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How to Read More Books and Why You Should Do It

A simple trick to read more books and some valid reasons for reading more

One of my bookshelves

How many books do you usually read in one year? 

Before 2020, I would probably read three or four. Pathetic, especially because I was reading about teaching English only. I felt ashamed every time I walked into a bookstore, so in January 2020 I decided I wanted to read more in order to:

  1. expand my English vocabulary.
  2. learn more about the world, not just my job.
  3. develop as a person.

But I didn’t know how to do it. I was busy during the day and every time I read in bed, I would fall asleep. So I simply googled ‘how to read more books’ and a short documentary came up. 

Apparently, all it takes to read more books is to read one for 30 minutes every day.

Since January 2020, I’ve been reading for at least half an hour a day and finished a total of 53 books. 

It works. 

Did my English vocabulary improve? Yes. I encountered some words I didn’t know. Sometimes I just ignored them and kept on reading. Other times I used a dictionary or tried to guess their meaning.  

Did I learn more about the world? Yes! I learned about:

  • the Vietnam War
  • writing
  • storytelling
  • the phycology of happiness
  • business and marketing
  • Covid-19
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • the brain
  • samurai and the Japanese culture
  • sleep
  • the history of humankind
  • how to save money
  • ego
  • productivity and time management
  • immigration in Italy
  • education in Finland
  • philosophers 
  • digital minimalism
  • cats
  • Stoicism
  • life in concentration camps
  • prostitution in South East Asia
  • …and other things.

Did I develop as a person? Hmm. There’s no straightforward answer to this question. Learning isn’t enough to grow. To make personal development happen, you need to apply what you read and change your actions, not just your mind. 

What actions did I change then? I now take sleep more seriously, I’ve started connecting through stories and I’m closing my Instagram account because I learned how manipulative it is (read Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport to learn more about this).

So, I’d say yes, I’ve grown through reading. And you can do this too. No special skills required. I have none. Just set aside 30 minutes a day and read a book.

Hope this helps. Comments? Leave them in the box below. 

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Fabio Cerpelloni is an English language teacher, writer, author, and podcaster from Italy. You can find out more about him and his work by clicking on his glass of beer in the photo.