Reading Too Fast?

reading blur

Can’t read this.

A long time ago, I figured out that my life is better when I read. Another thing I figured out a long time ago is that I’m not a strong multitasker (I’m also not a strong musician, farmer or accountant, but pretty decent really at making coffee and swimming). So, when I try to read too many things at the same time, I get a pile of half read books on my nightstand that I can’t remember anything about.

When I’m into a novel, I really turn the pages and my imagination is stirred. When I read history, biographies or books about success, it motivates me to overcome challenges and solve problems. When I read scripture, it helps me stay on the path. When I try and read all of them at the same time, I get a mess.

What I want out of a book is to be entertained and learn something, so I revisited the old axiom of less is more and applied two simple things that made a difference in my reading:

  • Read one book, slowly – It’s not a race. Blowing through To Kill A Mockingbirdor Life is fine, but speed doesn’t work well for me when I read spiritual or motivational books. I have to slow down and soak it in, word by word.
  • Once finished, collect the takeaways before starting another book – The books I get the most out of have been dog eared, marked up with notes in the margins and highlighted. Take just a little bit of time to reflect on what you learned and how you’ll apply them.

These aren’t big life changing things, but small adjustments that helped. Slowing down and reflecting can be helpful in other parts of you life (relationships, career, faith), so it’s more than just how you go about reading a book.


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