365 books per year – Is this even possible?
It is possible. Indeed, it is very realistic if you follow my strategy. And I am a very slow reader to this day!
Education is not only necessary to be able to do small talks but it can liberate you. Because without knowledge you are always dependent on the opinion of alleged experts and the media. Two or three good books can – if not replace – at least strongly relativize the use of whole study programs. After 13 years of school and two institutionalized studies I believe to see that in the academic world they put their pants on the same way as me. To take your own education into your own hands might accelerate many things. I want to introduce you to a strategy which I now successfully use for some years.
But beforehand I want to admit for honesty’s sake that I did not year accomplish to read 365 books per year. But this is my own fault because many days I don’t really care about input. But in the last quarter I finished about 50 books – from cover to cover! Surely, I didn’t read every day a whole Encyclopædia Britannica and not always Immanuel Kant. And for a 500-page great tome I might even need 2-3 days. But an average book per day is very realistic. And I have to admit again that I am in fact not a speed reader! And to just skip through the book has no purpose. For many books, it is crucial to get the whole context. Furthermore, I find it unfair towards the author to read his book only partially. At least one shouldn’t then claim to have read his book at all.
How do you take so much time to read?
Actually, I don’t take extra time to read. The truth of the matter is that I am not even reading myself. I let read to me. And since I don’t have money for a full time private lector I am very thankful that we live in the age of modern technology. Besides audiobooks of which Audible and so on provide a multitude there are even apps for smartphones that read out aloud text files and PDFs. Several converters make it even possible to convert e-books you buy at Amazon to formats which can be read by the app.
Also, many books are read out aloud by ordinary people on YouTube. Just check it out if you find books that might interest you. Those you just download as MP3 with the right online converter and put them on your mobile phone. In many place in your everyday life you might find time to just listen to a book. If you make it to your habit to look out for opportunities in everyday life to consume audiobooks you will find out that we spend hours every day with things that don’t need our whole focus. Whether you commute with a train to your job or whether you are stuck with your car in rush hour traffic. Depending on your job you might even find times at work which don’t use your full capacity. How I envy gate keepers for this purpose! Also after work when you do sports, cooking or going out for a walk it is the best time to listen to your audiobooks.
The whole thing might even be organized more efficiently. When I for example listen to lectures on YouTube then I use 1.5 or for some speakers even 2 times the speed. There is the nice speed regulations function integrated in the YouTube-Player. For speeches which last an hour I can make up for 30 minutes. The voices might sound somehow weird in the beginning but after a short while you will get used to it and still catch everything which is said. By now I even wonder at normal speed how slow some speakers really are. Also, downloaded files’ speed can be regulated for example with the VLC-Player. There are apps for smartphones which let you regulate the speed of audio files. And if it should become difficult to understand at some point you can always wind back and listen to it at normal speed. The read out aloud apps provide not only several voices but are also flexible regarding to the reading speed. My experience is that you can understand the most books well at high speeds – even if they are not in your mother tongue.
Can you even remember anything in the books?
Indeed, I am even remembering more than when I read books for my own. This might be due to the different learning types. I find it relatively easy to remember information that I perceives auditorily. For example, I could always follow the teacher talking in my schools or universities. I didn’t even have to look up to see them while they talk. And when I read for myself I also don’t remember everything. And because of my slow reading speed I might have forgotten the context before I reach the next page. It motivates much more to keep on reading (or hearing) if you are quick in doing it. Furthermore, I find it hard to stay concentrated while reading. On the other hand, it is easy for me to keep on listening to someone. And of course, there is a higher chance that I fall asleep while reading a book in my bed than when I listen to an audiobook during athletic exercise.
And what is the real alternative? My day has only 24 hours as well. And if I didn’t use the described methods then I would never read many books at all. Therefore, it is better to once go through a become somehow even if you don’t be able to recall every detail in it. So, I listen to many books because they are popular or because they seem interesting to me. At the end of the day I might not remember everything but I know the overall content and I know where I have to look something up if I might need to know some details from the book later.
Do you even understand these robot voices?
I agree that sometimes there are weird pronunciations. But it is limited. Aside from that computer voices get
better every day. The time is playing on my side here. Also, there is a whole range of voices to choose from. On my Android phone, there are for example the voice from Samsung and the voice with Google technology. The only real problematic thing is that the footnotes in some documents are read as well. This often leads to a confusion at the end of a page. In a pinch the backwards button on my Bluetooth headset will help out even in the reading out app. Generally I recommend anyone to always take such a light-weight and foldable headset with them. People that know me will tell you that I almost never leave the house without it. I would rather forget my wallet as I would go without my digital library. Furthermore, I can accept phone calls with one press on a button on my headset. It will even pause my reading out app. Thus, I have always my hands free and besides listening to a book I can do other important but not intellectually challenging tasks. I might not have Bose-headphones but they are cheap, light-weighed and the battery last very long. And even when I do sports they don’t fall down. Music is even the rarest thing I listen to with them.
What would you read if you had all the time in the world? How do you educate yourself at home or on your journeys? Please share your strategies with us and write below in the comments!