Increasing Your Reading

So, I recently had a challenge that I “quit” because it wasn’t an actual challenge. It was a way to say I was doing a challenge while not really changing my behavior at all.

That challenge was to read 30 minutes a day. I already do this most days, so it was a pointless challenge (i.e., it wasn’t a challenge at all. A challenge should be challenging)

But, for those of you who may have thought this would be a great concept for you to follow, I can provide some tips.

  1. Find a comfortable place to read! A lot of people think a great place to read is in bed. This doesn’t work for me. I can’t stay comfortable reading in bed for more than about 10 minutes. For me, the best place is a comfortable chair. The best place I’ve ever read was on a double chaise lounge in my Uncle’s back yard in his place in the Mountains of Scottsdale Arizona, with a fire going. It was sublime. 
  2. Read things you enjoy reading. So often, we do what we think we should do. “Well, I’m supposed to enjoy the writings of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. I think I’ll read some of their books”. If you don’t like their writing, or you don’t like fiction in general, then don’t read it. I prefer non-fiction myself – Business biographies, Business development, self-help, Theoretical Physics, etc. That’s what I like, so that’s what I read. Remember High School? If you didn’t like the books, then you probably just didn’t read them.
  3. Find a routine. This doesn’t apply to everyone. Heck, it doesn’t even apply to me. I don’t do well with routines. I prefer to do things as they come to me, so if I’m in the middle of a book, I may pull out my phone, my tablet, or my kindle, and pick up where I left off. However, if you’re looking to increase your reading throughput, create a routine. Say every night, before going to bed, I’m going to read for 30 minutes. Or just, “I’m going to read before bed” – the amount of time will likely vary depending on how tired you are. This provides a couple of benefits. The most important one is that you will focus on yourself, and have something that you enjoy doing. If you are taking care of a family, they will know that this is your time. It’s important to have time for yourself, and don’t let anyone (family, friends, or work) take that away from you.
My last tip is for anyone who wants to reduce clutter in their life, without sacrificing a book collection. I have probably 100-200 physical books right now…I also just moved. Those two things do not go together. Books are freaking heavy, and moving them is a pain. I nearly killed my back trying to move my big box o’ books. As part of the move, I’m looking to reduce the crap I have in my life, so I decided to pick up a Kindle from Amazon. You can use any e-reader, but I prefer the Kindle because of the content dominance, and the apps that work on my other devices.
The coolest thing is something called whispersync, which syncs up where you are in the book with the cloud. So if I read to page 142 on my Kindle, then when I pull out my tablet or my phone, it asks if I want to jump to where I left off. Yes, please! I’m still building my collection there, but it is growing quickly. I especially like all the free books. You get tons of classics free – so if you want some of the classic books (1920’s and earlier), you can have them free. I’m also reading up on Einstein for free. Additionally, the books are cheaper on Kindle, so if you digest a lot of books, like I do, then you will make back your money quickly. I’ve already saved ~$20 on books in the month since I got it.
My recommendation is the Kindle Touch (wi-fi or 3G, your choice. I went with wi-fi, but I kind of wish I had gotten the 3G). It’s light, and it just kind of disappears in your hands – you forget you are reading on a device. I also recommend you get it with special offers. It essentailly brings up new offers in your area from Amazon Locals. I actaully prefer it, because it gives you special deals, and it knocks $40 off the price of your Kindle. If you hate them, you can get rid of them by paying the $40, but everywhere I read said that they are better than the standard, and I agree.
Anyway, if you want to check out the Kindle, check the link below, and see if it’s right for you! It’s highly recommended by me, and let me say, I was one of the people who always said he would never ever get rid of his physical books!!!

Reading Challenge is Called Off

So, I have not done my reading every day like I set out to do, but that’s okay. Let me explain why.

The motivation behind the new challenge was to make myself more productive. The problem is this: I already read frequently, but I have fallen down on this lately, due to a number of other things popping up in my life (family, friends, a dinner party I just threw…stuff creeps up)

I realized last night that this challenge was not in the true spirit of this blog, or of the concept. It was a cop-out. I felt like I should have a new 30 day challenge, so I came up with an easy one. Since I already read frequently, 30 minutes a day would be easy. The purpose of the 30-day concept is to challenge yourself. So, with that all said:

I am cancelling the 30 day reading challenge

Finally, a New Challenge! Reading Every Day

So, I completely fell off the wagon with my blogging. I did complete the “No processed or refined carbs” challenge. It didn’t stick, but it was very eye opening. My co-workers hated me, pretty much, because I was being difficult.

I’m still difficult – I don’t eat meat anymore. Not by choice…I just had a sudden, unexpected aversion to meat. It all happened one day at the grocery store, and I haven’t had the desire to eat any meat since.

I’ll keep this one short, ’cause I know you probably don’t have a ton of time to read this 🙂

My new challenge is

Read at least 30 minutes every day

Now, my goal is for one hour, as I’ve done that before, but I figure for 30 days, I can take it nice and easy and go for a 30 minute minimum. It can be anything, as long as it’s not for work.

1. Magazines (I like Men’s Health, GQ, and Entrepreneur)
2. Books
3. Educational Electronic Reading

I recently bought a Kindle, so I can buy lots of books for free! I just downloaded a couple of Nietzsche books that I’m looking forward to reading. I’m also going to read a few physics books.

Today, I read Men’s Health, and finished it. It’s a great magazine. I learned quite a bit…but I’m too tired to tell you about it, so I’ll just say: Sometimes the best medicine is to take a smoothie made from Saline and Poop.

Last night, I finished a great book about Vagabonding – I hope I can take off for a few months at some point! That would be fantastic 🙂 It was called Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts

It was a great book. I’m going to leave it at this, and I’ll tell you more about what I’m reading tomorrow. Maybe Nietzsche, maybe Michio Kaku, and maybe, just maybe, some J.K. Rowling