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Published on October 1, 2017

How To Read Over 300 Books In a Year with Instaread

How To Read Over 300 Books In a Year with Instaread

There’s nothing like getting lost in a book. Although reading is an inherently valuable activity, we aren’t spending as much time with books as we should.

A study by the Pew Research Center found that Americans read an average of 12 books per year.[1] Keep in mind that the average in this case is the sum of all the books read divided by the number of readers in the study. The mean inflates the data because it includes information from a subset of voracious readers. The median number of books that Americans reported reading was 4. That comes out to reading one book every three months.

Many people who wish to read more don’t have the time because of their other responsibilities. Now there are so many forms of entertainment like movies and facebook competing with books that it seems like there aren’t enough hours in a day.

Imagine if you could finish a book in the span of 20 minutes. If you read every day, you’d be 365 books smarter by the end of the year.

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Being well-read isn’t a state reserved for people with excessive spare time. There are ways that even busy people can increase the number of books they read.

Instaread helps you read more books.

If you wish that you could read more, but you don’t have the time, the Instaread app can help you increase the number of books you finish each year. The app gives you access to summaries of the best-selling nonfiction. Experts read the books and summarize the key points into a convenient format. Think of Instaread like the next generation of speed-reading.

Let’s look into the details how the app helps you read more in no time.

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Get Key Insights and Summary of Any Book

The interface is easy to use, and you won’t expend energy seeking out and lugging around a physical book. From books about business, to self-help books, to fictions, in 15-30 minutes, you can take in the key insights and a summary of any book that’s been sitting on your “to be read” pile.

    Access Audio Version of Book Summary

    One of the best features of Instaread is that it gives you the ability to access audio versions of the book summaries. If reading during your commute gives you a headache, you can listen to the books instead. Audio versions are also available for offline use, which means that spotty reception won’t stand in your way. Think of how many more books you’ll be able to read during your commute time alone.

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      Keep Track of Books You’ve Read

      With Instaread, you don’t have to worry about losing track of what you’ve read. You can add titles to your library for easy reference. Select the “Library” icon at the bottom of your screen to browse titles you’ve read and those you’d like to read. If you’re worried about using too much data with this app, never fear. Download your favorite titles for offline use.

        Discover Any Books You Want

        You never have to worry about running out of reading options when you use Instaread. New book summaries are added every day. Since the summaries typically come from books on the New York Times Bestsellers List, you’re guaranteed to have the most buzzworthy titles at your fingertips.

        Whenever you come across a title that you want to read, you can search for it in Instaread. If you need some inspiration, you can also browse reading options by genre by clicking on the “Discover” icon.

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          Reclaim Your Reading Time

          Even if you’re busy, there are probably lost minutes in your day. Reading summaries of the best and most influential books is a great way to turn moments that would otherwise be wasted into productive reading time. Read through a summary on break, or listen to one during your commute. You’ll be the most well-read person in the office before you know it.

          You can download Instaread here through the App Store.

          There are two subscription options available for the service. You can either pay $8.99 per month with a one-week free trial, or you can opt for the yearly fee of $89.99.

          You may be wondering if it is worthwhile to pay the subscription fee, but it’s a small price to pay considering that you’ll have unlimited access to such a vast library. The app gives you the chance to make the most of your time and achieve your reading goals–even when your time is scarce.

          Instaread is currently only available for Apple devices, but the developers are making an Android version as well.

          Reference

          More by this author

          Brian Lee

          Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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          Last Updated on September 20, 2018

          8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

          8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

          You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

          Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

          When you train your brain, you will:

          • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
          • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
          • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

          So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

          1. Work your memory

          Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

          When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

          If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

          The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

          Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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          Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

          What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

          For example, say you just met someone new:

          “Hi, my name is George”

          Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

          Got it? Good.

          2. Do something different repeatedly

          By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

          Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

          It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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          And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

          But how does this apply to your life right now?

          Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

          Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

          Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

          So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

          You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

          That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

          3. Learn something new

          It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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          For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

          Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

          You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

          4. Follow a brain training program

          The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

          5. Work your body

          You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

          Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

          Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

          Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

          6. Spend time with your loved ones

          If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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          If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

          I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

          7. Avoid crossword puzzles

          Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

          Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

          Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

          8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

          Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

          When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

          So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

          The bottom line

          Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

          Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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