I consider reading the equivalent of having classes with the best and most interesting people on earth (so long as you read only the books by the best). You can literally take the distillation of their experience and ingest it in a few hours and then apply it to your life.
Ever since 2014 when I realized that the most intelligent and successful people ingest hundreds of books, I dedicated to spending my time on reading more books. It started with one of my 30-Day-Challenges, and like many of my challenges, the habit stuck around much longer than just 30 days.
I still read a lot of news as I did before, but I spend much more time on reading with reading an average of 17.5 books per year. Having counted the number of pages I read, it is about 22,682 pages with about 4500 pages per year. I read some big books, some small, some fiction, lots of non-fiction, some self-help, some business. I read some books by men, some by women, some by Asian or Latin or African writers. I read poetry and biographies, science and religion. I basically try to keep my mind open and diverse.
How much time does this take up? Well, that’s not hard to calculate. I keep track of the books and the pages that each book happens to be. My guess is it takes me around three minutes per page. At that rate, I have spent around 1134 hours or about 230 hours per year reading over the past six years. That’s only about 8 hours a month, on average! That’s less time than a season of most shows, but the reward is so much more.
So what happens if I keep this up? Well, I should finish my list of 225 books on my current “To Read List” (to which I add books anytime I hear one recommended) by the time I’m fifty. And if I live a nice long life of 100, then that could be a total of 1143 books!
If I increase my speed by 2x or spend twice the time on reading instead of social media or Netflix, that would be 2200 books (which is about how many books Bill Gates reads every year and a lot less than Elon Musk who reads up to ). It’s amazing how much more you can get from changing a small part of your life. And 16 hours a month, is still less than what we spend on watching TV or social media, per week. But the reward is so much more.
After writing this, I ended up doing some deep dives into writing and I found that Tim Ferris, writer of Four-Hour Work Week has some great effective reading tutorials.
One on Speed Reading and another on Reading to Remember.