really good or really bad).
These are strategies anyone can use and require little practice. You can be up to speed and doing this stuff within a week or two. It will just take some conscious effort at first and a little bit of practice. For the most part, these tips are practical and logical, not some uber-speed-reading techniques.
But before we get into it, let’s start with a question:
“What is the purpose of reading?”