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How to read three books per month

Guillermo Gonzalez
Guillermo Gonzalez
5 min read
How to read three books per month
Photo by Gaelle Marcel / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Reading three books a month may seem daunting at first. However, with discipline and a sound system, you can read at least three monthly books and not go crazy simultaneously. Reading helps you to learn more, be encouraged, challenged, and ultimately grow not only in knowledge but also in wisdom.

To be able to read at least three books a month, I must give you a small mathematical view that helped me, personally, to put this into perspective. When I realized how easy it was to read these many books on pure statistics and numbers, the idea of reading more every month did not seem too intimidating anymore.

The mathematical perspective

Here is how it works:

  1. A month contains an average of 30 days.
  2. An average nonfiction book has 60,000 words.
  3. The average person reads 238 words per minute.

Divide the 60,000 words in the book by the average 238 words per minute that the average user reads, and you get; 252 minutes. Now convert 252 minutes to hours, and you get; 4.2 hours.

And there you go. The average nonfiction book would take about 4 hours to read. Think about that and compare 4 hours with 30 days in the month. When you look at it this way, it becomes easier to see how it can be possible to squeeze 4 hours in the whole month to read just one book.

The system

Now that we have a perspective of how easy this could be by having a different perspective on how much reading a book could take, we need to develop a system that will help us accomplish this every month.

I believe that if you develop a simple and effective system that can help you read the three books per month, it will keep you accountable and motivated throughout the process.

Since everyone has different schedules and priorities throughout the day, it would be impossible to devise a system that works for everyone.

However, here is the one that works for me. I think it's wide enough to be adaptable to almost every schedule, maybe with a few modifications.

30 Minutes of Daily Reading

To make it a bit fairer, let's say that the books you will be reading are at least 6 hours long. If you read 30 minutes daily, you will finish reading one book in 12 days.

If you start reading another book three days later, which takes you another 12 days, you will be at 27 days into the month, having already read two entire books, with only 30 minutes of daily reading! Not only are you reading and getting all the benefits that reading books provide, but you are also training your brain to read every day, and by doing so, you are killing two birds with one stone.

So, now you are done with two books, and it's been only 27 days of the month. How do you get the 3rd book in? You listen to it using something like audible.

An audiobook will also be around 4 to 6 hours, which you can listen to while exercising, washing the dishes, cooking, or driving in traffic throughout the month.

If you live in a city where traffic is part of your daily life, you can efficiently finish an audiobook in a few days. I used to drive to work, getting stuck in traffic for 1 hour (going into and out of work). In a single week, I had finished listening to an audiobook. With this in mind, I could have listened to 4 audiobooks monthly if I wanted.

I would not do that because you also want to give yourself time to process everything you have learned and not fill your mind with too much information.

But there you have it. That would complete the three books for the month.

To recap, read 30 minutes daily, giving yourself a 3-day break between books; in around 27 days, you will have read two entire books. And as you go on your daily activities like driving, exercising, etc. You read an audiobook—a total of 3 books for the whole month.

Now, here is a simple and effective system that I use that helps me accomplish the above:

Prepare

The first thing I do is to prepare. I try to select the books I will be reading that month and buy them. I do this to jump into the other as soon as I read one book.

Schedule

The second thing I do is schedule my reading time. You have to be intentional with your time. While this is not a post about time management, it is essential to note that when you schedule something and discipline yourself to always stay on course with your schedule, you will make your reading time obvious. When it's obvious, you will know that you will need to read sometime in your day.

Enjoy

And lastly, I always make time to remind myself to enjoy what I am reading. The first two help me to stay accountable, but this last one allows me to stay motivated.

I do this by highlighting and taking notes of quotes or statements I read in the book. I then transfer all those notes and highlights to a database I created to keep these nuggets of wisdom for future use.

I also ensure that one of the books I am reading (usually the audiobooks) is for pleasure rather than learning.

I do this because this helps me to keep a healthy balance between reading content I want to learn and content I want to enjoy.

A few more comments

I want to make a few comments that I think are necessary.

Remember that while this works for me, it may not work for you. You may not drive to work, so you cannot listen to the audiobook at that time; in that case, you may have to adjust and find ways that work for you, maybe while cooking or washing dishes and cleaning. I know some of you may have children and find it hard to find time to read. Perhaps you can read while the kids are taking a nap, etc. The bottom line is that there is always time; we have to find it in places that are wasting our current time or make the time in areas that are not so much of a priority.

Also, while this blog is about how to read three books a month, it doesn't have to be three books. Some of you may find it easier to start with maybe one book a month, and that is great! The point is to begin and also to stay committed to reading. Sometimes you will read only one book, or sometimes you will read more than three. Again, the issue here is not how many books you can read but creating the habit of reading.

Remember not to be too rigid and hard on yourself to try and hit the three books a month. Sometimes you will need to drop a book and stop reading it if it's not beneficial to you. One of the best things I've learned is to know when to quit reading a book you are not enjoying.

One last thing; too much information can also be wrong. The wisest human to ever exist once said,

“If you find honey, eat just enough– too much of it, and you will vomit.” Proverbs 25:16

Too much intake without an outlet is also wrong. So make sure you share what you learn with others, write thoughts in a journal, teach a Bible study, post on social media, etc.

I hope this is as helpful to you as it was to me.

What has helped you to read efficiently? Comment or message! I would love to hear from you.

One last thing!

Would you like to subscribe to this website? When you do, you'll be supporting and showing love to the content written here, and I will also ensure all content goes straight to your email and give you member-only access (which I will be writing some of soon). Thank you! :)

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Computer Science graduate. Served in many churches as a Youth Pastor and Executive Pastor. Now I am the Lead Pastor of Mariners Church in Santa Ana, CA.