Are you excited to dive deeper into the THRILL of great books? In Part 1 of “How to Make Time to Read,” we talked about the power of believing books can help us solve our problems and improve our lives. We also discussed how we need and deserve the time to invest in our own education. If you missed last week’s episode, click the link below to listen in!
[PODCAST 98]: How to Make Time to Read – Part 1
Today we’re jumping into the logistics of how to make space in our lives for our new knowledge gained from reading–so there is actually somewhere to put all the ideas that come to us. (Routines and projects will support us here!)
We recommend you listen to the audio, but if you’d prefer to skim, here are the basic points….
- Keep a list of books to read (Evernote is where I keep mine!)
- Make it a habit to read daily—audio books, a hard copy book kept with you/several books placed in strategic spots…. You can also just take a book outside, sit on the couch with a book after dinner (instead of TV!), keep books near your bed, take one in the bathtub, or relax with a good book on the porch in good weather (even 10 pages or 2 minutes at a time—and you don’t have to read the whole thing).
- Utilize free book services. Amazon Prime has free books available through Kindle…SO many good ones. The Overdrive/Libby app most likely connects with your library card and provides eBooks and audiobooks you can check out virtually for a couple of weeks at a time. There are free books on audiobooks.com, and the Gutenberg project has tons of free books from the Creative Commons.
- Order must-read books as soon as you hear about them—or put them in your Amazon Cart as “save for later” items.
- Establish a reading routine
- Update your “To Read” list
- Put the books you plan to read that month on your Current Projects List
- Set up a Knowledge Binder or an EverNote Notebook to hold all the best ideas. I screen shot key spots in audio books or take photos of favorite passages in books and record my biggest takeaways.
[15:32] How to Decide What to Read
I know that sometimes when you’re at the library, you just don’t know where to start in choosing a good book because there are so many options! Typically, I ask myself, “Where is it I want to grow right now? Where am I struggling or where would I like to be better? Do I want to be a better leader, family member, etc.?” Then I use those answers and select books from those topics.
Occasionally, before diving in and committing to a book, I’ll listen to a podcast/video featuring that author to get a feel for who they are and what message they’re sharing.
Recently, I read an interesting article by Nick Wignall called “Smart People Should Read Fewer Books and Listen to More Podcasts.” (Linked at the end of this post…)
He divides books into 3 categories, and I thought his list was really insightful. I’m quoting him here:
- Bad Books. This is at least 90% of all books out there. Fortunately, these are pretty easy to spot and avoid. It’s the next category that gets us into trouble…
- Pretty good books. This is at least 90% of the remaining 10% of books out there. They’ve got some good ideas and interesting points, but those few morsels aren’t really worth the 2-5 hours of time and energy it takes most of us to read the entire book.
- Great books. This is the 1%, maybe even the 0.1%. This is the precious few books that are not only filled to the brim with genuine wisdom and insight, but the books for whom reading them is itself a beneficial act and always time well-spent.
Interesting way to think about books and reading, don’t you think? Here is one of my FAVORITE quotes about finding the best books:
Emerson said: ‘There are 850,000 volumes in the Imperial Library at Paris. If a man were to read industriously from dawn to dark for sixty years, he would die in the first alcove. Would that some charitable soul, after losing a great deal of time among false books and alighting upon a few true ones, which made him happy and wise, would name those which have been bridges or ships to carry him safely over dark morasses and barren oceans, into the heart of sacred cities, into palaces and temples.’The Harvard Classics Reading Guide
Given the fact that are SO many books out there–most of them not worth the time to read, if you have an amazing book you think our community would love, please email the link or title to books (at) LearnDoBecome (dot) com. So many of my favorite books have come from your suggestions!
The point of all this talk about books is this: I want you to live amazing lives. We each have a unique purpose, and I believe that this LearnDoBecome community can have an incredible impact on the world. (Books can play a huge part in that!)
As we learn and use our voices for good, we can truly HAVE an impact. Thank you for being here, thank you for caring, and thank you for the good that you bring to the world. Have an amazing day, and we’ll see you again soon at LearnDoBecome!
Ways to access books:
- Project Gutenberg
- Free Books from Kindle by Amazon
- OverDrive.com and Libby App by OverDrive
Nick Wignall’s article: “Smart People Should Read Fewer Books and Listen to More Podcasts”
Books mentioned in the podcast:
- What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 by Tina Seelig
- The Prosperity Paradox by Clayton Christensen, Efosa Ojomo, and Karen Dillon
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think and Do by Jennifer Eberhardt
- Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson
- The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier
Are you new to LearnDoBecome?
We have a free training that you will LOVE. Come watch to learn four steps you can apply today to eliminate all the piles in your life–mental or physical! Can’t wait to see you there!
Sabrina Schrader says
Such an encouraging and useful episode! I got lots of good ideas for how to incorporate reading into my life! Right now, my reading list comes from books April has recommended, I am reading Atomic Habits AND Julie Morgensterns SHED at her suggestion in previous podcasts
It was refreshing to hear that it is “okay” to have several books “going” — I have done that for years for the same reason offered by April, and have been teased by colleagues who imply that I lack focus (although it is true that focus is difficult for me, I really do have different moods and energy levels that dictate what I am up for reading!)
I am going to have to go back and capture some of the ideas in the podcast by reading it again
LearnDoBecome Radio and LearnDoBecome/STEP has been such an amazing influence in my life this year. Eric and April make the process of implementing order and routines in life, and the STEP community is such an uplifting influence in my life. I am beginning to move forward in my profession, and see greater possibilities in my life
Taryn Wood says
Thanks for your kind words, Sabrina! We’re so glad you’re here!!
Yolana Saulnier says
Using your concept of a one shot project. I decided to tune my upright piano. My trouble was staying on my feet for a long time. When I sat down at the computer or in front of the TV it would be too long a time to return to the piano room. After a month I hit on the idea of keeping a good book in there. When I had to sit, I read, and when I looked up from the pages, I saw that piano beckoning me to keep at it. Next step. Next step. Yesterday I completed the tuning. Thank you!
Taryn Wood says
Good for you, Yolana! Keep up the good work!!
Great podcasts. What is the book you are reading about Teenagers?
Thank you for everything.
April Perry says
Hi Jill! The book I was talking about in the podcast is pretty religious in nature and a bit dated, so I didn’t link it here, but two other ones that are really good are “Boundaries with Teens” and “The Blessing of a B Minus.” Hope that helps!
Would you be able to tell me the name of the raising teenagers book that April mentions, please? Thanks!
April Perry says
Hi Chris! Yes–I just posted this for Jill, as well. The book I was talking about in the podcast is pretty religious in nature and a bit dated, so I didn’t link it here, but two other ones that are really good are “Boundaries with Teens” and “The Blessing of a B Minus.” Hope that helps!
Hello. I have a question. How do you take notes on the non fiction books that you read? I’m trying to explore the subject and one thing that is common, it’s writing notes on the margins. But what do you do after that? What is a good way to retain the knowledge or how to incorporate new ideas into my life? I used one of your sheets during a conference and like that. Being in my late 40s feels as I cannot absorb any new knowledge (which I know is not true). Hope you can help.
Taryn Wood says
Hi Maria! This is such a great question. April uses Evernote to save and organize notes from books that she has read. You can learn more about that process here, https://learndobecome.com/episode33/. Enjoy!
Hi April – I loved your synopsis about podcasts. I enjoy listening to your podcasts while folding laundry or cleaning. If you say things I want to write down, I listen again when I have time to sit and focus.
During this pandemic, I’ve slowed down my life enough to read, and I love it! I use Goodreads.com to list the books I want to read. I love that site. Thank you for this encouraging and practical podcast.
April! Again, I’m amazed by how much you convey that I so identify with. I Love Reading… but sadly haven’t been reading much more than a couple of sections of our local newspaper. (I start with what I call, “The intelligent section,” the Comics! Lots of wisdom & joy there.
I wanted to give you my Favorite way to mark pages or parts of pages in whatever it is I’m reading or have red, color coded so that it’s easy to know what subject or intention is in each place. The Dollar Tree kind of store carries a wonderful packet of page flags in colors! About 20 to 30 per packet for $1! (If you’re really good you can even write a little on one end…)
I mentioned them because I Cringed, as a former librarian, when you said you Dog-Ear pages!! (fold a corner down)
((also, may I please point out that you probably don’t need to say “forward slash,” since hardly anyone uses “back slash” unless they’re programming… ; ) ))
April Perry says
Beautiful thoughts here!!! And I love the idea of the sticky flags. I will totally do that. 🙂 I only dog-ear books that I own, but yes, that’s not as optimal as flags.
And I CRACKED UP about the “forward slash.” I’m totally going to drop that. I heard some “fancy” podcasters say that, and I assumed I had to, as well. But you’re right. I’m pretty sure our community can figure that out.
Thank you!!! Have an amazing week!
Julie Morgenlender says
I would love to read all the books out there but you’re right, some are better reads than others. I choose books based not only on quality and the knowledge I’ll gain, but also what is simply enjoyable. I find just as much value in light-hearted fiction as in personal growth nonfiction. Even a few pages of the right book can improve an entire afternoon. I published a book earlier this summer, an anthology about living with chronic illness. Each story is short, so it’s easy to pick up the book even if you only have a few minutes and I have been getting feedback from folks saying that they are getting a big impact even if they “only” read one story at a time. While most books aren’t broken down like that, I think that many can have a big impact even if we only read a few pages at a time. Yes, it will take a long time to finish them, but isn’t that better than not reading them at all? Like you, I read in all sorts of places at all different times of the day, but this is a reminder that I should try to read even more, especially now. Happy reading!