HOW TO READ 100 BOOKS IN 100 DAYS
With only a few keystrokes standing between them and Google’s never-ending database, many people now look at getting information from books as a dying art.
I’m not one of them! I love books so much, in fact, that reading two or more a week has always come fairly easily — especially if their topics matter to me.
Even so, reading 100 books in 100 days requires a multi-pronged approach. If you think it sounds like a challenge worth pursuing, here’s the one that worked for me:
1. PICK A SUBJECT THAT REALLY INTERESTS YOU
For me, what to read about was never in doubt: plant-based living. But even though I’ve run a plant-based business for eight years, the passion for what I do has grown exponentially over the past 100 days.
Now I have a hundred more reasons supporting my decision to get up every day and continue promoting a plant-based world!
2. MAKE A PLAN
Come up with a reasonable estimate of your reading speed and plan the time you can devote to a book each day. And don’t think things will always go according to plan — often, my work hours ran longer than expected!
I timed my reading speed at between 70 and 90 seconds for an average, 350-word page. However, the six children’s books I included only took between 10 to 20 minutes to read — and another 40 to review. Their shorter length was ideal for days when I knew I’d be strapped for time!
As a bit of a perfectionist, “skimming” wasn’t an option! So, I allotted multiple days to any titles over 200 pages.
I also found a technique that dramatically picked up the pace.
3. FIND THE TECHNIQUES THAT WORK FOR YOU
The SECRET to cutting my reading speed to 40 seconds per page?
Reading and highlighting a hardcover book while simultaneously listening to the audio version! To help me stay focused, I’d highlight and tab the pages with my favorite quotes.
Reading and listening to books let me finish them an average of three times faster than reading alone. Dr. Michael Greger’s How Not To Diet’s nearly 600 pages, for example, took me just eight hours to complete — instead of 24!
Needless to say, tabbing and highlighting the quotes also meant much shorter review times.
4. DECIDE WHO OR WHAT WILL KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE
Being accountable to someone or something has enabled me to complete many past goals. When I decided to keep a journal for a year, I committed to sending my daily post to the same person each night.
For my 100-book challenge, the commitment was to post a review on my blog each day. Whichever method you choose, being accountable is a critical part of sticking to your plan.
5. KEEP THE ONES YOU LOVE IN THE LOOP
I knew going in that tackling this challenge would sometimes be hard on my family. Reading until 2 a.m. (on the days that really didn’t go as planned) and still getting up in time to start the workday wouldn’t have been possible without their support.
When things began to take their toll, we had a family meeting. I explained that my 100-book challenge was like adding a part-time job to my full-time one, on top of my responsibilities as a husband and dad.
But communicating the “what” and “why” of my goal was essential to their understanding of the reasons it mattered to all of us.
6. DON’T FORCE YOURSELF TO FINISH A BOOK YOU DON’T LOVE
I honestly loved almost every book I read. But there were about five that I either didn’t enjoy enough to complete or didn’t think worthy of a review.
7. REMIND YOURSELF THAT IT’S NOT JUST A GOAL; IT’S A LIFE-CHANGING ADVENTURE!
As I stand here looking at the 100 books on my shelf, I’m flooded with memories from the past few months:
Trying to read Dr. Neal Barnard’s hormone-focused Your Body in Balance on a cross-country flight — while simultaneously trying to hide its front cover from my fellow passengers.
Laughing my way through The Skeptical Vegan, so much so that my daughter commented how nice it was to see me laughing that much.
Reading Dr. Thomas’ Campbell’s book while walking in the woods next to our house and having a lady stop me on the trail to ask what I was reading — and then argue with me about it.
Now that it’s over? I’m already dreaming about the subjects I want to tackle in my next “adventure!”