I have a problem. As you all know, I am massively addicted to reading. The problem comes down to simple mathematics. There is an infinite amount of books in existence and not enough time to get through them all!
Over the years, I have tried many things to keep on top of the publishing world. I read in bed, I read at work, I binge read on holidays and I always make sure to have a book with me in the car wherever I go. Sometimes I can end up passing on books before I read them myself just to see if they are worth my time!
A couple of years ago, I joined audible.com and began a love for audiobooks. This has been a masterstroke as I can now ‘read’ while out jogging, gardening, driving or completing other mundane tasks. Joining Audible instantly added at least 10+ books to my annual reading total.
In short, all of these strategies have seen me hit an average of sixty books a year but I still want to read MORE!!! Apart from continuing to improve my speed-reading and somehow squeezing in more reading time, I feel that drastic action is required. This, I fear, might force me to bend the rules and join the dark side…
Here are the two options that I can see myself taking…
1. Listening to audiobooks at an increased speed.
I had heard of this idea before but a couple of videos from Fight Mediocrity really planted the seed in my mind to go and try it for myself. To do this, I firstly had to betray one of my oldest friends…my trusty Philips GoGear MP3 player… 😦
Using the Audible app on my iPhone, I can experiment with all sorts of listening speeds; from as slow as 0.75x right up to 3x faster. While Fight Mediocrity recommends listening at 2x speed, personally I found this to be way too fast. 1.25x however is perfect and does not affect the quality at all. This week I listened to Julian Barnes’ The Noise Of Time and it turned a five hour read into a four hour one.
2. Joining Blinkist to sate my appetite for non-fiction.
I have only become aware of the Blinkist app in the past month and I have to admit that I am seriously tempted to join up. The basic premise is that the readers at Blinkist trawl through popular non-fiction books and then produce a high quality summary for the time-strapped reader. There are many pros and cons with this concept for me…
- I love non-fiction and can now access many titles and get through them easier.
- This will be great for my personal and professional development.
- Non-fiction books require a lot of time and concentration, something I do not always have. I recently began and was really enjoying Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma but I had to take a break from the 400 pages of intense research!
- If I really enjoy the Blinkist version, I can always make time for the original to fully digest the ideas within.
- Non-fiction books can sometimes have a lot of filler material built around a small amount of excellent ideas. This will cut that out.
- I feel that this does the author a great discredit for the large amount of work and research that he has put in.
- Could I ever honestly count these ‘reads’ as completed? What would Goodreads think of me?!
- Think of all the high quality non-fiction that I enjoyed in the past…would the experience be the same?
- Is this essentially being lazy or ‘cheating’?