I’ve long been a lover of books. Since I was a young boy, I would retreat on my own with a good book, lost in a parallel universe of heroes, villains and quests to be completed.
These days I read less fiction and more on business, psychology, biography and history. But the opportunity to escape, to enter another world, remains.
Books are the key to unlock doors into places you’ve never dreamed of going. People who don’t read stand out a mile. They lack that ability or awareness to understand the wideness of the world – something that only comes from wide reading.
I love visiting book stores or browsing Amazon’s colossal range. But it’s always with a twinge of regret. I know that I’ll never be able to read all that I want – there simply isn’t time in one life to read all the books I’d like. That’s why I’m so selective in what I read now.
Life is too short to:
Wear clothes that don't fit Read books you don't enjoy Be with people you don't like
But what if there was a way you could maximise the time you do have. Is there a way that you can read widely without making sacrifices in time?
Reading Three Books at Once – Why Bother?
Over the last few years, I’ve developed a technique that both maximises my time and allows me to read at maximum capacity, all while continuing to:
Work a full time job
Be an involved father and husband
Write regularly for this blog
Train 5-6 times a week
Start a successful niche site
Develop another website
Oh, and publish my first book, A Father’s Mission.
This is simple and works well within my schedule. Should you copy what I do exactly? That depends. Only copy it if you think it would work well for you. If not, there is a better way:
Take my techniques and principles and apply them to your own life and schedule. If you work shifts or travel a lot, there might be a better way for you to read the volume and breadth that you want. This article should give you food for thought and ideas. But it isn’t supposed to be prescriptive.
The overall principle is this: Maxmise the time that you have available using all formats you can. This means reading across a range of media – eBooks, paperback and audio – to ensure you use every moment of your time effectively for the furthering of knowledge and improvement.
If you need to ask ‘why?’ then this probably isn’t the right website for you. If you’re serious about being a Dad who does more, then you should be looking for constant small improvements in your life. That includes building your knowledge and cultural understanding through reading.
And it doesn’t have to be non-fiction. Want to know what it was like being a Russian during the 1812 French invasion? Read War and Peace.
Do you want to understand the root of most fantasy stories and worlds (like World of Warcraft, Warhammer)? Read Tolkien.
Or you want to get deeper into dysfunctional father/son relationships and their impact? Read The Brothers Karamazov.
Why? Because there isn’t really such a thing as fiction. Authors who write fiction take elements of their own experiences, change some of the events or imagine whole worlds and re-create real life in those places. That’s what the best fiction is – real people and events dressed up in storytelling.
I dedicated a whole chapter of my book A Father’s Mission to pursuing and applying knowledge. Books have been (and will remain) the best way to achieve and gain knowledge.
Reading Three Books at Once – How it Works
So by now, you really want to know this technique of reading three books at once. So here it is:
Morning: I get up early. Like 5.30am early. This is so I can workout, shower eat breakfast and.. read. This is the time of day I use my Kindle. It’s hands free reading at it’s best (try eating eggs while holding a book open.)
In the Car: I drive a lot for work – around sixty hours a month. Plus my commutes. This means a whole heap of time that would be wasted if I listened to talk radio or ‘Old Skool Hitz) non stop. So I got a subscription with Audible (Get a free trial). Now I listen to audio books – and the odd podcast – while I cruise the Scottish highways.
At Night: Early nights take discipline. But it helps if you don’t really watch TV that much. I even cancelled my satellite subscription recently as it wasn’t giving me or my family value for money. I get to bed early, switch my phone on to airplane mode and read a book. This time it’s a paperback.
The key is to shoehorn reading into any available time you may have. If you don’t have time to read, make it.
That’s making good use of your time. That’s reading three books at once.
How to Apply
Earlier I said that this isn’t prescriptive and only works around my schedule. If your schedule is the same as mine, then yes, this will work for you too.
But if not, the broad principles are as follows:
The best times for you to read are when you can fit it in.
Read widely – fiction and non fiction. Just stay away from airport fiction.
If you drive/commute, use audiobooks to ‘read’ on the go.
Make reading a priority, make it enjoyable and make it a part of everyday life. You won’t believe the transformations in your life.
P.S. My book A Father’s Mission has been getting 5 star reviews on Amazon. You can buy it here.