When I was younger, I used to be an avid reader and loved detective books. One of my favourites was the Hardy Boys series. Enjoyed following Joe and Frank through the many adventures they had.
As I grew, my focus moved more towards textbooks as the pressure to do well in school was ever-present. More time had to be dedicated to revision and challenging assignments.
I couldn’t justify reading for fun when there was work to be done.
Catching the Reading Bug
In my final year of university, I caught the reading bug again when a friend introduced me to motivational and personal development books. I found books by Les Brown and Robert Kiyosaki very compelling. So many ideas and insight I hadn’t engaged with for most of my academic life.
This led me to be purchasing many books over the years as I had a lot to catch up on once Uni was over. Unfortunately, I only managed to read a handful of these books. I could visualize the knowledge the books would bring but didn’t have the time to read it. Some of these books were THICK which was off-putting so I gravitated towards audio versions.
I came across Audible which was a great solution for me. I could easily listen to a book a week while commuting or just doing chores around the house. I highly recommend the 24 books yearly subscription for just over £100. The £100 investment in your personal investment is priceless. Definitely cheaper than what you spend on university tuition.
What I discovered reading on a weekly basis was that most books had 3 or 4 take-away ideas that can impact your life. Sadly you have to read through the whole book to get at these gems. My search for a way to get summarised versions of books lead me to Blinkist.
What is Blinkist
Blinkist is a service that summarizes books into 15-minute bite-sized chunks. It offers best-selling books on different topics from world-renowned authors.
It feels like cheating but you get the full content from the books. I can truly say reading is now a joy. I have read some of my favourite books several times as a result.
How I use Blinkist
I have been using Blinkist for the last year and I average about 4 books a day and that’s about an hour a day listening/reading. I highly recommend trying out speed reading as you can complete a 15-minute book in just under 10 minutes at 1.5x speed.
I didn’t realise how slow audiobooks were until I tried speed listening. My preferred listening speed is 2x and its amazing how normal it sounds to be now.
I summarize each of the books in a paragraph in my notes app for future reference. The mind is not a good place to keep ideas so write them down.
I average about 30 books a week and that is surprisingly almost 1,500 books a year.
This is how I read above 1,000 books a year.
I find these numbers mind-blowing being able to absorb so much information from different authors and topics. I’ve read books I never thought of reading but because I knew it would only take me 15mins, why not. Books on health, finance, autobiographies, psychology, history, technology, religion and many more.
As a dad of three, it can be very busy to find free time. Listening to audiobooks has been one of the best things to help me develop personally and professionally. I have been able to able to listen to books that have changed my life while I was doing the weekly shopping.
No matter how busy you are, we all have at least 15 minutes in a day to listen to an audiobook. If you are struggling to find 15 minutes, then you don’t have a life.
One book can change the course of your life and bring new ideas that you never thought attainable. If you only manage to spend 15 minutes listening to one book a week, that is 52 books a year. The average person reads one book a year so you will set yourself apart.