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Want to read more? Okay, here's a few ways to do so

This follows on from "On Getting More Done – Top-down, or bottom up?" - the basic idea behind that post is you can get a lot more done by either taking on a lot more responsibilities, which forces you to adjust and use your time better - this is the "top down" strategy. Alternatively, you can slowly build and reclaim time from your life, moving your time from less meaningful areas into more meaningful areas.

But let's get more specific. I read a lot of books. Most smart people want to read a lot of books, but don't find the time to do it. So, how to read more?

This is where the bottom-up approach shines. You slowly move time from less meaningful areas to more meaningful areas.

"Sebastian, I just want to read more. I don't care about this tracking stuff."

Okay.

Reading Speed and Comprehension

On Mental Models

As part of the whole personal-development and self-help movement, people often recommend things that are mostly one thing - easy to measure.

Reading speed is such a thing. Now I'll grant that there are probably people who are reading very slowly and they would benefit greatly from improving their reading speed up to a "normal" level. But it is my opinion that after a certain rate of words per minute, additional reading speed is at best useless, and often decreases comprehension.

I just turned over page 189 in a 230 page book. I started reading it last night, and I think I did about 20-30 pages before going to sleep. So today I've read about 160-170 pages, on a sunny Saturday, between running errands, replying to emails and eating a late lunch.

This feels like a lot of pages to me. I don't consider myself a slow reader, but I also don't usually do over 100 pages in a day, even on a lazy Saturday. This got me thinking. Why am I reading this book so fast? (For your reference, the book is "Why Work Sucks" by Ressler and Thompson, a non-fiction book).

At the same time, I've been reading Early Retirement Extreme by Fisker for the second time, and I've been on the task for a week. Half way through, I believe. It might be a slightly longer book, but it is inconceivable for me to read 160 pages of ERE a day even if I planned a marathon reading session.

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