In my recent popular post The 26 Major Advantages to Reading More Books and Why 3 in 4 People Are Being Shut Out of Success, you saw that reading more books is one of the most powerful shortcuts to success.
But one obstacle to reading more books is simply finding the time to do it. Well friends, put on your trench coats and fedoras and get ready to sneak some great reading in on the down low.
Here are 5 sneaky ways to get more book reading into your day:
1. Rip chapters out of your book – Hear me out before you make a judgement! When I worked for a car wash years ago, reading books on the job was quite inappropriate. So here is what I did to get around it.
I went to the local used book store and purchased some of the titles I wanted. They might have cost $1 or $2 each. When I got home, I picked the first book and carefully grabbed a chapter and ripped out the whole chapter from the seam. If done carefully, the whole chapter was held together by the existing binding glue. I repeated this for each chapter in the book.
When I was done, I picked one or two chapters and folded them in half and stuck them into my back jeans pocket. The rest of the chapters, I put back into the original book cover and held it all together with a rubber band until I needed them.
In between rinse cycles, I’d just grab the current chapter out of my back pocket and read. Boss-man was none the wiser.
I would replace chapters I read back into the book cover and take the next chapter or two until I finished the book.
Turns out, when I was done reading a book, I could fit everything back together and re-glue it using Elmer’s and the book was in rough, but readable condition. Now, that I’ve refined a great bookbinding method, I’d just use that to rebind it good as new.
Caution: It goes without saying you should only do this with books you own. Don’t rip up your friend’s book or a library book.
2. Take a book with you into the bathroom – I am surprised at the number of businesses that do not allow employees to read. It makes little sense to me considering books make employees smarter, why would you not want them to improve?
Regardless, there is a “no mans land” where you can take a book where you won’t be disturbed – the bathroom.
You may choose to read while you are doing your business or you might just want to close the door and read in the bathroom stall. Since bathrooms are typically quiet, you can read for 10-15 minutes undisturbed.
Since you’ll technically be in the restroom, your boss likely won’t be able to punish you. Just make sure you don’t leave any incriminating bookmarks or hilighters lying around when you leave.
3. Make reading a high priority – If you feel like you aren’t reading enough now, the only way you will be able to change your behavior is if you make reading a high priority. I have already given 26 major reasons, some of the people commenting to the post have added some excellent reasons to the list as well.
Reading good books often is a proactive skill to develop. The late Earl Nightingale used to say that through reading and improving your vocabulary you communicate your education within seconds of entering a room. Your skill with language is communicated immediately – so the impression you make is largely dependent on how “well read” you are.
Imagine sitting for a job interview and the potential employer choosing between you (who communicates intelligence) and a non-reader who doesn’t. Provided the boss wants a smart person for the job they’ll know you are the right person in seconds.
4. Scan Books for Your Phone or iPod – You can buy an inexpensive scanner that will convert your books to text so you can load them onto your cell phone or iPod for having a library with you at all times. I have been doing this for as long as I’ve owned a Pocket PC – 6 years.
Like point #1, I scan a chapter of a book and convert it to text with the free OCR software that came with the scanner. Then I just copy it to my Pocket PC for reading at any time of day or night. Since I always have my device with me, I can read while waiting for my meal at a restaurant, in line at the post office or just have some down time at work.
5. Use Text-To-Speech for On The Road Reading – Another tool I like to use that only gets better and better is text to speech software. Great for reading blog posts in my car, you can also load E-Books chapter by chapter into the software. This frees you up to read as you drive without wrapping your car around a tree.
The only possible downside, in my opinion, is listening isn’t as mentally engaging as reading. But it is still quite good.
Currently, I am using Text2Go software with the Samantha voice you can get separately when you purchase the software. The voices are lifelike and easy to understand. The advantage of this program is it not only converts text to speech, it loads it automatically on your iPod or MP3 player. Plus, there is a slick management feature that allows you to delete recordings you’ve heard and create custom play lists based on the text you are converting – useful when you are recording blog content.
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Well, there you have it. 5 sneaky and underhanded ways to add more reading to your daily schedule. Some are radical, some may cost money. But all will make you better read and more successful if you only apply them.
Before you add more reading to your schedule you have to see it as important – crucial even – to your personal success and enjoyment of life. Until you do, then you probably won’t read much more than you are reading now.
I am sure a lot of you who read this blog have other good ways of sneaking in some book reading on the sly, so please feel free to share in the comments.
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