Read 30 Books a Year With 30min per Day

A bold statement, but the math checks out, assuming that the average reading speed is around 250 word per minutes (wpm), which is probably a bit high, and the average book length is around 90’000 words per book (wpb), which really depends on what kind of books you’re reading, this gives you:

(30min * 360d * 250wpm) / 90000wpb = 30 Books
A shelf filled with Reclam books with red, yellow, green and blue small books
Collection for Reclam Books

If you look at it from the outside it seems obvious and might even be some advice you’ve heard before. The reason I write about it, is because of the video below, which I watched it the other day, documents exactly the feeling I have of wanting to read more books, but lost the patience to sit down and read for a long time. Yet, if you look at the calculation, it doesn’t need to be for a “long time” at all, 30min are enough. If you have an additional 37min in your day today, I really recommend watching the whole thing, which takes you on a real journey!

The two take away points for me are, that reading can make you slow down and generally reflect, and how consistency really does pay out.

While I do feel, like I’m reading a lot of articles and am watching even more videos, I wouldn’t consider myself as someone, who reads a lot of books. Yet, I have a few shelves full of books, most of which I haven’t read and some I haven’t really planned on reading. At the same time, I do have a small stack of books, often rather technical in nature, which I do wish to read, but then rarely spend any time with any of them.

The current thumbnail of the video shows a book holder, most likely representing the wale Moby Dick from the book with the same name. The book is mentioned a few times in the video and supposedly a or the standard English literature book, which is why, I started to listen to an audiobook or rather audio drama of Moby Dick. This brings up an interesting point in regards to “reading” books: Audiobooks

I do enjoy listening to audiobooks (and podcasts) quite a bit, since they can be enjoyed while you’re cooking, cleaning, doing groceries, commuting or just going for a walk, and don’t require you to focus your eyes on words on a page or screen. The interesting part is, that if I add audiobooks into the mix, my note taking app tells me, that I’ve finished four audiobooks (red dots) and finished one paper book (yellow dot) in 2023 alone:

Obsidian Graph View as dot cloud with four red dots and one yellow dot among a lot of grey dots
Obsidian‘s Graph View

Audiobooks have allowed me to “read” a lot more books in situations, where it would be a bit more unpractical with a physical book. However, I noticed that audiobooks don’t really allow me to slow down and reflect up on things, as I never really just listen to them.

The video really motivates me to reschedule some of my time I spend on YouTube Shorts and similar timewasters towards sitting down and reading a bit in a physical book. I don’t want to time it to 30min, but slowly make it a habit of spending time on reading physical things, while doing nothing else.

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