Reading 30 books in my first year of college 🧑🏫
My simple tricks to reading a lot of books as a college student
Back in June of 2017, I started my college at MIT World Peace University, Pune. I being a freshman had ample time up my sleeve to go through all the good books I wanted to read. But the process was not easy and certainly I haven’t been able to continue my rigorous book reading regime any longer.
In this blog, I share the process and simple hacks that helped me read 30 books in my first year of college and how you could do the same. Plus this helps me breakdown my own process of book reading that I’ve never talked about before.
1. The Motivation
After giving my 12th Board exams and giving all the competitive exams, I realized I needed a break. The 2 years of studying for country’s toughest exam would certainly take a toll on anyone.
I needed something to take my mind away from all of the stress, pain and anxiety. The solution I found was books!
2. Starting with Fiction
The first set of books that I felt I had to go through were Harry Potter books. The challenge was simple, complete the whole series before you start college. I never thought I would be able to complete it but I was more interested in getting lost in the world of The boy who lived.
Long story short, I was able to complete all the 8 books in the series (including HP and the cursed child) within my first month. This was a big confidence booster for me as I had never been a voracious reader ever outside my school syllabus.
3. Turning to Philosophy
After having read the entire HP series, I realized I needed to try my hand at other genres. A few years back, I had learned the concept of Stoics and Epicureans from one of the Ted Talk’s by Tai Lopez. I always wondered what philosophy was and wanted to get started with it.
That’s when I started reading “The Story of Philosophy” by Will Durant. The book dealt with famous philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Friedrich Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Francis Bacon, Spinoza, etc and included stories about their life, their works, their insights with amazing explanation by the author. This book turned out to be game changer for me and is probably the only reason I still buy books.
4. Getting Book Recommendations from people you admire
Later on I started getting into auto-biographies and started taking down recommendations from people. Some of these books included “Made in America by Sam Walton”, “Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella”, “My Life and Work by Henry Ford” and “Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” and many more. Even after achieving greatness, these people never seemed to lose the common touch. Their stories are written in a straight-from-the-shoulder style and they teach you to dream with your eyes open.
Book recommendations form the backbone of your reading journey. When a person you admire recommends a book, it provides a first hand validation for the book and thus saving your time.😄
5. Building a Reading habit
Reading is just like going to the gym. You wouldn’t see the difference on your first day or even the first week of your reading journey. It is a gradual process just like any other.
For me I made sure that after coming back from college, I would give 1 to 2 hours to reading something I liked. I followed the 3 point technique to read a book thoroughly. Using the technique, I was fairly confident that whatever I read stayed with me or atleast was easy to assimilate whenever I skimmed through the book again.
6. Do your MIT (Most Important Thing) first!
At college, I being a day scholar meant I had to travel 11 kilometers right from my home to university in a public bus which took close to 45 min to 1 hour of travel time daily. But after coming back home I made sure to get done with my reading every day, each day. First year of college is a little less hectic compared to final years, hence you can devote that time to doing something productive.
Treat whatever task you want to focus on as the most important thing (MIT) and by giving it everything you have, you will be able to get things done faster. Making notes, underlining and highlighting are just a few ways to give your reading habit wings.
Bonus Tips on reading
Some books are easier to digest than others while some are a tough nut to crack. My philosophy has always been — if the book is easy to read, complete it as fast as possible before you loose your interest and if the book is not an easy read, treat it like a marathon and take it one at a time.
You don’t need to have a reason for reading books. It could simply be one of your vents to wind down from your day-to-day work. Looking for ideas in a book is okay but it is not the only reason why you should read. You should read to learn how to think, how to react and how to empathize with others.
Reading won’t make you rich but it’ll certainly keep you wealthy.