Booklet Guy’s Reading Habits Book will burst a lot of myths that are restricting you from becoming effective reader. Booklet Guy’s Reading Habits summary is for you, if you say:
- I doze off after reading 5 pages.
- I don’t remember what I read.
- I don’t get enough time to read.
- I’m a slow reader.
- I have left many books half-read.
- Which books should I read?
- I have the guilt of not reading regularly.
- How to implement what I read?
About Amrut Deshmukh AKA Booklet Guy
Amrut Deshmukh, started the mission called Mission Make India Read back in 2016. He had already left the good job as a CA to build a startup. After failing his first 3 startups, he got an Idea to start this mission.
He started from whatsapp & gained popularity within less time. When readers on the whatsapp increased, he created an app called Booklet App where he used to share book summaries every week. Later people started calling him a Booklet Guy.
His aim was to make reading habit an important part of every indian. Then eventually He launched a book “Booklet Guy’s Reading Habits: The 7 Secrets of Effective Readers”. Mission Make India Read is a social mission & if you purchase this book it will help to cover the mission’s cost.
I am proud to be an early participant of Mission Make India Read & the whole credit of my reading habit goes to Amrut Deshmukh! So without wasting time let’s dive into book summary of Booklet Guy’s Reading Habits: The 7 Secrets of Effective Readers.
Habit 1- Don’t Take Reading Too Seriously
“I often start reading a book with great enthusiasm. But after reading 15 Pages, I lose interest in the book. I have done this with so many books, and I feel guilty about the fact that I am not a good reader!”
“I buy many books but don’t find enough time to read.”
“I doze off after reading 5 Pages.”
“What should I prefer? Hard copy or e-book?”
“What is the best time to read? Morning or Evening?”
“I keep reading the same book for months and months, yet it never ends.”
These are some of the questions the Author getting from people when he travels across the world to spread the Mission. He had also faced the same problems.
He had created a separate category of books (boring books!) that will help him sleep faster! He used to call them ‘Sleeping book-pills.’
The struggle of reading books went on until he found the fault in his approach towards reading habit.
Here are some common rules/myths we hear-
- Never take a new book unless you finish the book in your hand
- You should not leave the book half-read
- You are disrespecting the Author by not reading his book completely
The side effect of these rules is they convince us that we are not a good reader & eventually we stop reading!
Transfer the Onus
If you see the above rules, it seems that the entire responsibility is ours! We think that If I am not able to read the book till the last page, I am a terrible reader.
If I get bored after reading 10 Pages, I feel guilty & I pick-up the next book carrying the same guilt of not completing the book.
The solution is to transfer the responsibility of keeping you engaged & excited to the
Author. Have you ever felt guilty for not watching that boring movie till the end! Did you label yourself as a bad movie watcher! Never naa! You should adopt the same approach to reading.
When you transfer the responsibility on the Author, you leave the book half-read, but
you never leave the reading. You will pick-up the next book without any guilt.
Habits are Casual
Our first habits start with the word “Don’t.” It’s non-habit. Meaning, refraining oneself
from doing something(wrong). Don’t take reading too seriously? Then how should we take it? Take it casually.
If something is important to you, make it casual, not special. Because habits are casual.
A question like these come out when we take reading too seriously:
“Should I prefer hard copy or e-books?”
Doesn’t matter! It’s like asking, “should I watch 3 Idiots on TV or Netflix on in the
theatres?” Medium is not important; reading is!
“What is the best time to read- morning or bed time?”
I counter question- What is the best time to check Instagram? Chat on Whatsapp? There is no best time for reading too!
If you allot the specific time for reading, let say morning at 5 AM, it will restrict you from any other day’s time. That’s the problem with allowing specific time for reading. Make habits casual so that they will become part of our life easier.
Habit 2- Fill In The Time-Pockets
“I used to read a lot in my childhood. But now, due to so many responsibilities & hectic schedule, I hardly get any time to read.”
“I have so much to read as part of my college syllabus.”
“Weekdays fly with a blink of an eye- meetings and deadlines. Weekends are with the family. When will I read?”
If I just spoke your mind, I have good news for you. Habit no. 2 is the easiest to implement. But before discussing habit no. 2 in detail, remember these powerful words of Brian Tracy from the book “Million Doller Habits”:
If you keep doing the same things that you did, you will get the same results that you got. If you want something that you never have, you need to do something that you never did.
Expecting extraordinary results without making any changes in your daily routine is a fool’s
game. We can’t change our life, but we can change our days. And how you spend your days is how you spend your life.
There are thousands of small invisible time-pockets that fly out on unnecessary things.
These small-time pockets are usually in minutes, hence go unnoticed. Nobody is truly busy in life; it’s all about priorities. When Author set the reading as his top priority, He understood the value of these small time-pockets.
This is how the Author started filling time-pockets & reading become his integral part of life Standing in the queue at the railway station- My old behavior was to check the Facebook feed or stare at the dandruff of the guy standing next to me.
Waiting for a friend in the car, not seeing him at the given time, my old behavior was to blame him & switch on the FM music till he arrives. Now I take it as an opportunity to turn on a few pages of the book & thank my friend for being late.
Want more examples-
● Que at the petrol pump.
● Waiting for the flight at the airport after getting my boarding pass.
● Waiting time at the bus stop.
● An idle time when my punctured bike is being fixed.
I can go on and on. The Ola rides, TV, when the wifi goes off, etc. If we calculated the average sum of all the time-pockets is up to 60 to 90 minutes daily.
The success lies in the daily routine & if you embrace the habit of filling in time-pockets, reading will become part of your life.
The Gamut of Reading
“But, I can’t just carry the book in hand everywhere.”
Thanks to technology, the gamut of reading have expanded. You now have so many
options, like reading e-books and PDFs, you can listen to audiobooks, watch YouTube Videos of authors, and listen to podcasts. The medium is not important; reading is!
The Side Effect
The process of filling in the time pocket is location independent. You can read at bus stops, saloon, airports, canteens, etc. The people watching Author with my nose dipped into a book feel safe to initiate a friendly talk with him. The Author had made more than 100 friends at random places. Thanks to habit no. 2
Habit 3- Read Random
We educated people like to do everything correctly. We don’t like randomness even
though most of our decisions are based on emotions & then we justify it with logic.
We have been told that we should only read what we like. If I like fiction, I should only read fiction books. But the most innovations happen out of randomness.
A few years ago, if you had imagined a mobile with a camera, it seemed like a ridiculous idea because both devices are for different purposes & they are random. And, now, no. of selfies are more than no. of phone calls.
Randomness gives birth to innovation. You should always read random books because it increases creativity it expands your perspective.
Reading random means reading at random platforms as well. The gamut of reading has increased. You can now keep 1000’s of books in your pocket. But e-reading comes with some serious flaws.
The Attention Economy
Your attention is on sale. Our attention is their money. Businesses are making money out of your attention. Except for some platforms, all have ads & notifications, pop-ups on their e-readers, which distract you.
Even the content on web pages have links to other pages. When you start reading, you click on other links & then on another link. You end up opening 10 tabs on your device & forget what you were here to read in the first place!
Nir Eyal, Author of the book Indistractable, calls them “external distractions.” To beat
the external distractions, simply disable all your phone notifications. Friends messages on WhatsApp are never urgent.
If something is really urgent & essential, your friend will call you directly. But, there are also internal distractions! I observed that I opened WhatsApp even when I didn’t receive any notification. Nir Eyal calls this an “internal distraction.”
To simplify this concept, Nir Eyal gives an example. Every time you open the fridge, you see the yellow light. But that light doesn’t make you re-open the fridge. Now let’s change the scenario. Whenever you open the fridge, you will see the new dish.
The curiosity of knowing the new dish will make you want to open the door. These apps use the same thing. We open them for no reason. To beat the internal distraction, whenever you are working, keep your phone away from you to make it difficult for you to check every time.
Set the fixed time for checking & replying to emails forex. 10 AM, 2 PM & 6 PM. It won’t turn your world upside down if you reply 30 mins late.
So, always read random, keeping these distractions away. Randomness gives birth to innovation.
Habit 4- Get the Big Picture
“We can understand the text properly only if we read slowly, word to word.”
“The primary objective of reading books is to improve our vocabulary.”
“It’s better to master a few books than to be a jack of many.”
“The slower you read, the better you understand.”
All the statements above are myths. They will not enrich your life, but will destroy for sure. These statements came out of the “Perfection Syndrome”.
The Author used to be a perfectionist reader. He used to take regular breaks. He never turned the next page unless he understood every concept on the page. The result of this is he never completes the books. And as a result, demotivated to pick the next book.
This went on until he came across a book called “How to be an Imperfectionist.” Author Stephen Guise writes in his book, “Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.”
The perfectionist says that unless I complete this correctly, I will never pick the next
one! This came out of ego. Perfectionist fears of being wrong, or receiving criticism;
thus, they don’t take feedback!
Rather aim for excellence! Excellence demands you to keep moving ahead, even at 50% accuracy, with receiving criticism & feedback from others, improving over time.
When you turn the pages, even if you did not understand, it will motivate you to turn
more pages. The more quickly you turn the pages, the higher the motivation to turn the pages further.
Don’t dwell & ponder on a sentence or a paragraph; keep going. Get the big picture,
skip the details.
Comprehension Is Overrated
“So, do you mean we should keep reading even if we didn’t understand? Keep the
momentum going on at the cost of comprehension! Does it not destroy the purpose of taking the book in hand? Reading without understanding! How foolish does it sound!”
This is the insecurity towards our great intelligence. The human brain is so powerful that even if you decide not to understand anything from the book, you will end up understanding something. Comprehension is Overrated.
Even if you don’t get the essence of a sentence or paragraph, be determined to keep going. This can be justified for various reasons.
First, there is a difference between studying and Learning. We try to study books instead of learning from them. The study is what we do in schools. We mug up the answer, and we try to recall them & forget them after writing them down on exam papers.
Learning is what we do in real life. Do we study the whole car or mug up the manual before driving can? No. Right? Still, we end up learning to drive the car.
The same approach we should keep while reading books. We should learn them, not study them. And we can’t learn each & every lesson from all books. So try to get the bigger picture out of the book.
Just try to learn 2-3 different or new things or one big idea from a book stuck in your mind. Always look for what the author knows that you don’t know.
Important But Never Urgent
Parkinson’s law says- “We expand our work to fill up the time available to complete it.” If you get 4 days to prepare for the exam, you will take 4 days to complete the chapter; if you get only 1 day, you will study the same chapter in one day.
Use this principle to create urgency for completing the book. Unfortunately, important things like reading, exercising, spending time with family never seem urgent.
Ever heard someone saying, “Oh! I urgently need to rush to the gym!” Never. Setting a daily target of reading 3 pages is a simple solution to make essential things urgent.
Reading just 3 pages a day will not take much will power. And when we get started, momentum builds & we naturally tend to turn more pages.
Fast And Curious
We are often told that the slower we read, the better we understand. That’s a myth.
Tony Buzan, the father of speed reading and mind maps, says:
“Reading slowly and carefully encourages your brain to read more and more slowly,
with less and less comprehension.”
Speed is a friend of comprehension. To give an example, when you are more
concentrated? At 60 KMPH or 120 KMPH? The same is for reading. The more you read fast without bothering about retention and comprehension, the more will be your concentration.
With speed, there will be fewer chances of you wandering, daydreaming & finally doze off. The speed of our brain is more than our eyes. When our eye moves slower, the brain gets bored & starts wondering.
So, get the bigger picture and practice reading as fast as possible without worrying about comprehension & retention.
Habit 5- Read And Discuss
“I don’t remember everything that I read.”
“There is an ocean of knowledge from thousands of books. How to retain all the
valuable insights for a lifetime?”
The Author was facing the same problems for years. He used to highlight different sentences from books with a pen, a pencil of different colors. He highlights so many sentences that eventually non-highlighted part looks like highlighted!
As the Mission grew, his friends used to ask him, Hey Amrut, Which book you are reading? He used to say,” I am reading Brian Tracy’s Million Doller Habits.”
The Author did the same thing with many friends. When they ask what he was reading, he just tells them about the books he read.
Just to see whether they had read the book or not, he kept the record of friends who had asked him what he was reading. And after a week or two when he calls them to ask whether they read that book or not.
And no one had read that book. The Author realized that merely telling the book’s name was not making an impact on his friends.
One day Author received a call from his friend. After recalling childhood memories, he casually asked:
Friend: So, which book are you reading these days?
Amrut: Ah! I am reading…..hmmm…oops… I just skipped the name. Sorry!
Friend: Oh! That’s alright. It happens.
Amrut: But, you know what! There’s one idea from that book just blew my mind. As if the Author gives a tight slap on my face!
He spokes passionately. This made his friend so curious he asked Author the next obvious question.
Friend: Oh! What’s that idea?
Amrut: We believe that passion means doing something that we love, something that we enjoy. But Author says the opposite. The origin of the word passion came from Latin the word ‘pati, which means suffering.’
We think that mastery stems out of passion. But it’s the other way round, the Author claims that passion stems out of mastery. To give an example, when Sachin spent hours of net practice and fitness, we now call him a passionate cricketer. Mastery comes first, then passion.
To become passionate about your work, you must first acquire those skillsets & become good at it.
Friend: O—M—G! This is an eye-opener idea. I want to read this book. What’s the
name of the book.
After 12 unread WhatsApp messages & 8 missed calls, the Author told him the name of the book” So good they can’t ignore you“. He finished the book within a week.
What the Author had learned from this is that there are two types of readers-
- Who talk about books they read and
- Who talk about what they read in the book.
The readers who talk about what they read in the book gets the advantage over the readers who just talk about books they read.
When you share one big idea from the book with a friend so passionately, it generates curiosity within him to read the book & it helped Author to remember the best ideas from the book. Reason?
What are the chances of forgetting your name? Almost zero! Why? Because it’s the only word in your life that you repeated a maximum number of times.
When you discuss the one big idea from the book passionately, isn’t you repeating the words from books without actually opening the book?
When you repeat the same idea from the book over and over, it becomes part of your character. If you make the notes highlight the parts in the book, we rarely go back to them. But when you share it with your friend, it stays in your heart for a lifetime!
So, the best way to retain what you read is to discuss ideas from books with your
Habit 6- Read and pass it on
“I just love my books. My book-shelf is my sacred place.”
“I have stopped lending books to friends. They just forget to return!”
These dialogues are typical when you meet readers who just love to preserve their books on the book-shelf. If you are one of those who believe in preserving books, then this chapter is for you.
Habit no. 5 & Habit no. 6 go hand in hand. When we Read and Discuss, which is Habit no. 5, we transform a tangible book into intangible assets. We give them life by carrying them in our hearts and minds.
When you fall in love with books, you take great care of them. You keep them in a safe place, away from everyone.
The author says that there can’t be any worst crime than preserving books on the book-shelf. Because a book is just a stupid medium to pass great thoughts. When these thoughts reach your mind, there will be no meaning in books. It just remains paper & black ink on it. So, what’s the point in keeping them safe.
Conversely, when you pass the books to your friends, they will discover something new & discuss it with you. When you read the book & pass it to your friend, it improves the quality of one another life!
Thus, the book full of wear and tear is the most beautiful, since it had passed through many hands & enriched many lives!
Habit 7- The Secret Habit!
The 7th habit is the mother of all habits. Failure to cultivate the 7the habit makes all the 6 habits futile. At the same time, all 6 habits are prerequisite for the 7th habit.
It will take your time to cultivated these 6 habits. There is nothing called revolution; there is only evolution.
If you want to know the 7th habit, you have to become a deserving candidate. In the “Booklet App,” you find “Reading IQ.” It’s a score.
When you read regular book summaries over the booklet app, your Reading IQ increases & when it reached 30, the 7th habit will be revealed to you. So best of luck!
Also, share which habit helped you the most. I would love to listen to you.
Note: Since the gate of Mission Make India is now closed, you can’t download the “Booklet App” without a secret key. And I can provide you with the secret key for downloading the booklet app if you really want to cultivate the reading habit. Send me mail with subject “Share secret Key of Booklet App” at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link to the Books Mentioned By Author