Are you looking to read more books but can’t seem to find the time or the motivation? You’re not alone. The world is full of distractions that can waste your time and energy. But for those who have a passion for the written word, there are ways to overcome these hurdles and cultivate a robust reading habit.
Reading more books is an admirable goal that can expand your mind, improve your cognitive abilities, and offer you a richer, more nuanced understanding of the world. Bibliophiles like Tyler Cowen and Ryan Holiday are well-known for consuming vast quantities of books yearly. Let’s explore their strategies and learn from their habits.
Tyler Cowen: Quantity and Quality
Economics professor and co-founder of the blog Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen, is known for his voracious reading habits, consuming hundreds of books per year. How does he do it? Here are a few insights.
1. Skim first: Cowen advocates for speed reading or skimming through a book before deciding whether to devote more time to it. Skimming allows you to get the gist of the book, which can help you decide if it’s worth delving deeper.
2. Don’t be afraid to quit: If a book isn’t engaging or useful, Cowen recommends abandoning it. There’s no sense in wasting time on a book that isn’t providing value. Life is too short, and there are too many good books out there to stick with one that’s not working for you.
3. Read broadly, but specialize too: Cowen suggests reading widely to expose yourself to a variety of ideas, but also recommends specializing in certain areas. By focusing on specific subjects, you can develop a deeper understanding and knowledge base.
Ryan Holiday: Deliberate and Reflective Reading
Ryan Holiday, author, media strategist, and populizer of all things stoic philosophy, is another avid reader who goes through hundreds of books a year. He has a different approach to reading than Cowen; here are some of his strategies:
1. Always have a book with you: Holiday suggests always having a book on hand. This allows you to fill in those idle moments with reading rather than scrolling through your phone.
2. Note-taking and marginalia: Holiday is a firm believer in active reading. He takes notes, underlines passages, and writes in the margins of his books. This helps him engage more deeply with the material and aids in recall later on.
3. Reflect and review: Holiday recommends reviewing your notes and even rereading books to ensure comprehension and retention. By reflecting on what you’ve read, you can deepen your understanding and apply the knowledge to your own life.
Conclusion: Develop Your Own Reading Habit
While Cowen and Holiday have different strategies, they share a deep love of reading and a commitment to making it a priority. If you want to read more books, consider trying some of their strategies.
Remember, the goal isn’t just to read more books for the sake of quantity but to enrich your mind and life. So skim or dive deep, read broadly or specialize, take notes or reflect — find what works best for you and make reading a part of your daily routine. The world of books is vast and varied, and there’s always something new to discover.
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