Do you know that if you read 20 minutes a day, you can read more than 25 books a year?
I am usually surprised by the “that’s-not-possible” look on the faces of students whenever I tell them that when I was a student, I used to read more than 80 books every year. And yet I am not so taken aback. With the plethora of distractions today’s students are faced with, it could be a herculean task to read. In his essay, “Six Myths of Time Management”, Jeff Davidson wrote: In today’s complex society there are many activities and interests competing for our time and attention. We tend to think that the more choices we have in life, the happier we will be. But having too many options—choices about how to spend our time or what interests to pursue—can be overwhelming and can make us feel like we have less freedom and less time.
Amidst this tight schedule, notwithstanding, it is still very possible to meet up the demand of reading. You could start by setting attainable goals. So, before you think it is impossible to read more than 25 books a year, here is insight that says otherwise: Let’s say you are an average reader. This means you read about 300 words a minute. It also means that in 20 minutes, you can read about six thousand words. In a week of reading 20 minutes per day, you would have read 42, 000 words. In 52 weeks of reading 20 minutes per day (go get your calculator), you would have read a total of 2, 184, 000 words! (That is, 52 times 42,000).
The average book runs about 75,000 words. So, if by reading 20 minutes a day you can read 2, 184, 000 words in a year, how many 75, 000-word books can you read in a year?
The answer is more than 25 books a year. It’s a little over 29.
The problem is usually that students panic at the thought of reading 25 books a year. But that should not be the focus. The focus is finding that 20 minutes a day that will translate to 25 books a year. For many, keeping the book on hand (or within reach) always is the way to go so that you don’t get to waste time hunting around for one if you suddenly have some free time.
By making the 20-minute-a-day plan part of your life, you will definitely reach the goal: 25 books a year!
For students taking the SAT, TOEFL and GRE, developing a consistent schedule of reading could make all the difference between acing these exams and otherwise. From experience, those who ace these exams are usually avid readers.
A role model for students would be Shaan Patel, the once-average student who later aced the SAT with a perfect score of 2400. One of the things he said while explaining his secrets was: “I scoured every book I could find…and read everything I could…”
Ben Carson is another role model that should encourage you. Carson–an inner city Detroit kid who rose from his tough life to one of amazing accomplishments and international renown as a professor of neurosurgery, plastic surgery, oncology, and paediatrics at Johns Hopkins medical institutions and has authored bestselling books like Gifted Hands and Think Big —owes the bulk of his life and achievements to the goal of reading, at least, two books a week. His is an example that is worthy of emulation—one that has inspired younger persons today to take on a similar practice.
Two books in a week will amount to 96 books in a year!
But you can even make it easier and read
just one book, which will amount to 48 books in a year. But we are not even talking 48 books here.
I guess you can now see that reading more than 25 books in a year is not that herculean after all.