Today, I want to show you how you can read a huge number of books—a heck of a lot more than you’re currently reading, I’d wager.
Finishing a book every couple of months? Excellent. We’re going to make that look like frickin' child’s play.
If you’re somebody who wants to read a lot more, this letter will show you how.
And I’m not kidding when I say it takes minutes per day.
No speed reading or any other dumb gimmick, either. Just the regular reading you already know how to do.
Before we dig in, I want to talk about the gym for a second.
(Trust me, it’ll make sense—keep reading.)
Everybody knows that exercise is important. No sane person would disagree with that.
If you have a gym membership, it’s quite likely you’re not using it enough as you should. Am I right?
And you probably feel guilty as a result.
(I’m not picking on you—I’ve certainly been there.)
But you know it’s good for you. Exercise means you’ll feel better, have more energy, and probably look better and live longer.
So why do we cook up a million excuses to not go?
Well, it’s hard work and we don’t like hard work.
That’s the most obvious reason—but it’s not a very good reason.
In fact, we do hard things all the time.
You could skip work, but you’d get in trouble pretty fast. Maybe you’d lose your job.
You can only go so long without cleaning the dishes before you end up with an infuriated partner, the unbearable odor of rotting food—maybe even some rats to keep you company.
(And I won’t go into the self-evident downsides of not cleaning the toilet.)
Point is, just because something is hard doesn’t mean we won’t do it. We do hard things because we’ve convinced ourselves they aren’t optional.
The gym? Totally optional. At least, that’s how we think about it.
There’s a much smaller chance you’ll get yelled at if you don’t go. There probably isn’t somebody waiting for you at the gym to make sure you show up.
The best part? We all have the silver bullet of excuses if anybody ever does decide to give us a hard time about not working out…
Who could possibly argue with that?
Well, let me tell you about a guy who could. Fellow by the name of Ryan Holiday.
He’s an author. One of my favorites. I’ve read all of his books and if he publishes a new one, I buy it sight unseen. He’s that good.
Ryan’s claim to fame—other than being a best-selling author, of course—is how much he reads.
Hundreds of books per year. Yes, you read that correctly.
I don’t think he’s lying, but that’s bananas to me. Borderline unbelievable.
Even if it's 200 hundred books per year—which would be the minimum if we’re talking about multiple "hundreds"—that's over half a book a day, every day of the year.
And the dude’s not reading Dr. Suess.
Myself, I can’t imagine how he is able to read that much, but he pulls it off.
Because he makes the time. Reading isn’t optional for him. Here’s a quote from Ryan (when he's asked about how he has time to read so much):
"So where do I get the time? ... Look, where do you get the time to eat three meals a day? How do you have time to do all that sleeping? How do you manage to spend all those hours with your kids or wife or a girlfriend or boyfriend?
"You don’t get that time anywhere, do you? You just make it because it’s really important. It’s a non-negotiable part of your life."
He’s right, of course. We make time for what’s important to us.
All this assumes you and I agree on the importance of reading. If you ask me, it’s the cheapest, most obvious way to improve yourself. More than one $12 book has rattled me to my core.
Who doesn’t want to be smarter, have a better vocabulary, and soak up the knowledge of other people?
It’s simple: smart, successful people read. It’s one of the small handful of habits shared by a huge majority of the world’s leaders, thinkers, and achievers.
You know you should read more.
You and me, we’re going to read together. That's right.
Because if you're serious about reading, you're a perfect fit for the book club...
Let me be clear—I’m not going to show you how to read as much as Ryan Holiday does.
Instead, here’s the deal:
Together, we’re going to read 20 (or so) over the next year.
(That’s a book every two weeks, give or take.)
I probably don’t know you personally, but I’m going to guess that’s more than you usually read.
And it’ll be far easier than you think. More fun, too.
When you join the book club, here’s what you’ll get:
The "shelf of shame" is my little nickname for a shelf full of books that you haven't read, but will "someday."
Instead of a bunch of pristine, dusty volumes you haven’t read, I’ll help you build a shelf full of books you have read—and fast.
All for the price of a crappy burger and fries that you should probably have skipped anyway.
Super easy: 30 minutes per day.
Every couple of weeks or so, we start a new book. Before we start, I’ll send you a reading schedule customized to the book we’re reading so you’ll know exactly how many pages you'll read each day.
Throughout the time we’re reading the book, I’ll be posting thoughts and excerpts from the book that we can discuss. All book club members are encouraged to do the same.
After we finish each book, I’ll create a review video for the book that you can watch whenever you want. We can discuss that, too.
As we get ready to finish one book, we’ll vote on the next book together. We’ll choose from a list of five books and the one that gets the most votes is our next book. I’ll email a link to all members of the book club so they can order the book in time to start reading it the following week.
(Oh, and you’ll be able to submit books for us to vote on. I want the book choices to be what you want to read.)
That’s it. Like I said, super easy.
Non-fiction, fiction, history, you name it.
Here are a few of the books we've read together:
Mastery by Robert Greene
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller
A wide variety, as you can see.
For choosing books, a few basic parameters will be:
Each book will have what I call “broad appeal.” Books should have at least a chance at being interesting to the whole group. We won’t be reading anything specific to any one industry, for example.
We’ll steer clear of books that are likely to result in lots of arguments (politics, religion, etc.).
Other than that, everything’s fair game. And, as I mentioned before, the whole group will be able to submit books to be voted on.
It’s $1 today to join. That’ll give you a week to kick the tires before you start paying the outrageous membership fee of...
28 cents per day. $8.45 per month.
About the same price as a payphone call in 1985.
Clean out your car and your couch once a month and you’ll probably be just about there.
I’m making this so incredibly, absurdly cheap for one very simple reason: I want this to exist.
© Herald Noon, LLC.