I was not good at reading books because I got bored soon. A lack of curiosity is a killer for reading. I used to try to read everything from the beginning because I wanted to learn as much as possible from the book I bought. But it was difficult how hard I tried unless the book was intriguing.

So I stopped doing it. Now I do NOT read from the beginning and I do NOT read everything[1].

Instead, I 1) pick up the book I want to read depending on my mood, 2) flip to whatever part of it that makes me curious and just read that part, and 3) stop reading if it doesn’t make me curious anymore.

I have a bunch of books on my computer. I have more than 50 books in progress. The most important thing this method does is that it lets me read on a regular basis because I can stay curious all the time. It is absurd that almost everybody seems to be stuck with some books. I don’t hesitate to ditch a book or skip the part of it if I think that it isn’t worth my time. It is better to continue reading other books.

You still might have an urge to read everything even if your head knows that. We are attached to things we own especially when we purchase it. Say you paid $20 for a ticket of the movie that you realized after a half an hour of watching it, it’s quite boring. Do you stay at the theatre or leave? Probably most of us will stay because we have an aversion to losing. The first step to implement this reading method is to realize that we have this irrational tendency.

I know it is difficult to avoid this aversion because unlike clothes we never wear, books are generally more useful. But think of it this way. When we stick to one book and get stuck, we lose an opportunity to know other useful information. We are losing by not reading other information. In this way, we can take advantage of our loss aversion.

Another trick to avoid the loss aversion is to realize that one book we are reading is just a fraction of information among so much more. We tend to build an unhealthy relationship when we depend too much on one option. It is a common practice for investors to diversify their investment so that they can mitigate risk. If they invest 2 million dollars in only one company, they must feel so anxious of losing it. But if they invest 100k dollars in twenty companies in their portfolio, they don’t care much about losing one company because they know they have other companies. Likewise, it’s not a good idea to invest our emotion in one book. Don’t even think about committing to only one book. Instead, always have more than twenty books in your hands. Actually, we can even acquire knowledge from people, blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, podcasts or YouTube videos.

Lastly, for the sake of reading more books, I strongly recommend you to stop reading paper books so that you can have a bunch of books in progress. I digitalized all the books, and stopped buying new paper books.

The good news is that digital books help us not to develop an excessive attachment because we are more attached to physical stuff. Think why people spend more money when they use a debit/credit card.

So start digitalizing your paper books and start buying digital books.


[1] Stories such as Sci-Fi, novel, comic or biography are exceptions.