Leaders are Readers Part II

When I tell people that I read at least book a week and usually two then they assume that I have taken a speed reading course and they ask me to recommend one – my answer is always the same Google Jim Kwik and start there.

I’ve never bothered in fact I deliberately go slowly so that I can make notes and implement some of the things that I have learned.

There is no point in reading and then not implementing what you have learnt – you may as well not bothered reading it in the first place.

I have a process –

I start with personal recommendations, podcasts and book reviews etc to find books that I might want to read or listen to – the Bookworm Podcast is a great place to start along with the New York Times Best Seller lists, Sunday Times plus of course Amazon and Audible.

Once I know what I want to read I move to Audible – I’m lucky enough to be able to keep my own diary so I usually spend at least an hour a day and often two either walking out in nature on the trails which lead literally from my door or on my Concept Rower training where I am training for a 50k Ultra so am on there for very long sessions – this time is spent listening to audiobooks at 1.25 times speed which means an average 8 hour book takes 6 hours 20 minutes so I easily get through one a week.

If the book I want is unavailable on Audible or I’ve listened to it and want to study it in more depth then I’ll buy it in print so I can make more copious notes – I have both analogue and searchable digital commonplace books – think of a commonplace book as a personal Wikipedia they have been around for thousands of years Meditations by Marcus Aurelius was one of the earliest.

Finally if there is something I really love and I know I will want to refer to it a lot then I send a paper copy to Digitise My Books and they send me back a searchable pdf and word version to keep on my Mac. This means in a couple of years time when I want to remember the exact quote or search for more information on a topic I can search through the pdf and if necessary cut and paste. I have used this many times in my mastermind group when we have discussed a topic and I want to show the rest of my team how I came to a particular conclusion.

I guess you will now ask me where I find time – well audio is taken care of with exercise as I only listen to music when I am at my desk.

For the rest of it I set aside an hour a day each week day – Saturday is treated as Sabbath with Sunday dedicated to newspapers and magazines.

You don’t need to give up your Netflix habit just cut it down you already know that 3 hours a night is just not healthy.

For me it’s not an activity it’s just what I do in the same way that many people waste hours on Facebook or playing games on their phones.

Your next question is how do I afford it – to which my answer would be how can you not afford it?

It costs me around £60 / 80 per month to feed my book habit but it’s earned me a lot of money over the years and the best investment you will ever make.

Final thoughts –

Reading is not just for fun – it’s essential for personal growth.

The smartest minds in history have been recording their knowledge in book form for more than 5,000 years which means that whatever you’re working on right now, whatever problem you’re struggling with, it has probably been addressed in some book somewhere by someone a lot smarter than you.

Save yourself the trouble of learning from trial and error and learn from them.

Benefit from that perspective.

Resources –

Bookworm podcast –

Digitise My Books –