There is a very interesting word in Japanese called Tsundoku. It means the act of buying books but never getting around to completing them. I’m particularly guilty of this. I have an impressive collection of books. I even have a custom built designer book shelf. But 90 per cent of it remain unread.
The more I discuss this with other people, the more I hear that other people face similar problems. I dug a little deeper into this and found that it is because of the attention problem. In this increasingly distracted world where time is of great premium, it’s difficult to allocate time for reading.
I used to feel bad about this and would feel very guilty buying a new book because I know there are so many that remain unread. All that changed, when I started to experiment with audio books and podcasts.
I absolutely fell in love with audio books. The biggest advantage is that listening aids multi-tasking. I listen to books while am driving, while taking my dog out for a walk, while at airport lounges etc. I soon started to realise that I’m able to finish a book within 5 to 6 hours. Compare this with physical books, I would struggle to finish even after a few months.
It makes routine tasks very interesting. I actually realise that now I enjoy my day commute and my early morning walks even better. Knowing that I’m able to adhere to my habit of daily reading gives me an amazing feel good feeling.
Now, my success rate of finishing books is at a very healthy 90%. My subscriptions to services like Audible and Blinkist are some of my best investments.
Another huge advantage is that you can listen to the voice of the authors which makes the connection even more authentic. For example, am listening now to the book, TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking. It is narrated by Chris Anderson himself, the curator of TED. Listening to him share his experience and give suggestions adds so much authenticity to the book.
There are also many audio books available for free. In addition, there are excellent podcasts you can listen to on the subject of the book you are reading. You can listen to interview of the authors. This makes your reading experience very interesting and way better if you were to just read the physical book.
I currently host a Podcast titled ‘First Book Podcast’ where I interview global best selling authors. You can listen to three podcasts at http://www. notionpress.com/podcast.
If you ever face a problem like me about book reading, give the audio books a shot. There are very good apps available for both iOS and Android. Trust me, you will thank me for this.
The writer is a digital entrepreneur, professor and author of five books. He can be reached at Kiruba@Kiruba.com.