[Study Faster] How To Read A Book In 90 Minutes (Or Less)

Today I want to show you how to study faster by reading an entire book in under 90 minutes.

In fact, depending on what you want to use the information for — you can read the book in as little as 20 minutes. And still keep most of the information from the book. You can study faster – much faster than you were ever taught.

This isn’t about speed-reading. This is about how to read and comprehend information faster.

Here’s why this is important

If we don’t learn to study faster — we will become overwhelmed with nonsense.

As most of us are bombarded with email, news, magazines, books, podcasts every day.

INFORMATION is thrown at us at lightning speed. If you don’t know how to quickly read, understand and then use the information. You’re lost.

You’re buried under a metric ton of information with nothing to do about it. Adding more stuff to your to-do list.

But if you can plow through all the information — you would halve your to-do list.

Going through all your emails — clogging up your inbox. The stacks of paperwork in your folders — threatening to take over your desk. And the countless books on your shelves begging you to read them.

Well, I’ve got good news for you. I tested this method over the weekend. Not once. Not twice. But THREE times.

Checking if I could go through an entire book in 90 minutes.

I did.

But that’s not all.

I had enough time to take notes on what I read in the book. So now If I need to remind myself what I read — I can go through the ‘flash-cards’ and be done with it.

I have to admit, though — my reading speed did not increase. And I’m not going to give you silly exercises on how to move your eyes from side to side.

What I will do is give you the exact steps you can take to read an entire book in 90 minutes.

Test it for yourself first. Then do it a few more times, so you get it. So you’re able to use this method whenever you can.

Once you’ve mastered this method you will be able to go through stacks of books over the weekend. (That’s what I have planned for the coming weekend — read 10 books tst for kicks).

You will be on top of your emails every day. No more having to wake up with 47 unread emails in your inbox asking for your attention.

But that’s not all. Since you will be able to go through stacks and stacks of papers quickly, you will become the go-to person in your life.

Your colleagues will come to you for advice on business matters. Your friends will reach out to you as a study partner. You will become the person who knows all the rules, understands the technicalities and has the right answers every time.

Before we get into the exact steps of reading a book or anything else for that matter… let’s look at

The Theory Behind Reading A Book In 90 Minutes

Most books (emails, letters, or papers) are written on one subject.

Usually, the title of the book will tell you what the subject of the books. For email, the subject is the ‘subject’. For papers, the subject is the ‘title’ of the paper.

Most communication will quickly tell you what the subject of that entire body of work is. This is true for most communication.

Remember what your 4th grade English teacher taught you. I had one who would discipline me with a ruler to the back of my wrist — so I remember her.

She taught me this. ‘Whenever you’re answering a question, start the answer by restating the question.’ Then add your answer to it.

Such as,

Qs. “What is the circumference of the Earth?”

Ans. “The circumference of the Earth is…”

Or

Qs. “What is the best place to eat Chinese food in the city?”

Ans. “The best place to each Chinese food in the city is…”

The answer will have part of the question in it. With the answer following. Then there will be more explanation why this is the answer.

This means that the first line of the answer will usually state the most important part of the answer.

This is true of books also. The first chapter will explain on the topic of the book. Then the rest of the chapters will build up in the first chapter. Revealing the arguments for what’s in the book.

But that’s not all.

Within each chapter will be paragraphs. The same premise applies to the paragraphs.

Each paragraph will make a new point which supports the primary point of the chapter. Then in each paragraph, there will be an explanation of that point.

This means that the entire paragraph will expand on the ‘one’ point at the start of that paragraph.

The final chapter will be the conclusion. This chapter will conclude everything that the book was about.

This is also true for the final paragraph in each chapter. It will be a summary of what was in the entire chapter.

Don’t believe me. Pick up a book and look at it.

Not a fiction book — what’s the point of reading a fiction book in 90 minutes. That’s like watching the trailer instead of the actual movie.

I mean a non-fiction book. I’ll wait. Get the books that are nearest you and look at the chapters.

The only way you will learn to do this is by doing this…

Did you get a book, yet?

Okay great. We can move on.

If you didn’t get a book and said, “I’ll do it later — this is the time when I take out the ruler and hit you on the knuckles.”

GET A BOOK.

Thank you!

Here’s how books are structured

The title of the book and subtitle is what the book is about. I’ve got book “The 10X Rule by Grand Cardone” here. The subtitle: The only difference between success and failure.

The first chapter introduces the concept in the book. Which the title kind of tells us.
The last chapter closes the book out — by summarizing what the book was all about — and giving us a call to action.

The chapters expand on the overarching concept of the book by making specific points. Or evidence of the concept of the book.

Within each of the chapters are different paragraphs.

The first paragraph introduces the concept in that chapter.

The last paragraph summarizes the concept in that chapter.

The paragraphs expand on the concept in that chapter by giving more proof. Or evidence of the concept.

That’s the basic premise of how a book is structured. Once you understand this, you can use it to your advantage. Most emails, white papers, newsletters or magazine articles are written the same way.

So how do you use it to your benefit? Here’s the

Five Steps To Reading An Entire Book In 90 Minutes

You were taught to read books the wrong way. These steps will help you read the book faster, and get more out of each book.

Plus if you follow just steps one and two at the bookstore you won’t have to spend money buying books you don’t read.

These steps are in a very specific order and must be followed to the letter of you will miss out on doing this.

Each step is designed to get you just enough information while leaving most of it out for your mind to fill. Your mind is powerful and will fill most of the information for you.

There is one more critical element to reading — timing yourself. If you don’t time yourself. Your will take longer than you need to. And miss out on the benefits of this method.

For each step, I’ll explain the amount of time allocated to that particular step. Then you need to use a timer to time that step. I used a timer on my phone. You can use a kitchen timer or anything else that works for you.

Step 1. Overview (Time: 5 minutes)

Overview means ‘a general review or summary of a subject’.

This is where you will spend the 5 minutes. Reading the front cover, the back cover, the inside cover and the table of contents.

That’s the only thing you will read in the overview.

We’re spending 5 minutes to understand whether this is a subject that is going to interest us or not.

In 5 minutes you will get the gist of the matter. Much faster than sitting down and opening the book and reading from chapter one.

The actual reading part comes later. Much later.

Step 2: Preview (Time: 10 minutes)

Preview means ‘an inspection or viewing of something before it is bought or becomes generally known and available.’

And that’s exactly what we’re going to do in this step.

We’re going to inspect the book. Each page. Each word. But not like we’re reading it. More like we’re inspecting it.

Sit down on a desk. A dining table will do.

Place the book in front of you.

Start the timer.

Now for the next 10 minutes flip each page looking at it for just 2 seconds each. Glancing at the words. Only reading the chapter titles and any other titles in the chapter.

You’re not reading anything at this point. Just glancing.

With 2 seconds on each page, you will be done with a 300-page book in 10 minutes.

You’ve so far done two very important things.

First, you’ve understood the subject matter. Next, you’ve read the outline that the author used to write his book. Including the chapter titles and the subheads in each chapter.

This puts you ahead of 95% of the people who will pick up this book. Since most people only read the first chapter and quit. They put the book down and never get back to it.

But you’ve done something better. You know what the book is about and you’ve read the outline.

Now comes the tough part. But I’ll make it easier for you.

Step 3. Read (Time: 60 minutes)

You might be thinking is this the time when I dive right in and start reading the book.

Nope, you don’t do that still.

In the reading part, we’re going to read what the author spend most of her time writing.

The introduction and the conclusion. (10 Minutes)

Now we will read the introduction. It might be called chapter one, epilog, introduction or something else.

But at this point, we’ll take a few minutes to read the introduction. 
Then we’ll skip all the way to the end to read the last chapter. This is the conclusion of the book. The place where the author has brought together her entire argument for the book.

Most people spend most of their time in creating the opening and closing of any argument. The same is true for a book. And for each of the chapters.

By reading the introduction and the conclusion you know the general direction of the book. And the arguments that the author is making. But we’re not done with reading, yet.

Now we go back to the start of the book to get to the main body.

Reading the chapters: (40 minutes)

Now we’re going to go through the entire book one more time. Sit on a table and read the book in the following manners.

Read the first two paragraphs of the chapter.

Read the first line of each paragraph after the first two paragraphs

Read the last two paragraphs of each chapter.

If the chapters are small then you can read only the first and last paragraphs of each chapter.

Your brain will be screaming to read the entire chapter. DON’T.

That’s your 4th grade English teacher telling you how to read. You’re not in 4th grade anymore.

Do it this way and you’ve accomplished one more thing that most people who pick up a book won’t ever do.

You’ve read most of the book. You now understand most of the arguments of the book. You know the direction the book is taking. You know what the author is talking about.

You could talk to a friend about this book and tell them what this book is all about.

You wouldn’t be able to repeat everything verbatim — but you will be able to talk about the gist of the book.

Good. You’re not miles ahead of everyone else.

But there is one more thing you need to do.

Go through the book one more time. (Time: 10 Minutes)

Each chapter. This time you’re reading the outline and chapter titles one more time. You’re doing this to identify any areas that you don’t understand completely.

You’re not going to read them — just identify them. I do this by folding the corner. You can use, post it notes if you like.

This will take you no more than 10 minutes. Probably even less. As your eyes scan each of the pages, your brain will be telling you what’s good and what’s not.

You will keep scrolling through and get to the end.

By now you’ve gone through the book 4 times. You’ve flipped each page 4 times.

You haven’t read it like your 4th-grade teacher taught you. But you still understand the gist of the book.

Now we get to the part where we bring all this to the learning stage.

Step 4. Review (Time: 10 Minutes)

Review mean ‘examine or assess (something) formally with the possibility or intention of instituting change if necessary.’

This is where we’re ‘reviewing’ the areas we didn’t understand before. Here you will learn and remember everything that is in the book. Not verbatim. But close enough.

You do this by writing the outline of the book down.

I did this on 3 x 5 index cards. I like index cards because they limit the amount of information I can put on them. You can use a piece of paper if you like.

We’re only putting the outline of the book down on paper.

On my index cards — I put down each chapter number and title. Then any subheads, main points, or quotes that stood out.

The entire process took me 11:48 seconds because I had to stop in the middle to take two phone calls.

You can do it in 10 minutes.

Remember we’re not copying entire sentences. Just titles, main ideas, and the main points. In point form.

This is also the time where you might spend a few extra moments. To write down main points in the areas we didn’t understand before.

Remember we highlighted some areas in the step above.

Step 5. Post Review (10 minutes)

This is the final step. This is where we’re going to go over everything that we just reviewed.

Now we can put the book away. We won’t use it for now. If you need it again, it’s still there.

Go over your notes now — and read them. Each chapter title and the main points.

Then spend a few seconds thinking about each main point and how that main point relates to the subject of the book. Roll it over in your mind.

Think about it. It’s application. It’s arguments. The points that you just read. Think about how it applies to your life. To your business.

Think.

Now we’re solidifying the information that we read — and learned.

This post review will get your mind to associate the information with your notes. Your mind will think about the information you just read.

There may be some areas that you miss. Or you might not understand. Or are confused about. Put that index card aside. Then move one.

Do this for the whole deck. At the end of it — there might be two or three cards that you don’t understand. But the rest of them are crystal clear in your mind.

Now spend a few more minutes to go to that specific chapter and read the chapter. The entire chapter if you have to. This is extra time and will take more than a few minutes.

Do it. Then update your index card with new information that you just learned.

Now you know the entire book. And to re-read it you don’t have to pick up the book. You can pick up the index cards and go through them.

Reading in your mind.

There, you’re done.

But A Word Of Warning!!!

This is a simple method of reading a book quickly. It works very well for emails, white papers, non-fiction books. And every study material.

But it won’t work if you don’t work it. You have to use it in your life to gain the rewards from it.

So here’s my challenge to you — go test this out for yourself. Don’t spend the entire 90 minutes.

Skip the reading part altogether — just do 30 minutes first. The book you picked up earlier. Spend 30 minutes with it following the steps above. Skip step 4 and do the rest.

Once you’re done — call up a friend who is likely to have read the book. Talk them through what you learned.

You’ll be astounded at how much more you know than the friend who read the whole book probably spending 10 hours on one single book.

This 30-minute exercise will change your life.

Let’s do a quick recap.

Quick Recap

Today we learned a new method of reading that changes how you read a book.

You discovered how your reading habits were formed in the 4th grade. And a reading method to apply as an adult.

You also discovered the 6 step system to reading a book in 90 minutes

Finally, you were challenged with a 30-minute exercise to prove how well this method works.

Action steps

Here are action steps to help you study faster and read a book in 90 minutes or less.

  1. Do an overview — read book cover, front, and back
  2. Preview the book — by reading introduction and conclusion chapters first
  3. Read — spend 60 minutes reading the book as follows.
    1. titles of the chapters and heading.
    2. Reading opening and closing paragraphs in chapters.
    3. Reading the first line of each paragraph in the chapter
      Reading titles and main headings — marking ones you don’t understand
  4. Review — writing down the titles and main points on 3×5 index cards
  5. Post Review — Reading your index cards and thinking about each main point.

This is a simple step by step method of quickly reading a book without spending all week digesting it.

You can use this simple method to read emails, newspapers, and articles. Or even your stash of magazines.

Your Turn

Now it’s your turn.

Leave a comment below. Let me know, which book you are going to apply this method to?

Also, let me know if I missed anything that you would like me to cover next.