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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

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          Brian Lee

          Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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          Last Updated on July 17, 2019

          The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

          The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

          What happens in our heads when we set goals?

          Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

          Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

          According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

          Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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          Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

          Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

          The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

          Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

          So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

          Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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          One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

          Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

          Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

          The Neurology of Ownership

          Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

          In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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          But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

          This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

          Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

          The Upshot for Goal-Setters

          So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

          On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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          It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

          On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

          But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

          More About Goals Setting

          Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

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