The Reading Habit Experiment: My 7th Self Growth Experiment of 2019 [Why I Did It, Did I Fail Again, and More]

I told you how my Sleep Early Experiment was a flop.

Despite the failure, I continue with my series of personal growth experiments.

In July I started a new one.

I called it The Reading Habit Experiment.

As part of this experiment, I planned to read 10 pages of a book every day for a month in order to cultivate a reading habit.

Before You Read Further, Some Info About These Experiments

All of my growth has come from trying new things in life.

Ideas can be useful and motivate us, but without trying out these ideas we won’t know if they work. Even if ideas are time-tested, without applying them in our lives we won’t see any improvements. That’s why these experiments.

Sharing the results with you forces me to take the experience seriously. And, by sharing my observations, I hope that you’ll be able to try these ideas and experiments yourself.

The Reading Habit Experiment was the 7th experiment of 2019. 

I usually share the results of the experiments after completing them. But from time to time, I may announce public experiments and invite you to try the experiment with me and others in the community.

I am listing all these experiments with results on this dedicated page.

Read on to learn why I decided to take up this month’s experiment, how I prepared for it and to check out the results.

Why This Experiment?

I did it because reading helps us grow.

I chose to read non-fiction books as part of this experiment because good non-fiction books are a refined and condensed version of what an author knows.

For several years, I was reading essays, watching videos but no books except a couple of pages here and there. I wanted to change it.

I started by picking three books that I bought but never read.

The books I picked were:

  • Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday
  • Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss
  • Tools of Titans both also by Tim Ferriss

I also ended up reading another book during the middle of the month but the three above are the ones I started with.

How I Approached The Experiment?

I failed at previous month’s experiment because I did not commit myself, didn’t keep a log, didn’t push myself and didn’t plan well.

I was mindful of not making the same mistakes again. 

So, this time I made an internal commitment, kept a log, reviewed it regularly and pushed myself to find the time. Deciding which books I am going to read and when was part of the planning.

I already shared that I decided on a daily page count (10 pages) and only the days when I hit this page count, counted towards my goal.

You know I believe in starting small. If you plan to start the same experiment then it is ok to start with a page a day but I wanted to push myself and I thought I’ll be able to find 20-40 minutes a day to read 10 pages a day.

The Results

The prep helped.

I was able to read 120 pages from Perennial Seller, a combined 50 pages from both Tim Ferriss books. I also pulled an allnighter and binge read another 338-page book.

So the experiment worked?

Let’s see.

The idea of the experiment was to get into a reading habit and not to binge read. So, I count the day of reading 338 pages as one day of reading 10 pages or more.

Looking at my reading log, I can see that I was able to read 10 pages each on 12 occasions because I went to 12 from 0. In my book that’s a success.

If I do something for 21 days in a month, I call that passing with flying colors.

So the experiment worked.

Good thing is that it continues and I have already read 30 more pages this month.

Here Is What I Did To Make It Work

  • I did not take notes while reading and chose not to post a review of the book because that would take more time because for me cultivating the reading habit is more important than those right now.
  • I did it right before breakfast but on some days when I could not find the time I read in the evening after a day’s work.
  • I chose a book that could help with a project I am working on. This is because we can get more value out of nonfiction books if we immediately put the ideas to use.
  • As shared above, I started with a small enough goal. I thought of doing 5 pages a day but that would have taken a long time to finish the book, so I did 10 pages a day.

What Next?

I continue with my series of experiments. This month’s experiment is already on. It is not going great so far but we’ll know towards the end of the month. Keep an eye out on the experiments page to learn more.
P.S.

I am happy to share that I kept on with my efforts to fix sleep hours parallel to my reading experiment in July and I succeed in a small way. I barely passed by the metrics I chose to measure it but I made progress.