Reading is one of the easiest ways to learn, fascinate, entertain, and grow all at the same time. A lot of people don't read much after finishing school because of not knowing what to read or where to start. Books can put in the mind of another person, and this opens up your account. Deciding to begin the journey to reading mastery is one of the best decisions that you can make.

Developing the habit of reading does not have many short term benefits. Most habits don't! If you want to reap the real benefits of reading mastery, it takes reading for years to see the changes in your life. Here are some of the benefits of being an avid reader.

  • Improved writing

  • A better understanding of others

  • Learning from people who are dead

  • Improvement in memory

  • Visualization

  • Analytical thinking skills

  • Mental stimulation

  • Help with relaxation for sleep

  • Reduced stress levels

  • Easier time building new habits

How can anyone pass up these benefits? They don't come overnight, you have to be consistent to meet them, but they are all well worth it.

There is no such thing as reading the best of the best books too many times. Each time you read the book, it wows you some more. It makes you hungrier to want to dig in and get more. Never underestimate the power of this.
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The Road to Reading Mastery Starts With a Single Step

The biggest obstacle to changing any habit is trying to start too big. If you want to save $10, you should first start by saving one. If you're going to start working out, start by walking not by running a marathon. These truths also apply to read books. Start small!

If you want to start reading more, you can do it, but you have to start small. Don't try and read a book a week, or 20 pages a day. Read one paragraph a day to start. When you do that for seven days, you can bump up to doing a page a day.

The key to building habits is first getting consistent with the new behavior, not doing a lot of it. Anyone can read a tonne for three days and never do it again. It takes a disciplined person to start at a.

By reading one paragraph a day, you set a bar for yourself that you can stay consistent within the long run. No matter how short on time you are, anyone can read one paragraph of a book. The stay at home mom of four kids can read one paragraph. The busy school teacher can, and the child that is entering high school can do it as well. That means that if they can, you can!

Reading Mastery Never Ends

Be careful because the journey to mastery never ends. When I started running track, I never knew that the art of sprinting had no real finish line. I thought it would be getting a scholarship, being an All-American, or even making the Olympic team. After doing all those things, I still had so much to learn and improve. With reading, you have never read enough books. You have to accept this now. The more you learn, the more you realize that you don't know. You read more to try and fill those gaps, and you learn more about how ignorant you are.

Reading mastery requires being patient, persistent. You need to stay focused on what you are becoming. When you lose sight, you get frustrated. You start to give up on the craft all together because you think there are no benefits. You could be reading to build wealth, but your bank account has not grown. Hang in there and stay focused on the long run.

Binge Read 200 + Books

After starting small, you will increase your load to the point that will shock. Where reading a chapter in a day used to be surprising, reading less than four will become a down day for you. You need to get to a point where you have read around 200 books.

I learned this in 2017, when I decided to read 100 books in a year. I spent the year with my focus on being to read as many books as possible. Did I keep a lot of the information in the first read-through of these books? Not a chance. The point was not retention, but I did not realize it at the time.

I had read so many different varieties of books. I started to appreciate that there are great books and there are good books. Spend less time reading the good ones and more time reading the great ones.

Once you get around 200 books, you have enough books under your belt to start noticing trends.

  • Which books changed you the most?

  • Where do books put you to sleep?

  • What topics are harder for you to understand?

  • Did you notice attraction to anything?

  • Which topics have you been avoiding?

  • When it comes to building new habits what do other successful people seem to all do?

These are all questions that you cannot answer as well when you have only read 25 books. You need exposure to more genres of books. When anyone starts reading, the first few books read are always either the best or the worst ever. Usually, both assessments are wrong.

Nonfiction vs. Fiction

Knowing whether to go the non-fiction vs. fiction route depends on your goals. If you are looking for self-growth, you will want to stick with more non-fiction. Fiction is great for those wishing to work their imagination and inspire creativity.

Of course, both non-fiction and fiction can help in many ways. The point is that based on your goals, certain types help more. Reading non-fiction can be more purpose-driven. Reading a fiction book can fall much more into entertainment. You have to decide what is best for you. Reading anything is better than not reading. If all you can learn to get started is comics, don't let that stop you at all.

Find a Respectable List

I had been reading books all through college, but I would not say it was a habit. If I had needed to know something or someone told me I had to read a book I would. The problem was that I did not know what to read. There were so many books out there, and I had so little time to choose. The selections I ended up making were subpar. I was excellent at selecting sorry books.

After graduating, I saw Tai Lopez via his ridiculous spend on YouTube. When I checked him out and started listening to his podcast, I learned that he had a book list. The book list was the biggest blessing to my reading mastery journey. It took the pressure off me for finding good books.

The List Changed The Game

As I bought more books, I realized that these were life-changing books. They were not good books; these were great books. As I started going through them, I realized how limited I was in what I was reading. I read way too much business books. Exposure to many different genres was not occurring in my reading life.

I am not saying you need to start with the same list I did or any other file. What I am saying is to find someone with a book list you like and get started. Force yourself to read what someone else is saying is a life-changing book. It will take all the pressure off of what to buy so you can focus on learning.

Reading Mastery Demands Variety

You need to understand different books. Here is your opportunity to read books that go against everything you believe. If you are a Christian, read a book from someone trying to disprove it. You don't believe in conspiracy theories, read a book that supports them. You live in the now and hate history, read books that bring you through history.

Most people spend their entire life around people like them. These are people who also believe what you believe. We live in what I like to call belief bubbles. When anyone tries to busts that bubble, we run away as fast as we can so we can hold on to your beliefs. You don't need to change your opinions; you need to understand the perspective of others.

When you look at issues like race in America, a big reason it will continue is a lack of perspective. Both sides struggle to see things the way the other side sees it. Books can bridge this gap.

You need to read books that make you mentally uncomfortable. Books should get you thinking about things a bit different. You should read books that challenge your beliefs so hard that you get mad reading them. You can feel them trying to release the grip on things you hold on to currently.

Reading Mastery - A Book a Day Keeps The Doctor Away

When you begin to read a lot, you start understanding that you don't need to finish every book. You also don't have to start books from page one. You can jump around if the occasion calls for it. The goal each time you read is to take away one golden nugget. If you do that hwy not put the book back and try and get another nugget from a different book?

There are no rules outside of reading. If the book you're reading is not useful or it's not relevant to your life right now put it down. There may come a time when it will be appropriate, and you will want to read the whole book in one day.

Try reading a different book for each day of the month. You don't need to read the whole book. You spend one day trying to get the essential information from that book into your head. Then the next day you will do the same with a different book.

As you go through these different books, you will see how knowledge can build on itself. One useful nugget is valuable on it's one. When you combine it with the other six from the week, it becomes unstoppable.

Kindle Vs. Physical Books Vs. Audio Books

The format of the book depends on what you like and your lifestyle. If you drive a lot, audio books are perfect for that setting. If you are on the go, but you have a lot of breaks, Kindles work great. When you have time to sit at home and read, that is the best time for physical books. The best strategy is to have all formats of books.

They all come in handy at different times. You never know when you will want a physical book to take notes. It can be advantageous to have your entire library of books on your phone. Having the same book in many formats is to your advantage.

Drop What You Don't Need Now

Get into the habit of dropping what you don't need right now. Reading mastery is also about finding books that can change your life right now. If you need to learn a new skill, focus on reading books that build that skill.

It's okay to drop books that are not relevant to your life at the time being. I can't tell you how many times I have come back to a book years later, and it was what I needed at the time.

Collect Your Notes in One Place

Go and buy yourself a journal. You cannot do this with some flimsy notebook because the book needs to stand the test of time. After you read each book, summarize all the keynotes in a page or two. What this will do is allow you to have notes you can carry with you everywhere.

Anytime you need a refresher on a book you can loo in your notes. It also helps you to see what necessary at the time. You can go back to the same book and want to pull different records, and that is because you have grown.

When you keep a journal like this, it 's a good reminder that you are reading these books to pull something from them. You want something that you can use to improve your life or the world around you.

Used Books Stores Are Your Best Friend

When you start to rack up book after book, you see that it's not practical to keep buying them new on Amazon. The best way to overcome this is to spend your time trying to find a well-used book store.

I had once found a used bookstore when I lived in Ann Arbor that sold brand new, used books for $2. All the rest of the books cost $1. I could leave that place with stacks of books, and it would cost me nothing.

Find your local used book stores. They may be hard to find, and you may have to ask around, but they are out there, and they want your business. You will feel a lot better feeding your book appetite when you can get them much cheaper.

Always Have a Stack Ready

The reason you want to get books cheaper if possible is that you want to have a stack of books ready to read. Some people cannot push the envelope on their reading mastery. The reason is that they don't have enough pressure to keep reading.

Nothing will make you want to read more than having a pile of 20 excellent books waiting for t. The only way you can get to them is if you finish the one you are already reading.

Reading Mastery Means You Reread The Great Books

Here is the last point. Once you have read your 200+ books, you will realize that some of the books are amazing and you want more of them. Choose about 25 books that need to read once a year. Choose your top 5-10 that you will learn more.

These are the books you will try and read a bit of once a month. You devour these books line by line as if you need to become an expert on them. Rereading the best of the best is how you remember it. Make sure that you are following through on what it says.

There is no such thing as reading the best of the best books too many times. Each time you read the book, it wows you some more. It makes you hungrier to want to dig in and get more. Never underestimate the power of this. Reading mastery demands that you do not chase the new but learn to love the old.

Reading Mastery - How to Build The Habit of Reading

Habit Stacker is how you will track your reading habit going forward. The app allows you to enter in any habit. For example, I track if I have read for the day but also if I have read my journal of notes. These are daily practices that have been game changers for my reading mastery.

Habit tracker allows you to add accountability partners for your habits. What that means is that if you don't read for the day, your accountability partner will know. You don't w want to keep letting them down. Reading mastery will become a habit you never skip! Keep focusing on building new habits that support reading more. 

Ready to create lasting results?  Check out James Clear’s Best Selling book, Atomic Habits If you’re only going to read one book on habits, this is it!  Clear’s book is not only engaging, it’s full of practical, actionable advice focused on helping you obtain real and lasting results. 

Ponder your yesterday, did you do your best?  

If so, celebrate your success like crazy.  And if not, today is a new day.  Reflect on what “your best” looks like, and focus on getting 1% better!

Christopher Allen

Creative Thinking Misfit

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