Double Your Reading: Easily Blast Through Twice As Many Books Per Year

Books can be practically priceless in their value. Just one idea hidden in a chapter of a single book could take you from a $25 per hour lawn mower to a $350 per hour lawn renovation specialist. Really.

Here's How to read twice as many books:

Listen. Don't read. That's the secret.

When it's time to absorb as much information as possible from beginning to end, which covers much of your reading, then it's easier and more natural to listen than to read visually. 

Gutenberg Bible byNYC Wanderer (Kevin Eng)

Our brains are conditioned to learn by listening. Anthropologists tell us writing is a fairly new development in human history, researchers say most high school graduates are functionally illiterate, and we absorb much more by listening than by reading, anyway.

Unless carefully studying and scrutinizing each word. Absorbing and understanding the Bible rewards a combination of these approaches.

An audiobook is also relentless. Where you might drift off while reading and stop turning pages, the audiobook charges on, bringing you to the next section with ruthless efficiency.

Option 1: Audible 

I'm not getting a kickback from Jeff Bezos here, but quite frankly, Audible is one of my favorite ways to listen to audiobooks. Sadly, their selection is fairly limited for a number of reasons. Like any other book store, they keep the good stuff in the back. Authors don't have time to get all their books recorded, it doesn't always make financial sense, or the book's content doesn't lend itself to .

Art books or textbooks full of charts, graphs, and illustrations, for example. 

Also, the luxury of getting your books as a "bedtime story" comes at a price.

Audiobook prices can be higher than you're prepared for. Although prices have come down sharply in the past 20 years. Today, there's a monthly plan available, discount rates on credits, and your satisfaction is guaranteed.

The narrators often flub the pronunciation of names, places, and industry-specific jargon.

Option 2: Kindle Unlimited

Where Audible falls down is in selection. But there's an amazing selection of books on Kindle Unlimited. 

The pronunciation is even worse, the text-to-speech voice is mechanical, and if a butterfly farts in Europe, it will turn off your listening experience, so you need everything on your phone set up for listening.

If you happen to have an extra phone or device, consider keeping it in a glass case somewhere it can't be jostled, buttons pushed, and lint can't touch the screen, and use it to listen to text-to-speech audiobooks like "Julius Streicher" or "Landmark Speeches of National Socialism" by Randall L Bytwerk. (Don't expect him to provide any glowing pro-nationalist analysis, of course.)

Believe it or not, Kindle is one source for Audiobooks if you can tolerate the text-to-speech engine on your device. Accessibility features of your phone may include TalkBack, and you can easily activate "continuous reading mode" which automatically advances each page for you. 

Before activating TalkBack, I like to dim the screen, set the display time-out to 30 minutes, set up whatever bluetooth, settings, text size and turn on "Do Not Disturb" because any little thing will interrupt the text-to-speech.

Unfortunately, the Accessibility settings makes it much harder and slower to use your phone and verbally announcing everything you're doing, so you end up turning it off as soon as you're done listening. It's not multi-tasking friendly.

But if you're stuck somewhere and need to plow through a lot of material that isn't on Audible or MP3, then it's worth using.

If and when I can get away with listening at work, while driving or elsewhere, I definitely prefer listening via Audible or MP3 books, seminars, interviews, course material and podcasts. I'd never hop on a bike and expect TalkBack to work flawlessly for the next 7 miles in my pocket. It's much to fidgety for that.

Kindle also once included George Lincoln Rockwell's classic books. I've got my copies already, so they're grandfathered in and presumably could be lent out to friends or family for up to 14 days at a time.

Option 3: Balabolka 

If you don't know the value of reading, not just books, you won't bother. I've binged listened to email series, rather than wearing out my eyes. 

Balaboka is a Windows text-to-speech software that will convert any text into MP3s to listen on-the-go. Over the years, I've found myself listening to many hours of material this way. But I wouldn't call it convenient.

PDFs or text makes me efficient at editing text. Nobody wants to listen to the text-to-speech engine saying "Underscore underscore underscore" hundreds of times in a row and hearing "http://www.blahblah.com" gets old really fast, and you don't necessarily need to hear the title or footer or chapter heading on every single page, so a little finessing is required, but once you've got the knack of the search and replace function, it goes a lot quicker than you'd think.

If there's something you can't listen to any other way, if you're looking for someone to read all your web pages full of speeches to you, this is my fallback plan.

It's how I listened to dozens of translations of Hitler and Goebbels's speeches years ago, clipped from a university website. 

And if that wasn't enough effort, I'll sometimes have to go in search of a PDF, if that's all I can find, upload and convert the file with a PDF-to-text site with or without OCR (optical character recognition) and THEN strip out the unwanted fluff before converting it to a text-to-speech MP3.

Yes. Really. When you don't play videogames or watch TV, you've got plenty of time for such things.

Option 4: Archive.org

This is a relatively new discovery for me. I didn't know you could "check out" books for an hour at a time on Archive.org. It must be new. 

This resource alone gives me access to an astonishingly large library of books I can't easily procure otherwise, including newsletters.

In the past few weeks, it's already been a magnificent find and has quickly become my favorite library.

Option 5: Translating It Yourself 

Yes, really! If you thought the Balbolka option was extreme, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. We're past the easy part. This is the bonus material.

If you can get the German language text of a particular speech or pamphlet of particular importance to you, but there's no English translation available, you might be able to use a browser plug-in and get readable results.

It will be a very literal translation. Not very pleasant to read, but the result is far more comprehensible than trying spending hour or years trying to puzzle out what a Lüftgebungen might be. 

So let's call in the robot overlords!

You can feed a paragraph at a time of original German texts into GPT-3 (the current generation of AI overlord), priming it to give you an English translation. Works with many, but not all languages.

You can even specify (in plain english) that you want a translation a 3rd grader could understand.

To do this, I go into AI Dungeon, create a new story (or whatever it's called) clear out all the priming I possibly can and strip it down to the most raw GPT-3 interface I can.

Then I prime it for input by saying:

"In German:" 

And paste a paragraph of text.

Then "In English" or "Translated into 5th-grade English:"  or whatever version I'm looking for.

Access to "Dragon Mode" gives you the full GPT-3. I call it an "electronic Israelite" since it's taken on the character of the defamatory text it's been reading on the internet.

Dragon Mode is available via a paid subscription to AI Dungeon. With prompting and supervision, it can translate several major languages adequately, makes lists, writes pamphlets and churn out massive amounts of content. Some of it true.

If the project is worth much more time, effort and expense, you can multiply your capabilities.

Another profitable use of GPT-3 is it can help write mediocre advertising copy, bland fiction, and lack-luster speeches. It badly needs a human editor with a little discretion and taste. Luckily, these are easy to come by.

But I eagerly await the capabilities of future generations of the AI.

Until then, I'd hire an assistant or request a volunteer to do a first draft of any work that matters, only use it for what it's good at. 

At this point, it's good at translating, ok at re-hashing mediocre fiction full of cliche ideas.

It can produce and/or flesh out a bare-bones outline 17 different ways without breaking a sweat and it can be absolutely brilliant at brainstorming. No more writer's block.

And several original versions of things can be fairly rapidly produced. Which is a bit like article-spinning, if you know what that is. There are lots of SEO and social media applications, such as throwing off the sentiment analysis of social media posts, all run by a dollar-an-hour employee at a clickfarm somewhere.  

And whatever GPT-3 produces is usually right, or close enough. or obviously wrong.

Anything you're not 100% sure of can be easily fact-checked by humans thanks to cheap gigs on Fiverr. Depends on your budget, doesn't it?

The AI can't quite fact check itself yet. But in the scheme of things, ghost writing has never been cheaper and easier. 

With help from the machine, I cranked an entire Boy Scout-style training booklet for the Fair Use Youth in about half an hour or so. Which is about as much time as it takes to read it. 

But if you're just translating something into English to drop into Balboka and get your MP3 to listen to on a nice leisurely bike ride, then you can feed the text output into your text-to-speech reader or produce a unique, copyright-free modern translation of the third Reich's pamphlets suitable for redistribution, all machine-translated in the style of your choice.

I'll leave that up to you.

Option 6: YouTube

Who do you want to read you the Bible? James Earl Jones, David Suchet or Michael York? There are so many audiobooks on YouTube, old and new, along with all kinds of things that really shouldn't be on YouTube, according to the DMCA, but it is.

On YouTube, you'll most easily find the works of the founders of the early church, the apocrypha and much more. Things that are popular, but ancient are incredibly easy to find. You'll find the original Grimm's Fairy Tales such as Ashputtel, a version of Cinderella,.

Option 7: Be Creative

The internet is so vast, you can easily find things you wouldn't normally expect to find. Almost as soon as you start looking.

I've found educational resources in all kinds of ways. If it's not on Amazon, maybe someone's got it on eBay. Maybe someone has notes, a summary, or commentary, or just a blog post about the 17 principles listed in the book. Which might be all I need.

There might be at least a dozen ways to get a book or recording, even if it's out of print. I've seen VHS tapes of old TV shows from the 90s which are otherwise hard to find. There's an entire website dedicated to Hard-To-Find Seminars.

Option 8: Go Offline 

Offline options abound. There are vast treasuries of comic books and magazines sitting around in boxes in stores, basements, attics or garages if you're willing to go find them, and they can have remarkable educational value.

Marketers have clipped and compiled all the best "million dollar ads" that ran for years, pasting them into books and collections they call "swipe files".

There are collectors of all kinds, and many dusty old things worth collecting. 


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