Adjusted Strategy For Reading
Posted on Dec 29th, 2019
I wanted to read through a physical book every month this year.
It’s easy to understand that I dislike how I did manage to read through a few books, yet I didn’t physically read them. I used programs, and systems, to read them to me.
That doesn’t quite fit “Read a Book a Month.”
The New Strategy
There are two fundamental problems with physical books for me.
- If I read too much in one go I must take a longer break, such as several days.
- I don’t pay attention to the plot since I take large breaks.
This came from the fact that I’m still reading the Ian Irvine novel. I love his writing, but I would pick it up to force myself to read a little too much.
Through testing, I felt I needed to work out how to fix the two flaws I have for reading a single novel.
Flaw 1: Read Too Much
Consider the fact it took me 2 months to get past Chapter 4 when reading it the first time? I read from Ch. 1 to Ch. 4 in a single day, and then didn’t read for a long time, I just couldn’t read for some reason.
From my work projects, I found a similar issue, in a slightly weird way, however. When reading the documentation I would breeze through hundreds of pages, then due to my slight memory issue wouldn’t finish what I just read up on. Hence, anything I did in the work project would take me several days to finally finish off.
This was despite the fact that I had read how to solve it quite quickly. This made me consider the fact I’m perhaps reading a little too much. So, as a test, I just forced myself to read a single chapter a day for a few days. It was amazing, I just loved the fact that in a week I went through 7 chapters.
This was fabulous for me, in a week just by adjusting the time I allocate to reading I was able to enjoy reading physical books. This does, however, have the slight Flaw 2 still. After the week I tried it out for, I took a look at the story for myself.
I couldn’t recall a lot of what happened. It just didn’t feel as if I’d read any part of the novel at all. Yes, 7 chapters in I couldn’t explain to anyone I even read ANY of the novel’s chapters at all.
Flaw 2: Consider Focusing
The second flaw with my reading is my memory. If I don’t remember what happened there will be no reason I’ll ever enjoy it. How do I make sure I focus on what happens in the novel?
As you can understand I started by writing a tiny bit down for myself when I reach the chapter’s end. Just a few notes and I can then remember more of what happened in the chapter.
This, in itself, helped me to start enjoying the story more. I found that I could remember parts of the story, even things that weren’t written down to remind me, which helped me enjoy the novel more.
This lead to further testing since it wasn’t quite enough. Hence, I moved to read two chapters in a row. This happened to turn into my sweet spot, so to speak.
This lead to me focusing on the plot, the characters, their actions, and more. I could stay focused much easier. So, I’m sure you can understand I worked out my new strategy for reading.
Reasons For A New Strategy
You might, no doubt, be asking what would be the point of mentioning this?
It’s quite simple.
Everyone needs to consider their flaws. My personal flaws can be completely different from yours. Perhaps you get distracted, since your mind wanders, after 10 minutes of reading. That would be Your Allocated Time.
Similarly, you will have an action that can help you. Mine is writing one, or two notes down as I read through a chapter. The recommendation can be that you Stick To Your Limits.
Mine happens to be simple to understand:
- Allocated Time being a length of two chapters. If I read less I will never remember. If I read more I also never remember.
- Stick To Your Limits being I will forget the story. Despite my memory being the best for the two chapters it is nice to have a little bit more, this happens to be writing notes on each chapter.
This would obviously be adjusted according to your own slight flaws in reading a novel. If you need to read four chapters and do nothing else: That’s what you will do!
It’s just a way to share that if you struggle to read anything you can adjust your reading habits in simple ways and you can bring it up.
The Final Words
As you no doubt noted I tested this quite a bit. In terms of pages read per minute I happened to slowly become abysmal. It would start at an average of 1.4 minutes per page read and end at roughly 0.5 pages per 2 minutes.
In two days using the new strategy I worked out for myself I’ve only gone through 4 chapters. But the average is 1.47 minutes per page for the reading. Instead of taking a month to get past chapter 4 I can do it on day 3, tomorrow!
Hopefully, the thoughts and ideas here make sense and can help for those who have slight problems with reading as I do.