As most of you I am busy juggling more than one or two things in my life. From working in the family company, starting another one to training 5-6 days a week AND having some kind of social life. Each as aspect is demanding attention, time and energy which are limited.
My love for books, unlike for most people, started later in my life when I entered university. I found that reading mostly non-fiction books were of immense help to my education and growth. I always knew that entrepreneurship is what I am going to do for the rest of my life, thus getting more knowledge than what was offered by the university was a complete must.
Back than I had lots of free time which I dedicated to reading books, blogs, and articles on topics ranging from marketing, e-commerce, persuasion to fitness, diets and training. Demanding as the university was, I had enough free time to read and workout. The reason for my free time was that I was fortunate enough to have roof over my head and food on the table without being necessary for me to work. My parents provided me with everything I needed for which I am eternally grateful to them.
After I graduated things started to change and all of a sudden I was not opening a book for months and rarely read a blog post or two. The only time I could find to read was at night. I imagine you all know the result of trying to read late night in bed – best case scenario 2-3 pages and I was already dead. I was feeling both guilty and ashamed that I cannot find time to read and learn. As most stories continue at this point:
I knew I needed to do something… (whispering detective voice).
At this time the popularity of podcasts was already on the rise. So I gave it a try.
I started with
- BBC Radio4 – In Our Time – Philosophy hosted by Melvyn Bragg
- Hardcore History with Dan Carlin
- The Tim Ferriss Show
Aaaand this got me hooked up to the audio.
I realised that I can learn new things, listen to people’s opinions, expertise and knowledge WITHOUT needing to dedicate specific time for that. I could actually pursue all my other endeavours without sacrificing learning and vice versa. Boy it was and still is thrilling feeling for me. I love it.
I am pretty sure that you hearing a lot about podcasts these days as they are HOT. Even big media outlets are moving to the podcast industry.
Audiobooks were the next step. For some odd reason I never took audiobooks seriously up to that point. I always imagined that only some “esoteric weird self-help guru shit” or “learn this or that language while driving” books would be recorded on audio.
Oh boy how wrong was I…
It turned out that pretty much all books I was stacking up to read at some point were available in audio. So I started consuming them one by one again without setting specific time of my day to do that.
I guess at this point you are “stop with that not setting specific time shit”… how do you do it?
Well…. I listen while commuting to work, to the gym, to the store, while washing the dishes, doing the laundry. Every moment that requires me to do something without the need to be really engaged with it, I will hit the play button.
By listening while doing something else I easily squeeze at least an hour a day. So in total 7 hours a week is the bear minimum without changing my daily routine at all.
The average audiobook length is about 6-8 hours, thus 1 book a week is more than achievable goal.
There are 52 weeks in a calendar year so you can consume around 50 books a year without a hassle
The average person reads between 10-15 books a year which is far less than 50, right?
In other words by simply listening to audiobooks while:
- Doing laundry
- Doing dishes
You can consume 3-4 times MORE books than the avarage person which is A LOT.
How to start
I would strongly recommend getting an Audible account
You will get 1 book of your choosing for free to start with.
Get yourself nice pair of headphones that are comfortable and carry them anywhere with you.
I use the AirPods
Always pick books that you think you would like and if they are not to your taste, Audible allows you to “return” them and pick another one.
Listening audiobooks should bring you JOY and knowledge.
How to consume even more Audiobooks
Recently I started experimenting with faster reading speed and it turned out to be awesome. I would recommend to start with x 1.3 speed to get accustomed to it. I doubt I would go faster as this will most likely make my listening experience unpleasant. After all, you can optimise things up to certain point without ruing them.
Key thing to mention about speeding up the reading – I still have not tried it while listening fiction books as most of the titles I consume are non-fiction. HOWEVER I doubt that this is a good idea.
I cannot imagine ruin the whole experience of listening to The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. The author narrates the book himself and damn he is out of this world good.
I strongly encourage you to start listening as I think it will change your life as it did mine!