Tag Archives: reading

In the time you spend on social media each year, you could read 200 books

Somebody once asked Warren Buffett about his secret to success. Buffett pointed to a stack of books and said,

Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will…

When I first found this quote of Buffett’s two years ago, something was wrong.

It was Dec. 2014. I’d found my dream job. Some days, I would be there, sitting at my dream job, and I would think, “My god what if I’m still here in 40 years? I don’t want to die like this…”

Something wasn’t right. I’d followed the prescription. Good grades. Leadership. Recommendations. College. Dream Job. I was a winner. I’d finished the race. Here I was in the land of dreams. But something was terribly, terribly wrong.

Every day, from my dream job desk, I looked out into their eyes. Empty, empty eyes.

There were no answers.

In January of 2015, I found Buffett’s quote. I decided to read. I was going to read and read and read and never stop until I got some damn answers.

I didn’t quite make 500 pages a day, but, in these last two years, I’ve read over 400 books cover to cover. That decision to start reading was one of the most important decisions in my life.

Books gave me the courage to travel. Books gave me the conviction to quit my job. Books gave me role models and heroes and meaning in a world where I had none.

I want to say reading 200 books a year is an amazing thing. But the truth is, it’s not. Anybody can do it.

All it takes is some simple math and the right tools.

1. Do not quit before you start

When average Joe hears the advice “Read 500 pages like this every day,” his snap reaction is to say, “No way! That’s impossible!”

Joe will then go on to make up reasons to justify his belief without doing any deep thinking at all. These might include “I’m too busy,” “I’m not smart enough,” or “Books just aren’t for me.”

But what if we go a little deeper? For example, what does it actually take to read 200 books a year? Two years ago, I stopped to do the simple math. Here’s what I found: Reading 200 books a year isn’t hard at all.

It’s just like Buffett says. Anyone can do it, but most people won’t.

2. Do the simple math

How much time does it take to read 200 books a year?

First, let’s look at two quick statistics:

  • The average American reads 200–400 words per minute (Since you’re on Medium, I’m going to assume you read 400 wpm like me)
  • Typical non-fiction books have ~50,000 words

Now, all we need are some quick calculations…

  • 200 books * 50,000 words/book = 10 million words
  • 10 million words/400 wpm = 25,000 minutes
  • 25,000 minutes/60 = 417 hours

That’s all there is to it. To read 200 books, simply spend 417 hours a year reading.

I know, I know. If your brain is like mine, it probably saw “417 hours” and immediately tried to shut off. Most people only work 40 hours a week! How can we possibly read for 417 hours?

Don’t let your monkey brain turn you away yet. Let’s do a quick reframe for what 417 hours really means…

3. Find the time

Wowsers, 417 hours. That sure feels like a lot. But what does 417 hours really mean? Let’s try to get some more perspective.

Here’s how much time a single American spends on social media and TV in a year:

  • 608 hours on social media
  • 1642 hours on TV

Wow. That’s 2250 hours a year spent on TRASH. If those hours were spent reading instead, you could be reading over 1,000 books a year!

Here’s the simple truth behind reading a lot of books: It’s not that hard. We have all the time we need. The scary part—the part we all ignore—is that we are too addicted, too weak, and too distracted to do what we all know is important…

All it takes to start reading a lot more is to take “empty time” spent Twitter-stalking celebrities or watching Desperate Housewives and convert some of it to reading time.

The theory is simple. It’s the execution that’s hard.

4. Execute

We all know reading is important. We all know we should do more of it. But we don’t. The main reason this happens is a failure to execute.

I’m not so perfect at it yet, but here are some tactics that have helped me get results.

I. Use environmental design

If you were quitting cocaine, would you keep it lying around the house? Of course not. Media is designed to be addictive. Moving away from media addiction can be as difficult as quitting drugs.

The biggest bang-for-buck changes here are environmental.

If you want to read, make sure (1) you remove all distractions from your environment and (2) you make books as easy to access as possible.

As an example, here’s my immediate environment:

from original
(Charles Chu)

I travel a lot. That doesn’t stop me from reading. The picture on the left is of my “bookshelf” in Thailand. I try to keep books everywhere so I can just pick one up and start reading.

The picture on the right is my smartphone desktop. Notice there are only two apps. One of them—the Kindle app—is for reading. The other is for habits… Which brings me to my next point.

II. Upload habits

Willpower is not a good tool for lifestyle change. It always fails you when you need it most. Instead of relying on strength of mind, build a fortress of habits—these are what will keep you resilient in tough times.

If you’re not familiar with habit science, my favorite book on the subject is Tynan’s Superhuman by Habit. It’s infinitely practical, and practical is all I care about.

Getting good at habit formation took me years. Many of the mistakes I made were avoidable. If I could go back, I’d find a habit coach. Here’s how I see it. One game-changing idea from a good book is worth thousands of dollars. If a coach helps you read ONE more good book a year, you already get your money’s worth.

(A shout out to Cherry Jeffs and Nathan Sudds, two coaches who have helped me out a lot.)

III. Go multi-medium

When it comes to reading, be a jack of all trades, not a specialist.

If your goal is to read more, you can’t be picky about where you read or what mediums you use. I read paper books. I read on my phone. I listen to audiobooks. And I do these things everywhere—on park benches, in buses, in the toilet… Wherever I can.

Make your reading opportunistic. If you have a chance, take it. If you don’t have a chance, find one.

I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.

— Orhan Pamuk

If I hadn’t started reading, perhaps I’d still be at my dream job. Perhaps I’d still be at my desk, taking peeks at the clock and wondering if that was how I was going to die…

If you’re looking for answers, give reading a try. You may find much, much more than what you were looking for.

Source: qz.com

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There are more than ten types of people who read books

People who read books have their own reading habits independent of the book format they like. Pages of paper books can be folded and highlighted, whereas notes can be jotted down on pages of an ebook (that don’t destroy the actual page) and highlighted as well. Someone may like to read in bath and another in bed. Riveted has identified ten types of book readers – but there are more.

Careful Page Turner. Books are so precious objects for this type of reader that even after reading a book, it looks like new.

Page folder. Books are full of memories and important things to note and remember. Every earmarked page has something to say to this reader.

Highlighter. Earmarking pages is not enough for this type of reader who wants to underline and highlight terms and lines.

Ebook user. Computers, tablets, ereaders and smartphones have users (unlike books that have readers), who read electronic books from the screen.

Paperback reader. In countries where ebooks have taken a large market share, sales of paperbacks has fallen, but there are still plenty paperback readers. Paperbacks are the classic choice of travelers, largely replaced today by ereader devices.

Hardcover lover. Book, music and movie industries have something in common: they can sell the same product many times to same customers, only in different package. Hardcover books have retained their market share despite ebooks (or paperbacks) that often are priced lower than hardcover products.

Library Hermit. With an endless supply of free books (and nowadays also the internet), it is easy to understand why some people like to spend hours in libraries.

Story Hoarder. A reader starts reading a story, but something makes him or her jump to the next book without finishing the first one. Some readers have he ability to jump from one story to the next without difficulties. I can do it with nonfiction books, but not with fiction.

Parallel computing. It is possible to read a book and listen to radio or (kind of) watch television at the same time, but playing a video game or cooking is difficult while reading a book. If you like to multitask, here is a tip for you: audiobooks. Another option is to download an app to your phone or tablet and let it read aloud an ebook for you.

Bedtime page turner. For some readers, it may be impossible to sleep before reading a little while, at least.

I can think of many additional types of readers, such as people who take a book along to a beach or park, and people who listen to audiobooks when they drive or commute. The emergence of ebooks has made books as a medium a flexible part of our lives, allowing us to enjoy them in many ways and in many places.

Source: klaava.com

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Reality Check for Authors … What Were You Thinking?

I’ve often said that authoring can be (and is at times) a lonely number. When you are hunkered down, the less “outside” noise, the better. When you are wondering,

What was I thinking when I thought (and told everyone) I could write a book?

… it can be a scary thought. When you are taking on the role of publisher, it could be your Holy Moly moment.

Those of us who are long-in-the-tooth in the publishing world get all those feelings, thoughts and experiences. And one thing we all know, is that YOU are not alone. Ever. There are gazillions of authors and authors-to-be who go through those same moments. What was I thinking …

I’m a HUGE supporter of creating an Author Inner Circle. An AIC that serves as a trusted advisory board … just to you. Your AIC knows you, what your book is about, helps shape your publishing plans, and acts as a reality check.

Throughout the publishing journey, authors need feedback, reality checks and plain old-fashion butt-kicking. And authors need a little kindness. Few think about putting together an “official” type of board to serve in the feedback/reality check/butt-kicking honors. An Author Inner Circle … a type of Advisory Board. Do you have one? Have you thought about creating one?

Who Belongs in Your Author Inner Circle?

It’s a new year. How about creating yours? Your Author Inner Circle … trusted colleagues, friends, and always individuals who have “been there, done that.” Most likely, Mom, Dad and your siblings are not included. The exception would be that they are experienced in publishing on their own—otherwise, you take a pass on them.

What you want are individuals who “get it” … they have an inkling of what is going on in the publishing business. They are also someones who:

  • have a kaleidoscope of business experience;
  • are connected with others;
  • have a sense of humor;
  • will say it as it is;
  • will call out the elephant in the room (which could be you);
  • love to brainstorming and bounce off-the-wall ideas around;
  • move you to action;
  • get what social media marketing is about;
  • will embrace your Vision for your book and where you want to go with it.

That’s a lot of someones … individuals who rarely will encompass all the ingredients as a single person.

Here are my nine someones that can make the difference between success and failure in your publishing endeavors:

  1. You want someone who has got an inkling of what is going on in the publishing business. We all know publishing is in a combo evolution and revolution. Who is out there in the midst of it?
  2. You want someone who gets your Vision for your book and where you want to go with it. She or he gets it; gets you; and becomes your cheerleader. The passion you have and amount of time, energy and money you invest in your commitment to your book project is understood and supported.
  3. You want someone who is connected with others and opens doors. Yes you do—someone with a phone call, text, or email request can get you to a source—someone who knows someone else that can smooth your way or offer assistance.
  4. You want someone who has a kaleidoscope of business experience. Absolutely—one of the key failure factors in the authoring/publishing business that most authors don’t recognize. This person gets a P & L, understands contracts and negotiating. If he or she knows publishing, it’s a bonus.
  5. You want someone who loves brainstorming and off-the-wall ideas. Eccentric, a tad wacky—you name it, this person walks to a different tune … most of them you don’t get, but once in a while, your unique and odd-ball someone hits it out of the park.
  6. You want some who gets social media marketing. But there’s a catch, this person has to be able to articulate knowledge/concept/game plan in your mother tongue what he or she is saying and you understand it. It doesn’t mean that you are going to be the full time implementer of what social media you are creating and using. For me, I write mine—but I don’t push it out. I have someone on my team that does that task daily.
  7. You want someone who has a sense of humor. Not only can authoring and publishing be lonely at times as you tunnel yourself into the completing of your book—there are booby traps along the way. Being goofy can be a good thing.
  1. You want someone who will say it as it is and not side-step any elephant in the room, including you. Let’s face it; we all get stubborn at times; quite myopic in the author paths we get into our head. You need a reality checker. Who is out there and has the guts to tell you that you are off your authoring/book rocker?
  2. You want a “Go-Go-Go” person who gets you into action. No butt-sitting allowed or procrastination allowed.

As you start to build this team of individuals, take little steps. You may instantly know who will fill several of the slots I suggest. You may have other categories based on your genre that need to be added. Some, you will interact with one-on-one via phone, in person, or an online platform. Some, you might gather over Zoom, Go-to- Meeting, Skype or other online video mediums. And some may be let’s get together for breakfast or lunch.

This is a time I will say to you, just do it … it’s a new year for you and your publishing.

By Judith Briles
Source: thebookdesigner.com

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This Surprising Reading Level Analysis Will Change the Way You Write

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Great article from Shane Snow from over  at The FreeLancer

Ernest Hemingway is regarded as one of the world’s greatest writers. After running some nerdy reading level stats, I now respect him even more.

The other day, a friend and I were talking about becoming better writers by looking at the “reading levels” of our work. Scholars have formulas for automatically estimating reading level using syllables, sentence length, and other proxies for vocabulary and concept complexity. After the chat, just for fun, I ran a chapter from my book through the most common one, the Flesch-Kincaid index:

I learned, to my dismay, that I’ve been writing for 8th graders.

Curiosity piqued, I decided to see how I compared to the first famous writer that popped in my head: Hemingway. So I ran a reading level calculation on The Old Man and the Sea. That’s when I was really surprised:

Apparently, my man Ernest, the Pulitzer- and Nobel Prize-winning novelist whose work shaped 20th-century fiction, wrote for elementary-schoolers.

 

Read the rest at The FreeLancer

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What Speed Do You Read? Take This Test! #FED_ebooks #Writer #Author #ebooks

Source: Fox News – Kansas City, MO

KANSAS CITY, MO. — Think you’re a fast reader? Want to put your reading skills to the test? Well, now, thanks to Staples.com, you can.

But first, declare yourself!

Are you a “skimmer” or a reader? The idea is that you can be a really fast “skimmer” but if you don’t remember what First Edition Design Publishingyou’ve read — were you really reading?

In today’s Internet age people tend to skim paragraphs looking for key words. Doing so bumps up your reading rate to about 700 words per minute — but you also lower your comprehension rate. Still, if you’re looking for key words for pinpointed information, this style of reading can be beneficial.

On average, adults read about 300 words per minute. According to Staples, the speed reading record is 4,700 words a minute.

If you think you can beat that and want to put your reading skills to the test, Staples has created just the thing for you. Staples’ timed test allows you to compare your reading skills to the national average. But don’t skim because you’ll also be tested on your comprehension via three quiz questions.

Ready? Set, go!

ereader test

Source: Staples eReader Department

First Edition Design PublishingFirst Edition Design Publishing, based in Sarasota, Florida, USA leads the industry in eBook distribution.They convert, format and submit eBooks to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, scores of additional on-line retailers and libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The company also has a POD (Print On Demand) division, which creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network.

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Oh Canada!

 

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Read an eBook Week Now Officially a Month-long Event in Canada.
By Nate Hoffelder on December 15, 2011 10:59 AM
When next March rolls around, Canada won’t just spend a week reading an eBook, they’ll spend a month. Read more…

About First Edition Design Publishing:

Ebook Publishing Design Edition First Graphic Aggregators Ebooks Publishers Distribution POD Designing Approved Aggregator How Services Academic Distributor Chapter Submission Professional Firsteditiondesignpublishing.com published book market First Edition Design Publishing is the world’s largest eBook and POD (Print On Demand) book distributor. Ranked first in the industry, First Edition Design Publishing converts and formats manuscripts for every type of platform (e-reader). They submit Fiction, Non-Fiction, Academic and Children’s Books to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, and over 100,000 additional on-line locations including retailers, libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The company’s POD division creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network. First Edition Design Publishing is a licensed and approved Aggregator and holds licenses with Apple and Microsoft.

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Ebook Publishing Design Edition First Graphic Aggregators Ebooks Publishers Distribution POD Designing Approved Aggregator How Services Academic Distributor Chapter Submission Professional Firsteditiondesignpublishing.com published book market

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