Let’s get one thing clear: if you want to be an excellent writer, you must first be a proficient reader.
Writing skills and reading skills go hand in hand. Why? When you read a lot, you are researching materials and coming across different information.
You will only get this variety of information from reading or from interacting with different people in different settings and experience things firsthand.
You’re going to have to find all that information not through direct observation and experience but through reading about other people’s experiences and conclusions. Reading enables you to find, take up, and understand all that information.
Reading also helps people become better writers because you pick up styles. Different people set ideas into words in their own ways. Writers have different styles because they have different experiences, habits, mindsets, and attitudes.
All of these combine to present the same information in different ways.
As a writer, you pick up those styles and possibly use them to serve your interest when you write. By the same token, when you read a lot, you learn how not to write. Let’s face it; there are a lot of lousy writers out there. They use 100 words when five words would do. They use the wrong words to express their thoughts, so they sound confused, awkward, or even ham-fisted.
When you read many materials from different sources, you learn what not to do. You get ideas on how to express yourself better.
All of these ideas are crucial to becoming a better writer.
You develop an open mind because as you read one book, one blog post, or one article after another, you become a sponge for ideas. You suck it all up, and you slice and dice them, mix and match them, and make sense of them so you can become a better communicator through the written word.
Reading helps you become a more critical and logical thinker.
Please don’t get me wrong. If you’re a voracious reader, you shouldn’t simply just suck up all information and ideas you get exposed to.
That’s a necessary part of the process, but there’s a lot more to it.
You can’t simply take in information without critiquing, questioning, and ultimately, connecting the dots. When you read a lot, you slowly become more critical because you can’t help it.
If you’re on your tenth book on an idea you keep reading about, you will compare it with stuff you’ve been exposed to before. At the back of your mind, you’re saying, “Well, this doesn’t quite fit.” or “Why are the other things that I’ve read on this topic saying one thing and this is saying another?” You learn to compare and contrast and use your logical skills. You learn to doubt, ask questions, and be a more skeptical and exacting thinker.
Don’t just accept everything at face value which brings me to my next point.
When you read a lot, you can move past your assumptions. Some intelligent people can be intellectually lazy. It’s as if they’ve reached a point where they have an intellectual comfort zone that they don’t want to push against. When you reach this point and feel that you know everything you need to know, you’ve become intellectually stagnant. You think of one million and one ways to explain stuff that doesn’t fit.
If you’re confronted with new information, you become insecure and reactive because you don’t want to learn anymore. You don’t want to be in this situation because it means you’re not growing. Your assumptions, slowly but surely, begin to give way when you develop a habit for reading quickly and many different materials from different people. An open mind replaces your intellectual comfort zone.
Whatever it is that you assume to be true is only good until you come across a new piece of information that would change your opinion. The best part of this is you’re perfectly okay with it because you’re not married to one position. Instead, you base your conception of reality on facts as you perceive them. All of these skills are crucial to writers, particularly dictation bloggers.
You have to understand that when you dictate your content, you have hundreds, if not thousands, of different ideas flashing in and out of your mind in nanoseconds.
Where do you think these ideas come from? Do you think they just happened in a vacuum? Do you think you’re just lucky, or you were born that way? Of course not.
Most of us are only able to drink from the dynamic and volatile fire hydrant of ideas, insights, and inspirations because we read a lot.
It’s all about exposure.
The bottom line is to become a better writer, you have to become a better reader.
To become a better reader, you have to learn how to read a lot of materials.
Volume has to be part of the picture because how would you know if a material is good, insightful, or meaningful if you don’t go through many different pieces of information.
You can’t. You have to read many books, sources, and posts to know what’s good and pick apart useful things. Reading a lot ultimately increases your knowledge, boosts your ability to comprehend information, and put them all together.
Reading is a great way for sharpening, honing, and leveling up your mental and emotional machinery.
How Long Does It Take to Read A 100-Page Book?
One hundred pages seem intimidating. Depending on the book and how it’s formatted, 100 pages can be several inches thick. Reading a 100-page hardbound book will seem like a hassle to a typical busy American with plenty of obligations. But in reality, a 100-page book can take many different forms depending on how the pages are formatted.
But the rule of thumb is one single-spaced page in a typical font and with typical spacing will have 250 words on it.
This is double-spaced, regular font material.
If you’re looking at stuff online or on Kindle books, it can be less or more, depending on the formatting.
The average American adult reads up to around 350 words per minute; this is the average reading speed. This means that an average American college graduate will take less than 100 minutes to read a 100-page book with a regular format of 250 words per page or a total of 25,000 words.
For people sampled from a wider age range and educational attainment, the average speed for reading non-technical material is around 250 words a minute.
How Long to Read 100 Pages?
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the details involving the ability to read 100 pages. First, we have to factor in age. A 2019 article by M. Brysbaert for The Journal of Memory and Language states that there is a wide disparity in reading speed depending on the educational attainment and age of the reader. Six to seven-year-olds can have a reading range of 53 to 111 words per minute. The reading speed then increases quite a bit until they reach twelfth grade or eighteen years old.
At that point, most Americans would read at the rate of between 250 to 300 words per minute.
Somebody who either has some college education or a college degree can read up to a maximum average of 350 words per minute.
For adults, in general, the range is between 220 to 350 words per minute. This is the average speed, meaning if you’re a normal person right off the street with average education, you can be expected to read at this rate.
There’s a problem, though.
If you’re trying to improve your reading speed, you can’t rely on averages. You will have to focus on how you individually can maximize your speed and the factors involved.
How Long to Read 100 Pages and More by Fast Readers?
A fast reader can read past 350 words per minute or even 500 to 750 to 1,000 words per minute. What are the factors that would enable you to reach that level?
As an overview, you would need advanced training. This doesn’t mean that you must have a Master’s or a Ph.D. Still, you would have to go through a process where you consciously or intentionally have to read at a higher speed than the average person.
Another factor is interest.
Maybe you just really like the stuff that you normally read. For example, I can read many pages in no time flat if I’m reading an interesting book like a gripping spy novel or an amazing book of practical everyday applications of economic theories.
I feel sorry for my local bookstore down the street because I read the entire book Freakonomics by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt while waiting for my wife to finish shopping.
That’s right. I was so into that book that I read it in one sitting.
It also helped a lot that my wife takes forever to shop, but you get my point. If you’re into a novel or a short story or an article, you eat that stuff up quickly. And that turns into a habit because you focus on books that interest you and this helps increase your reading speed tremendously.
Another factor is your reading habits. Do you feel like rereading a paragraph that you’ve already read to “totally understand” it? Are you the type of person who reads sentences quickly and then feels that you have to go back because you might’ve missed something?
These habits can slow you down. Other people read faster because it’s their habit to go through the book’s chapter headings first or read the introduction and the final chapter to get an idea about the book.
These habits play a big role in how quickly you read and understand materials. Don’t forget about the impact of techniques. Some people read in two-word blocks, while others prefer to read every word thoroughly before moving on to the next.
Others still try not to sound out the words in their mind.
Instead, they try to recognize the meaning of each word as they move down the page. There is no right or wrong answer because we all have our techniques taught by either our parents or our teachers.
It doesn’t matter where we got the techniques. We pick them up along the way, and they strongly impact how we learn information from written materials.
The good news is you can improve whatever technique you already have. Don’t think that just because you read 200 words or less per minute that you’re stuck. You can always improve on your technique, leading to better reading habits and exploding your reading speed. Some people have gone through specialized reading and comprehension programs like the Evelyn Wood speed reading system.
The jury is still out as to how effective these programs are, but some people swear by them.
I’ve read Evelyn Wood’s classic book on speed reading, and I’ve improved my reading speed remarkably. But there are limits to these programs. Sometimes, consciously and intentionally trying to improve your reading speed by taking certain classes and reading certain books can put a lot of pressure on yourself.
You have to think about that because if you’re feeling under pressure to read very quickly, you’re at risk for making certain mistakes that can reduce your overall speed.
Scanning vs. Skimming vs. Reading and Reading speed
It’s very tempting to sign up for a wide range of speed reading and comprehension courses and think that you’re taking your reading speed to a whole other level.
But in reality, you might be only learning to scan materials very fast and skim them rapidly.
You walk away from that experience believing that you’re a faster reader. This is not true because when you scan and skim, you’re not reading or comprehending the materials or making logical associations among them, or comparing them to the stuff you’ve learned before.
Instead, you’re only processing a tremendous amount of materials, so you have, maybe, 50% idea of what you’re looking at.
But without context and practical application, the material is not useful. Don’t confuse scanning, skimming, and reading with each other.
They’re all important, but they are part of a process. Screw up this process, and you won’t be able to level up your writing practice because you’d be focusing on skimming and scanning, but the information is not there.
Also, you’re not doing yourself any favor as far as your logical and thinking skills are concerned. You have to do all three things in the right sequence. First, you have to scan.
Whenever you come across a blog post, an article, or a book, scan it by checking out the chapter headings or sub-headings. When you do this, two things happen: you get an overview, and you overcome the emotional misgivings and intimidation you may feel about the material.
Many people have a tough time reading not because they’re dumb or less educated or don’t know what certain words mean. No.
They have a tough time because they think that reading is going to be a hassle or boring. They think it’s a waste of their time.
You can liken this situation to stepping up to the three-point line to shoot a basketball and believing that your shot will not go through.
You’re emotionally sabotaging yourself when you do that. Your proficiency tends to suffer.
Scanning goes a long way in getting rid of the emotional baggage. You will start thinking that the stuff you’re about to read is not as bad as you thought.
When you scan a material, you get an overview, making you less scared of reading. You’ll no longer think that reading is going to be a waste of your time.
After scanning, you skim. Get the main structure and then skim a few lines per chapter, per heading.
Read the introduction and the conclusion, and before you know it, you feel much better about what you’re about to read.
Scanning and skimming make reading so much easier.
You’re no longer feeling emotionally uncertain, confused, or intimidated. Instead, you’re more likely to find something that interests you and run with it. This makes all the difference in the world as you read each word and make sense of each part of your reading content. This also enables you to piece everything together, so you will understand what you’ve just read and remember and apply it to things you already know.
How Long to Read Different Books Including The Lord of the Rings, A Game of Thrones, and Other Fiction Books?
Fiction books or “leisure” books may seem like easy reads.
Still, you have to think about your ability to read them quickly using the same factors as you would with any other type of book.
What are these factors? Keep the following in mind.
Reading Speed Depends on the Book Type
There are different book types out there.
A historical novel is different from a history book which is different from an economics book.
Poetry is different from an economics book. Books about spirituality or philosophy are a different type altogether. The same can be said about medical or law books.
The type of book that you’re reading plays a big role in its readability. Book type doesn’t only impact the content, it also requires a certain format or structure.
A law school book that includes many excerpts of cases will be formatted differently from a medical book, which reads differently from a poetry book. The type of book and its subject matter impacts structure. Even in fiction, different sub-genres require different narration styles that impact how the book is laid out. These differences translate to measurable differences in how ordinary people read materials.
Speaking of law books, I used to work as an insurance adjuster in California. One day, one of my clients came to me to check about her insurance claim.
She whipped out what I thought was a phone book; it was that thick. I gleaned from the book’s spine that it was titled Constitutional Law.
It turned out that it was her textbook for just one subject, and she was taking six different subjects that semester. All of her books for the other subjects were as thick as the constitutional law book.
That’s law school for you.
I’m sure that medical school is not much different. The constitutional law book was that thick because of the structure of the material it contains.
Reading Speed Depends on the Interests of the Reader
As I mentioned earlier, I practically zipped through one chapter after another of Freakonomics.
I loved the stories and how they related to otherwise lifeless and dull economic theories.
I sat down to read while waiting for my wife, and by the time she called me, I’ve gone through the whole book. It helped a lot that I’m a big fan of practical applications of economic theories, so when I came across Freakonomics, my interest made me eat up that book quickly.
Your interest in topic, categories, or fiction sub-genres plays a big role in how you quickly process information.
It also has a significant impact on how well you will remember the ideas of a book. I can still rattle off three key points off Freakonomics. That’s how interested I am in that type of topic.
Reading Speed Depends on the Reader’s Prior Knowledge
Suppose you already have background info on the topic of a book, an article, or blog post that you’re speed reading. In that case, you’re more likely to zip through the materials.
Very few of the things that you’re reading about are completely new to you.
At the very least, they are somewhat familiar so that you can come up with a context. You don’t feel lost or need somebody to explain everything to you from a big picture perspective.
This enables you to go from paragraph to paragraph while focusing on the key context.
Of course, the reason you can do this is you’ve read similar books before. Do you see how important reading a lot is? Even if it’s your first time reading about astrophysics, by the time you’re reading your fifth book about that topic, you’d be reading at a much faster rate.
In the beginning, it would be like pulling teeth, but you will eventually get the hang of it. That’s how awesome reading can be.
You’re not starting with a blank slate because there’s a foundation. Every single item you read on a topic or related topic builds on that foundation.
Reading Speed Depends on the Reader’s Circumstances
Let me tell you, I will have a tough time reading a practical economics book if I came across it during a meeting with a client who has a deadline.
Believe it or not, your circumstances play a big role in how quickly and effectively you process written materials.
If you’re reading to relax, you will have a different mental state than reading to kill time. For example, when I read Freakonomics in one sitting, I was reading to kill time because I didn’t want to go with my wife to different shops.
I was in a different frame of mind when I was reading that book. It’s important to be aware of the circumstances surrounding your efforts at reading.
You may find yourself making time to read something in many cases because it’s very interesting to you. The polar opposite of this is the feeling that you must read something because it’s part of your job. You know how that goes, right?
Please factor in the circumstances surrounding your reading activity because it plays a big role. It impacts your overall psychology, ability, and willingness to take in and make sense of new information.
Reading Speed Depends on Your Thinking Abilities
I’m not necessarily talking about your IQ; let’s get that out of the way.
Instead, I’m talking about your ability to think critically. Some people process information in such a way that they assume whatever they are reading is automatically true.
They don’t compare it with what they know to be true; they don’t try to pick patterns or question the motives of the person sharing the information. They automatically assume that a piece of information is legit if it came from certain channels or fits their beliefs.
What I just described goes a long way in explaining the rise and spread of fake news on social media.
Let’s be honest, you wouldn’t click the share button if you come across information in a context where you are skeptical or critical.
You would think that the stuff you just read is bogus.
Some people deliberately share wrong information. You can be vulnerable to fake news if its sharer is somebody you often agree with and whose stuff you like a lot.
The same applies to your reading habits. If you’re not thinking critically, you may feel that you’re reading very quickly.
The problem is you’re going to hit a wall when it comes to comprehension or making sense of the information. Ultimately, reading is not only about intake. It also involves the ability to connect ideas and topics to find patterns. You then use this information to make choices, which is hard to do when you’re not thinking critically.
Also, you start having a big-picture perspective when you piece things together.
This doesn’t only arise from the stuff you’ve just read; it’s the culmination of all the things you’ve experienced before, so you start developing a sense of context.
This makes you smarter because you become a more knowledgeable person. However, the foundation of all of this is the ability to think critically.
When you read a lot, when you compare the stuff you’ve read and critique what you read, you become a better thinker.
This can have a big impact on the quality of your decisions.
Reading Speed Depends on the Author and the Author’s Writing Style
Let’s face it, some authors are easy to read.
One of the main reasons Stephen King is such a successful writer is his easy writing style.
On the other hand, writers in academia, generally, are notoriously hard to read. For one class in college, I had to read at least one book by Michel Foucault.
Not only was his writing difficult to understand in his native French, but it was doubly hard when translated into English.
I was reading through his classic, Discipline and Punish, at the speed of frozen molasses.
I would read one sentence, then double back to make sure about what I read, then move on to the next sentence and double back again.
It was like pulling teeth.
Your reading speed is also determined by editorial skill
Never underestimate the power of a great editor. If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking of applying dictation writing or dictaphone writing to writing a book like a novel.
That’s all well and good but make sure you find a good editor.
Editors can and do make a big difference. Please keep in mind that I’m talking about editors, not proofreaders.
The latter can do an amazing job of ensuring that your grammar is correct and that you don’t make obvious mistakes. Still, they’re not going to go into the guts of your writing. Proofreaders will not tell you if a whole line of thought does not make any sense or your overall style doesn’t fit the message you’re trying to get across. That’s an editor’s job.
Editors play a big role in how readable a book is.
If you’re out of luck and you come across a badly edited book, you’re going to have a tough time. Please make no mistake about it, editorial strategic decisions impact the overall quality and readability of a book.
Reading Speed Depends on Your Habits
If you read only once in a blue moon, don’t expect to blast through the next book you crack open.
It’s like dancing. If you dance only once in five years, don’t take it personally if people think you have two left wooden legs when you dance at a wedding.
It’s all about practice.
The same goes for reading. If you read a lot, you would be able to read at a decent speed. The right reading habits also help. No matter how often you read, you’re going to have a tough time if you’re the type who constantly rereads a previous paragraph, sentence, or worse yet, word.
Do You Focus on Reading Speed or Understanding and Remembering What You Read?
It’s extremely important to understand the big difference between reading and understanding. On top of that, you have to be critical about how you read. Are you truly reading? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that question? In reality, a lot of people can scan and skim but not really read. Here’s the good news: if you want to be a better reader, you have to practice scanning, skimming, and reading.
Excellent reading skills depend on your willingness to commit to leveling up your scanning, skimming, and reading abilities. These three all have roles to play in not only making you a proficient and effective reader but a smarter and more knowledgeable person all around.
How to Read 100 Pages A Day
I don’t want to disappoint you, but I’m not going to teach you how to read 100 pages a day in one day. That’s just not going to happen.
Instead, I will teach you the steps to reach a point where you can read 100 pages every day. One hundred pages amount to roughly 25,000 words. It is doable. Just as I can write up to 80,000 words a day, you can level up your reading speed to 100 pages a day. Here’s how:
Scan, Skim, and Read
Read that series of actions, memorize them. If you want to be a fast rider, you must first start with your scanning skills. Go through the materials from beginning to end; read the headings. When you do this, you get over your emotional objections or fear of the material. Scanning will help you get rid of the emotional baggage you may have about the material, especially if it’s unfamiliar to you.
The next part is skimming. This is where you actually read bits and pieces, headings, introduction, and the conclusion. You’re picking up enough information to piece together a broad overview of the material you’re about to read. This not only will set you at ease on an emotional level but will also give you confidence on an intellectual level. You’re no longer going to be taking wild shots in the dark; you have a broad overview of what you’re getting into.
With that confidence, you can start reading. This is where you read every sentence, and you get information from it so you can pick it apart and put it back together.
Start Low and Slow
I can’t emphasize that it’s important you start low and slow. Don’t read 100 pages in one day because that’s going to throw off the rest of your day, and you’ll probably not achieve much except scaring and demotivating yourself. Don’t do that. Instead, start with one page. I’m sure you can do that since most people are okay with that. That’s 250 words. When you read that in a minute, keep at it and see if you can increase your reading speed in terms of words per minute.
Maybe you can finish the page in 45 seconds. After several days of reading, maybe you can get it down to half a minute. If you keep at it long enough, maybe you finish it in ten seconds. The key is to read in short chunks. Don’t demotivate yourself by deciding to read Leo Tolstoy or Fyodor Dostoevsky; this is not a good start. Start with something short and very easy for you. Read short chunks, a page or two.
And when you scan material, time your action. Pay attention to your scanning every day; try to get as close to zero seconds. At first, it’s going to take you several seconds to scan the page, but eventually, you will reach a point where you’re very close to zero seconds. The same goes for skimming. Skim naturally, and then pretty soon, you will get the habit of skimming faster without degrading your ability to pick up patterns or understand headings. Keep at it until it takes you practically zero seconds to scan or skim.
When you are at zero seconds for the scanning or skimming part, you now start reading. This is the part where you start pushing yourself. A lot has to happen when you read. You take in the words, make sense of them, remember them, and put them side by side with the stuff you’ve read before. You also try to fit them into the things you already know. Ultimately, you question what you’ve read, and you compare it to what you’ve learned before.
That’s how you deepen your understanding and sharpen your mental blade to become a smarter and wiser person.
Start With Stuff You Love Reading
If you want to figure out how to read 100 pages a day, you have to start with the right materials. You can’t just pick any random book off a bookstore shelf and expect to read 100 pages a day. It doesn’t work that way.
You have to start from a position of comfort, and this means being clear on the stuff that you like to read. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I like to read economics books or thrillers, or historical fiction. Start with stuff that you wouldn’t mind reading.
Pick Your Most Productive Time
A lot of people are more productive in the morning. Some are night owls, and they do their best work at night.
There’s really no right and wrong answer. Instead, focus on the time range you know you will be productive and practice speed reading in that time block.
Pick Your Optimal Reading Location
Figuring out how to read 100 pages every single day involves picking out the right location. Just as you have a productive time block where things fall into place, and you’re able to knock things out as quickly as possible to the highest quality standard, you also have productivity-enhancing locations.
A lot of the time, I can’t work at my home office. My bookshelf seems cluttered.
Also, I tend to be more productive when I’m in an open area where there’s a lot of people talking and carrying on. All this commotion and seeming chaos push me to zero in on the stuff in front of me.
But everybody is wired differently, and that’s ok. Figure out the location that you know you will operate at a peak level and practice speed reading there.
Take Time to Recognize, Celebrate, and Reflect on What You Accomplished
You might think that you’re not making much progress as you read one page and then two pages and three pages. It can seem like a hassle, but you need to stop and look back at what you’ve done.
If you are at five pages, give yourself permission to feel good about the fact that you’re no longer on page 1. You’ve already done that.
Learn to recognize you are far away from where you started, and that’s worth celebrating. Don’t paint yourself in an emotional corner by focusing on your ultimate goal.
Here you are at five pages per day, but your goal is 100 pages. So you feel that it’s going to take a long time or worse yet, that it is all just wasted effort.
Instead of constantly looking forward, it would help you tremendously to look back from time to time where you started. You can’t help but feel awesome because now you’re at 500% of where you were when you began.
Let that sink in.
How to Read 100 Pages Every Single Day
Remember the steps and how far you’ve gone. This will keep you motivated, and when you do that, you will be able to do the following, which will help you level up your reading speed even more.
1. Read More Pages
If you can get from half a page to one page to two pages, there’s no stopping you from getting into twenty pages, then fifty pages, then a hundred pages, and more.
The only obstacle that’s in the way is your ideas of who you are and how far you could go.
The good news is that these are all choices. You can choose not to believe in them and focus on something else.
2. Read Other Types of Text
Once you are knocking out 100 pages a day for historical fiction, economics books, and other types of writing that normally excite you, the next step is to try other types of texts.
I’m not saying that you should go from romance novels or young adult fantasy to classic literature like Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, but try something similar to the genre or the nonfiction category of books that you’re reading. When you do this, you challenge your ability to comprehend and maintain your focus when processing stuff that is normally intimidating to you.
Pretty soon, it would be best if you started venturing into maybe books about engineering, physics, medical books, law school textbooks, or really deep and obscure history.
Don’t stay within your comfort zone. Your reading skills are going to stagnate if you do that.
And if you’re feeling really adventurous, try learning a new language. Learn something more basic or close to English, like Spanish.
Frequently Asked Questions About Speed Reading
In these questions, I’m going to quickly answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the skill of speed reading.
1. Does Reading Make You Smarter?
I wish I could say, “Absolutely! 100%!” Unfortunately, in practical terms, the best answer I could give you is yes and no.
You have to understand that different people read in different ways. Suppose you just read so you can understand and remember information. In that case, that may seem like an accomplishment for many people, but it’s not enough — not by a long shot!
To make the most of reading, simply remembering what you read is insufficient. Unless you’re just reading for entertainment, you miss a lot when you just read and remember bits and pieces of the books, articles, blog posts, and other materials that you have read.
You also have to tie in what you remember from these materials to stuff that you’ve read before and your understanding of a certain subject or set of subjects.
This is how you’ll be able to detect patterns and logical connections. This is when reading turns into learning which makes you smarter.
Learn to know the difference because just because you process a lot of stuff doesn’t mean you’re smarter. To be smart means to make better decisions.
2. What Happens if You Read 20 Minutes a Day?
To a lot of people, 20 minutes seems their maximum limit. They can’t be bothered to go beyond this point. I understand that.
Unfortunately, a lot of people also think that if you only read 20 minutes a day, you’re not really accomplishing much.
I beg to differ! Every little bit helps, after all.
What can happen when you make it a point to read 20 minutes a day?
Well, first of all, you overcome your fear of reading. This fear takes many different forms. It can take the form of indifference, apathy, or flat-out fear.
Whatever the case may be, you feel that it reading is just a chore or a hassle. You get these flashbacks of bad memories from junior high school or elementary school where a teacher asks the class to read something. It has all sorts of negative emotional baggage for you.
Fortunately, if you read 20 minutes a day, you go a long way in overcoming all of that. And if you keep at it, you start reprogramming your emotional associations with the activity of reading. In other words, you’re on the right path.
This enables you to set new habits, which put you in a position to level up other skills.
Please understand that simply reading a lot and understanding and remembering information is not enough. I can’t emphasize this point enough.
Those things are impressive to a lot of people, but they’re not as useful if you don’t also become a more critical thinker. Ultimately, that should be your goal.
You’re absorbing all this information for a reason, and that reason should be to become a better thinker.
Also, when you read 20 minutes a day, chances are you’re going to be a wide reader. You don’t just read the same stuff over and over again or the same genre or topic category. You end up expanding your knowledge and ability to think in terms of connections.
Consistently doing this enables you to challenge your logic and reasoning skills and to level them up.
Best of all, when you read as little as 20 minutes a day, day after day, consistently, you end up challenging your assumptions. This is how you grow. You’re not really growing when you process the world in a way where you pick and choose stuff that supports what you think you already know.
Instead, when you become a wide reader, you start to challenge what you assume to be true. You start questioning authority, and it helps you become a better-developed person on many different levels.
3. Is It Bad to Read Too Much?
Let me put it this way.
Do you engage in a lot of superficial reading or reading just for entertainment? Are you not really challenging your assumptions, practicing critical thinking skills, or expanding your reading choices beyond the stuff you’re familiar with and interested in?
Suppose that’s the case. The answer is yes.
That’s called shallow reading. Shallow reading can be bad for you because it takes away time for other activities that can level up your life.
In many cases, having uncomfortable conversations with members of your family to resolve deep personal issues would probably be a better use of your time than just curling up with a book and just gobbling brain candy. It feels good on an emotional level, but it doesn’t really push you past your comfort zone.
4. Is It Ok to Read a Book More Than Once?
Absolutely! In fact, I recommend it, but you need to do it for the right reason.
If the book just made you feel good emotionally, and that is the main reason why you want to read it again, you probably are going to be setting yourself over a letdown. After all, things are never as good as the first time.
But if your motivation is to critique what you’ve just read or tie it to other books that you have read previously, then definitely it’s a good idea, and it’s worth it.
Because when you do so, you analyze, and you detect patterns. You try to connect the dots, and this helps you become a more disciplined and skilled thinker. So in that context, it makes a lot of sense to read a book more than once.
5. How Many Times Do You Have to Read a Book to Remember It?
If you practice the steps outlined in this guide, you only need to read a book once to remember the most important parts and tie that information to things you already know about the general subject matter of the book.
The whole point of effective speed reading and comprehension is to read materials once, thoroughly understand them, and remember them for future application.