Reading is one of the best ways to learn more about the world. You’ve got experts who’ve poured hours of their life into writing a book. You’ve got autobiographies and biographies of some of the most amazing people who’ve ever lived on the planet who share their life with you.
Listen While Doing Mundane Tasks
But, there isn’t enough time to read! That’s where audiobooks come in. You can listen to audiobooks while driving, doing dishes, exercising, and on walks.
Listen Like a King
I often think about how amazing audiobooks are. For a few dollars, you can listen to someone read a book to you! Fifty years ago, this type of thing was reserved for those who were blind. In ages past, perhaps a king or queen could demand a servant read aloud to them. But now, for $10-15, we can have a professional voice actor read an entire book to us!
Speed it Up
What’s more – you can speed up or slow down the narration. I’ve gotten to the point where I can listen at 2-3x speed. At first, it was a little hard to follow at x2 speed. But now, with several years of listening under my belt, I cannot listen at normal speed anymore. Normal narration now seems incredibly boring and I lose focus.
Listen for Free or for Cheap
If you don’t have the money you can even listen to some of the best books ever written on Librivox.org for free. Or you can search YouTube for a copy of the audiobook, or listen to a podcast with an author about the book. For $12 dollars per month, you can join Scribd.com and listen to an unlimited amount of books, Netflix style. An audible membership costs around $15 dollars a month and gives you 1 book per month plus an unlimited amount of books included in their exclusive library of books.
Get Your Phone to Read to You for Free
If you can’t find the audio for a particular book, you can ask your phone to read the text for you! If you have an Android phone, just activate Google assistant and say: “Hey Google, read aloud to me.” If you have an iPhone, activate the screen reader in your accessibility settings, then swipe down from the screen with two fingers to activate the screen reader. You can use this hack in the Kindle books app as well. See the video below for how to do this.
Try going to the webpage for Fredrick Bastiat’s, That Which is Seen, and That Which is Unseen, and have your phone read this amazing essay to you.
If you have the NaturalReader app or Chrome extension, you can send any link, PDF, or ebook to it and have it read to you on your phone or computer.
Scan Books and Use an App to Read Your PDF Books to You
I had a stack of print books piling up next to my bedside. I knew I’d never make it through them by just reading the text at night before bed. So, I sent them to 1dollarscan.com to scan them for me. For $16 a month they’ll scan and OCR up to 1000 pages for you and deliver them to you as a PDF. Then you can download the NaturalReader app on your phone for free, load the PDF and have the app read the book to you while you get your daily exercise.
Life is Busy, Make Time to Read
As I get older life gets busier. But I still try to make time to read or have books read to me when I’m doing mundane tasks. I hope some of the hacks above help you get some more reading in too.