I read about 60 books last year. I’m a busy guy, with a full-time job, and a family with two kids. However I did it, I’m revealing the top three reasons I was able to achieve this last year.

For my passion in business, and marketing I started reading the books that I gathered in my bookshelf in the last four years. Yeah, I wasn’t reading them for three years time. Not even completed one book.

Last year, Ryan Allis (Founder of iContact) released his 1,286 slide presentation on everything he’d learned in his 20s in life, entrepreneurship, and the world.

I would’ve read about 300 of the 1,286 slides, but to completely understand it I read the summaries many people wrote at that time. And most importantly I completed the workbook that accompanied the slides. That was already good enough value to me.

Ryan Allis read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill when he was 16, and he wrote down his goal to make $1 Million by Age 21. He ended up building iContact and growing it to a $1 Million worth company by Age 21. I think he missed his goal by about 40 days or something.

The point is that he wrote down his goals and was able to reach them. To quote Napoleon Hill from the book:

Ryan Allis, in his Lessons from a 20s workbook, asked to write what are my goals for the next one year, next decade, and for the lifetime.

I wrote them down. I’ll reveal those in another post but to keep to context, one of my goals was to read all the books I bought so far. The physical books, kindle books, and online courses and complete them.

That was a staggering huge goal coz I bought a 100 books and courses. However, I worked towards it.

Image Caption: One Of My Bookshelves

I used the following tricks to read over 60 books last year:

  1. I Took a Speed Reading Course
  2. Used Audible
  3. Used Blinkist

1. Speed Reading Course

The speed reading course that I took was from Udemy: Become a SuperLearner: Learn Speed Reading & Advanced Memory. The course taught me a lot of tips on how to read and comprehend the reading properly and store them in your mind with the use of markers and other techniques.

A simple tip to read faster: When you read a book, read the first three words and last three words of a line in one go.

2. Audible

Audible.com is a subsidiary of Amazon and the world’s biggest producer of digital Audiobooks. Their selection includes over 180,000 best-selling digital Audiobooks, radio and TV programs, and audio subscriptions to popular magazines and newspapers.

3. Blinkist

Blinkist takes non-fiction books and summarizes them into a concise, and information-rich format — blinks. A blink is a short chapter that contains a critical insight from a book. It is readable in less than 2 minutes, so you can read one blink whenever you have a few minutes of time to spare.

You can complete one book in about 10 to 15 minutes yet; you won’t miss any crucial information. They even have an audio narration of the blinks. So it’s super cool for a little yearly subscription.

I use Blinkist in three ways:

  1. To read books that I want to check whether it’s worth to read the full copy.
  2. To read the summaries of books like Think And Grow Rich, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and How To Win Friends And Influence People again and again.
  3. It’s a good way to kill time productively. Every 10 – 15 minutes I wait for transport or wait for someone, I finish one book. Or during a commute, I finish books.

I still have a lot of books to go, and I’m adding more books to the pipeline every day. Like and comment if you are a life-long learner like me! Also, what other tips do you have to read and complete books faster?