My reading secrets

Many of you write to ask how in the heck can I read as much as I do.   I am admittedly a voracious reader — consuming two or three books a week.

I’m now going to reveal my reading secrets.

I know it matters:  I’ve always believed that people who read were more successful. It didn’t matter how they ingesting the information (audio, electronic book, old fashioned book, etc.) In fact, Forbes recently asked if you read fast enough to be successful.  So from the time I was a kid, being the Type A that I am… I wanted to be successful, so I read.

I always have 2-4 books going at once:  I am not a linear reader (except for a couple fictional authors that I have to read cover to cover on the day the book is released) so I have a few books going at once.  I might have a couple books on my iPad‘s Kindle, an actual book or two laying around and an audio book in my CD player.  So, I can allow my mood to dictate what I read.

I mix up the genres:  I have a pretty wide range of reading interests.  I read lots of business/marketing books, mysteries, books about Disney/Walt Disney, baseball books, biographies and Harry Potters (Yes, I re-read them).  That way, it keeps reading fresh and fun.

I love*:  This service is amazing.  They take a book and offer me the following:

  • An overview of the book (a few paragraphs)
  • The have a video summary (about 15 minutes) of the book
  • A PDF overview (usually 25-35 pages) of the book
  • A workbook that allows me to apply the book’s content (5 or so pages)

Their library is pretty robust, mostly business titles like Ann Handley and CC Chapman‘s Content Rules, but they have some biographies like Steve Jobs and a handful of other titles.  They add titles every week.

The pro account runs $29.99/month.  If you want to give the pro account a try at a discount, use the coupon code DREW to get 50% off your first month.  Right now, they’ll let you try the account for free for 7 days.  Even if you only use it for a week, you’ll be glad you tried it.

Plane time is reading time:  I fly a lot and I don’t work on planes.  I read.  It’s much more relaxing and let’s face it, air travel is stressful enough.  So why not marry it with a treat? Living in Des Moines means I have at least two legs to get just about anywhere.  So I’m flying for 2-5 hours.  In that time, because I’m a fast reader, I can knock off two books on average.

There you have it…my reading secrets.  But the real secret — I love to read.  I love the adventures, the new stuff I learn, the fresh ideas and the incredible art that some people create with words.


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12 comments on “My reading secrets

  1. Rachael says:

    Love it! And I love reading, too. I read constantly, and although I’m not quite at your level, I am working on trying to read fast enough to be successful! Now that I live in Paris, public transportation certainly has provided me with plenty of time to do just that!

  2. I mix up genres myself since it’s much more exciting that way. Sticking to just one can be quite boring in the long run. Thanks for this insightful post. 🙂

  3. Myra Kirbi says:

    Wow! Really impressed!

    I mean its no joke to read 2-4 books in a week and that too of mixed genres!

    I can read maximum two books in a week and that too only fiction, Spiritual books, autobiography’s etc are absolutely a no-go for me!

    I guess I need to read more if I want to be successful :)!

  4. Alice Graham says:

    I am the lazy type when it comes to reading books, and I guess it is as a result of poor planning. Your tips will help me a great deal.

  5. This is awesome, Drew. Thank you. Did you also read this much when your daughter was younger? I have two small kids and find that my evenings are consumed (which would be when I’d typically read). I typically load books on my iPhone to listen to, but would love to find the time to read more. Wondering if it’s just temporary circumstances.

    1. Hey Dawn,

      Yes…I did read this much, even when Kelsey was a baby/toddler/kid. We actually read a lot together. I thought it was really important to set that example, so we’d both get a book, sit side by side on the couch and read. (When she was really little, that lasted maybe 10 minutes…but today, we can still be in the same room and read for an hour+).

      I also read to her a lot, which I loved. Another thing we did was we listened to audio books together in the car. (I didn’t have a TV in the car) Some days, we’d drive around for a couple hours, running errands and just tooling around so we could keep listening!

      Man, I sound like a nerd. ;-}


  6. Dan says:

    Great post, and especially the referral. That’s an interesting service and business model. Thanks!

    1. Dan,

      It’s a great service — I find it incredibly valuable.


  7. Lewis says:

    Drew, as always, nice post. I’m always interested in what others are reading and how they schedule their time to do so. Thanks for sharing. Like you, before I retired, I always had several books going–usually a bio, a business book, and a piece of fiction.

    Now that I am retired, I have the time and the luxury of reading only for pleasure. And because I am also blessed with speed-reading skills, I can read and enjoy 800 pages by Clancy and then 400 by Flynn and/or Grisham in 3 – 4 days.

    I owe my love of reading to my mother, who began taking me to the library at age 4, and to Mrs. Hatch, our Librarian, who always welcomed me and helped me find books I would love. I also owe gratitude to your lovely wife, who turned me on to “Goodreads.”

    1. Lew,

      My impression of you is that you have always been a reader. When you were blogging regularly, I remember you talking about books quite a bit. I’m like you, I can cook through a book pretty fast, which is a huge advantage.

      God love those librarians and other people who taught us early on the wonder of reading. I am forever grateful and I know you are too.


  8. Thanks Drew –
    I’ve been really struggling with my 1.5 hour daily commute lately. Tired of talk radio – on to pod casts!

    1. Veronica,

      Podcasts and audio books will make that 1.5 hour commute fly by! If you need some title suggestions, give me a shout.


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