How do you read 3 books a week? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Tim Ferriss, New York Times Best-Selling Author, Investor, on Quora:

I read 1-4 books per week these days.

If I'm going for speed, I'll use the following, which can help you 2-3x your word-per-minute (WPM) rate in 15-20 minutes without sacrificing comprehension: Scientific Speed Reading: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes It takes some practice, but it works when time is of the essence.

Keep in mind that there are also books I'll savor for weeks, reading a small chunk at a time, like the poetry of Naomi Shihab Nye or Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass) just before bed, or a fun novel like How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid, which was recommended to me on the Tim Ferriss Show by billionaire investor Chris Sacca. I don't try to "speed read" any of these.

And, most critically -- it's not about how much information you can consume. I made the mistake of shoveling excess information into my head for a long time.

It's now 80/20 for me -- what you read (being effective) is much more important than how much or how quickly (being efficient) you read.

In the last two years, I've tried to re-read a handful of books (e.g. Meditations (Aurelius), Radical Acceptance (Brach)) that I know help me, rather than succumb to what Nassim Taleb calls "neomania" -- an obsession with the new.

Last, as technologist Kathy Sierra taught me years ago, I'm trying to focus on just in time information instead of just in case information. Seek when you need, when you need it, instead of stockpiling decaying memories.

In the information game, the race doesn't go to the swift, it goes to the selective.

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Published on: Dec 22, 2016