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How many books could you read if you gave up (just a bit) on social media?

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(Hint: You’d be surprised.)

It is never too late to build a reading habit. In fact, if you quit social media, chances are you’ll be able to read 200 books per year, cover to cover. At least, that’s what Charles Chu suggests, in his article published by Quartz.

You might feel reluctant to embark on what sounds like a speed reading exercise. After all, books are supposed to be thoroughly enjoyed, and depending on the genre, some might be harder to crack than others. But once you take a look at the numbers, a 200-books-per-year goal really isn’t that difficult to achieve.

Chu’s method consists of 5 simple steps. Step 1 is all about not quitting before you even begin. If you’re used to reading a book a month or so, you might start thinking 200 a year is impossible. But give yourself a chance. Then you can take Step 2, which is doing the math. According to Chu’s numbers, you can read 200 books in 417 hours.

All you have to do for Step 3 is find those 417 hours. Think there’s no chance? Here are Chu’s surprising numbers: on average, we spend 608 hours per year on social media, not to mention the 1600 hours we spend watching TV! The solution to freeing up the time for 200 books lies in chipping away at social media and TV time while simultaneously setting aside conscious time for reading.

It’s a challenge, but Chu’s last two simple steps are designed to help you succeed. Step 4 involves making a ritual out of your reading time. Find a quiet corner, a comfy chair, an ottoman, a good light — and hide your phone. Step 5 lets you read on the move, by not sticking exclusively to paper books. You can read on the go — while waiting in line, riding a commuter bus or train, traveling — with ebooks available for purchase or library rental for download to your smartphone, tablet, or ereader. And you can always tuck a small paperback book into a purse, backpack, pocket, or gym bag.

Even if the 200-books-a-year challenge sounds insurmountable, it’s always a good idea to find more time for reading.

If you want to read Chu’s full article, click here.

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