Reading opens windows into other worlds.While most of us don't have the time to read a whole book in one sitting,we do have the time toread 25 pages a day(here are some ways you canfind time to read). Reading the right books,even if it's a few pages a day,is one of the best ways to ensure that you go to bed a little smarter than you woke up.
Twenty-five pages a day adds up over time.Let's say that two days out of each month,you probably won't have time to read.Plus Christmas.That gives you 340 days a year of solid reading time.If you read 25 pages a day for 340 days,that's 8,500 pages.8,500.What I have also found is that when I commit to a minimum of 25 pages,I almost always read more.So let's call the 8,500 pages 10,000.(I only need to extend the daily 25 pages into 30 to get there.)
With 10,000 pages a year,at a general pace of 25/day,what can we get done?
Well,The Power Brokeris 1,100 pages.The four LBJ books written by Robert Caro are collectively 3,552 pages.Tolstoy's two masterpieces —War and Peace,andAnna Karenina— come in at a combined 2,160.Gibbon'sThe Decline and Fall of the Roman Empireis six volumes and runs to about 3,660 pages.That's 10,472 pages.
That means,in about one year,at a modest pace of 25 pages a day,you'd have knocked out 13 masterful works and learned an enormous amount about the history of the world.In one year!
That leaves the following year to read Shirer'sRise and Fall of the Third Reich(1,280),Carl Sandburg'sSix Volumes on Lincoln(2,000?),Adam Smith'sWealth of Nationsunabridged (1,200),鲍斯威尔的Johnson(1,300),with plenty of pages left to read something else.
This is how the great works get read: day by day,25 pages at a time.No excuses.
We hold to this advice today.But there are two areas that have been misinterpreted over the past year,so let's clarify them and make sure everyone is set on the right course.
Twenty-Five Pages a Day: Minimum,Not Maximum!
Our friendRyan Holiday had an interesting retort1to our piece,saying that while he agreed with it,he found it impractical in his own life.
金沙澳门官方Farnam Street had a post recently talking about how the way toget through big books is 25 pages a day.I don't totally disagree with that,I've just found that style is nice in theory but less effective in practice.Really,it's about whether you can go through large blocks of time at this thing,concerted but sustained blocks of effort—almost like a fartlek workout.Because broken up into too many pieces,you'll miss the whole point of the book,like the proverbial blind man touching an elephant.Those who conquer long books know that it's not a matter of reading some pages before you fall asleep but rather,canceling your plans for the night and staying in to read instead.
I suspect that our disagreement is one of degree and perhaps misinterpretation.We totally agree on the point of reading in long,sustained blocks.That's exactly how we read ourselves!
Create healthy reading habits.The point of assigning yourself a certain amount of reading every day is to create a deeply held habit.The 25-pages-a-day thing is a habit-former! For those of us who already have a strong reading habit,it's not altogether necessary.I love reading,so I no longer need to force myself to read.But many people dream of it rather than doing it,and they especially dream of a day when they will read for hours at a time with great frequency,as Ryan does and as we do.
Easy does not equate to good.The problem is,when they starttasting the broccoli,they realize how tough that commitment can be.They think,"If I can't read for hours on end,why bother starting?" So instead of doing their daily 25 pages,they don't read anything!The books sit on the shelves,collecting dust.We know a lot of people like this.
Those folks need tocommit to a daily routine— to understand whata small commitment compounds to over time.And,like us,most of these people will naturally read far more than 25 pages.They will achieve the dream and plow through a book they really love in a few sittings rather than with a leisurely 25 pages per day.But creating the habit is where it starts.
Eventually,you'll love it so much that you'll force yourself to read less at times so you can get other things done.
Don't Slog Through Books You Don't Like
The other misconception comes from the meaty books we referred to: long ones likeThe Power Broker,War and Peace,and Gibbon'sDecline and Fall.Some readers took that to mean that they should attempt these huge tomes out of pure masochism and use the 25-page daily mark to plow through boredom.
Nothing could be further from the truth!(Our bad.)
Too many English lit professors have promoted the idea that "the classics" contain some sort of unique unobtanium of wisdom.Sorry,but that's bullshit.
If you've gone through our course onthe Art of Reading,you'll realize that there are many better strategies than plowing ahead.You mustpursue your curiosities!This is by far the most important principle of good reading.
The truth is that when you're super bored,your interest and understanding come to a screeching halt.There are many,many topics that I find interesting now which I found dull at some point in my life.Five years ago,there was no possible way I would have made it throughThe Power Broker,even if I tried to force myself.And it would have been a mistake to try.
Here's another unspoken truth: Any central lesson you can take away fromWar and Peacecan also be learned in other ways if that book doesn't really interest you.The same goes for 99% of the wisdom out there — it's available in many places.Unfortunately,too many English lit professors have promoted the idea that "the classics" contain some sort of unique unobtanium of wisdom.Sorry,but that's bullshit.
The better idea is toread what seems awesome and interesting to you now and to let your curiosities grow organically.A lifelong interest in truth,reality,and knowledge will lead you down so many paths,you should never need to force yourself to read anything unless there is a very,very specific reason.(Perhaps to learn a specific skill for a job.)
Not only is this approach way more fun,but it works really,really well.It keeps you reading.It keeps you interested.And in the words of Nassim Taleb,"Curiosity is antifragile,like an addiction;magnified by attempts to satisfy it."
Thus,paradoxically,as you read more books,your pile of unread books will get larger,not smaller.That's because your curiosity will grow with every great read.
This is the path of the lifelong learner.This is how youget the world to do most of the heavy lifting for you.
Thought Catalog: https://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2016/01/did-you-actually-read-that-the-joy-of-reading-really-really-long-books/