You do have the time to read

The purpose of this blogpost is to understand better how I read. In the first 4 month I have read the following books. This is only the ones that I have read from beginning to finish, I read chapters in other books, magazines etc. - but this does not count.

Don’t mean to show of here - I need to go to amazon to check the number of pages anyway so I put the names of the books here in case anybody is interested.

  • The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life (832 pages) 
  • The Acquirer's Multiple: How the Billionaire Contrarians of Deep Value Beat the Market  (152 pages) 
  • Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business (332 pages)
  • The Effective Board Member: What every board member should know (280 pages) 

While, I am at it I checked Audible where I have finished “A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market” and “More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places” and “Principles: Life and Work”. That has accounted for a total of 24 hours which is tracked by audible. But this is ignored here.

Anyway: I have read 832 + 152 + 332 + 280 pages. Average reading speed is 2 minutes per page. That means I have spend (832 + 152 + 332 + 280)*2 / 60 = 26 hours reading. 

How reading fits into my week

Four months have 16 weeks. I am breaking this into weeks because it is easier to do the math.

30 min U-Bahn / S-Bahn trips per week: 2
2-hour trips (train/plane) per week: 2

From this we have about: 5 hours reading per week during these activities (2*0.5 + 2*2). 5 * 16 = 80 hours. 

Thus: it is actually super easy to read one book per month at average reading speeds because most book have around 350 pages which means they take about 11 hours. If you claim you do not have the time to do it than you are probably lying to yourself - either you read bad books or you do not actually like reading. 

Yes, you can claim that you are doing other stuff (working/calling) during these trips but I am pretty confident that reading is actually the best use of that time. With bad internet, posture and cell phone connection and interruption you are typical not focussed enough to be able to work. 

In fancy language - the marginal utility of any activity other than reading during the above defined activities is extremely low but the utility of reading is no impaired. But, if you are not actually interested in reading than you utility from reading is low in the first place.

That is a cool why of saying - people who do not read probably do not like to read.