10 Pages a Day

October 13, 2016

Reading more

I don’t read enough.

That’s how I have felt for years. I love hearing about books, visiting bookstores, and buying books. It’s not exactly tsundoku because I always end up reading what I buy. But no matter how much I read, it never seemed enough. There were other people, out there, reading more…

Who are these people who have enough time to read?

If you want to read more … you need to … read more. You need to sit down, open that book, and read. Turn off Netflix, put down your phone, skip that tennis game and read instead.

There were books that have haunted me for weeks and months; books I didn’t like but wanted to finish. Many times, I forced myself to sit down and read … and I was surprised at how much I could read if that’s all I did. It’s grinding applied to reading books.

Feeling like it

I spent most of my adult life reading books when I “feel like it”. It took me years to realize that was getting me nowhere.

You start a book you like, read it a few days in a row … then life gets in the way. The next thing you know, it has been weeks since you’ve picked up that book. You can argue that other things were important (true), or that it’s the book’s fault (for not being more interesting), or that your schedule is opening up (lol) … really, you need to make time.

You can find time to do what’s important to you.

10 pages a day

The idea just popped into my head: just read 10 pages a day.

Reading 10 pages doesn’t sound like a lot, and that’s why it works. It’s a “reasonable” commitment. “Of course I can read 10 pages a day” you think. And you are right.

But 10 pages a day means:

and that’s probably more than what you usually read.

In practice

Every morning, I get up, eat breakfast, and then I sit down to read 10 pages. It’s my quiet time. I’ve been doing it for about 6 months now.

Sometimes I keep reading for a bit, depending on the book, but most of the time I don’t. I might read more later in the day, but that falls back into “if I feel like it” and depends on whatever else is happening in my life.

Be reasonable

If “10 pages a day” is good, is “20 pages a day” better?

No.

I recommend you start with 10 and consider yourself “done” for the day. If you keep reading, those aren’t “credits” against tomorrow. Also, it doesn’t work if you skip reading for a week and sit down for 70 pages of “punishment” on the weekend.

What you are aiming for is sustainability. If you can commit to “20 pages a day”, that’s great – only if you can keep it up.

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