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How To Read 200 Books a Year

Read 200 Books in a Year
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Want conviction? Try the title of this article: “In the time you spend on social media each year, you could read 200 books.”

Ouch.

But is it true?

Yes, I believe for most people, it is. Here’s the four-step process:

1. Do Not Quit Before You Start.

Many will see “200 books” and immediately think, “I can’t!” or, “It’s just not possible.” All that does is guarantee that (for you) you won’t, and that it’s impossible.

2. Do the Math.

As author Charles Chu notes, the average American reads 200-400 words per minute. The typical non-fiction book has 50,000 words.

Here’s the math: 200 books at 50,000 words per book equals 10 million words. Ten million words at 400 words per minute equals 25,000 minutes. 25,000 minutes equals 417 hours.

I know, you’re thinking: “417 hours?! No one has that kind of time.”

Which just means you’re now ready for the third step.

3. Find the Time.

It was the famed business author Jim Collins who first challenged me about finding time for what matters most. He said that most of us don’t need more “to do” lists, but rather “stop doing” lists. That a lack of time does not war against something like reading, but rather that we are filling our time with things other than reading.

Now to Chu’s point. The average American spends 609 hours a year on social media and 1,642 hours watching TV. Once again, let’s do the math. That’s 2,250 hours a year combined. If you took all of those hours and instead spent them reading, you wouldn’t read 200 books a year. You would read more than 1,000 books a year.

So we have the time. Lots of it. In excess.