How I Passively Read 10,000+ Book Pages Each Year

Unique yet simple strategies and actionable tips to put your reading on autopilot.

woman reading book while drinking coffee GaudiLab / Shutterstock

There’s a silent world war underway.

It’s Tweets, news, TikToks, endless emails, Instagram thirst traps, and clickbaity newsletters — versus — our attention.

From 2.5 minutes 20 years ago to 75 seconds in 2012 to a measly 47 seconds in 2021, our attention spans are dropping.

To keep up, creators and companies "optimize" their content with juicier hooks, flashier cuts, and sexier thumbnails.


Chopping long-form content up, they spray it all over the internet. Podcast snippets as Shorts. Books as summaries. Blog excerpts as Tweets. Tweet screenshots as Li posts.

As a result, our attention spans shrink even more — triggering further content optimization — the vicious loop feeds itself.

This is turning our knowledge into whipped cream without a solid cake base — vague (often-inaccurate) facts without deep understanding.

In our increasingly shallow world, cultivating deep knowledge is an unfair advantage — and reading good old books is the best long-term way to achieve this.

Here's why:

  • Yes, podcasts and interviews are also deep, but ads, comments, juicy thumbnails, notifications, and 100 extra tabs rend your focus.
  • Unlike digital media, you can’t "scroll" a book or skip to a particular timestamp — you either read or don’t. Even a 10-minute reading session puts the average content consumption pattern to shame.
  • Most good books will keep you flipping pages for hours. This deep focus carries over into coding, studying, and other deep activities.
  • Years of experience, research, and writing go into books — unlike the few hours that go into podcasts, interviews, and YouTube deep dives.
  • Reading boosts your knowledge-grasping speed — which increases all-around productivity — freeing up time for family, hobbies, introspection, side projects, and more reading.

But taking the time out of today’s busy schedules daily to read is a herculean task — commitments and obligations become excuses.

From mom’s bedtime reading in preschool to thriving in library alcoves, I grew up with books.

But even I barely find "active" time to read now!

Yet, I devour 10,000+ pages a year — all thanks to "passive" lifestyle, environment, and mindset tweaks that put reading on auto-pilot.


P.S. I measure reading progress in pages and not the number of books — because reading one 1000+ page book >> Reading ten 100-page ones. My book picks span 500+ pages on average.

I want to share the same with you — rather than making it possible to read, these tips make it impossible not to read.

RELATED: 3 Tiny Tweaks To Significantly Increase The Number Of Books You Read

Here are 4 tips to passively read 10,000+ book pages every year:

1. Rebel against conventional wisdom

While sheer consistency can forge habits like cold showers, waking up early, and journaling — you can’t "brute-force" the habit of reading.

The only way to become a lifelong reader is to fall in love with it. Despite being well-intentioned, conventional reading advice falls short here.


So, reject rigid conventional wisdom and serenade reading:

  • "Have a fixed reading duration" — Fix a leisurely time to read, but don’t cap or limit the duration. Let your interest and mood take the rein.
  • "Ease into the habit with book summaries" — Summaries don’t lead to books, they lead to more summaries. Start with easy-to-read, interesting books.
  • "Set reading goals and milestones" — The added pressure will make reading feel like a chore. To enjoy reading, celebrate milestones, but don’t chase rigid goals.
  • "Complete every book you read" — Quit books if you don’t enjoy them. You can always pick them up later.
  • "Join reading clubs and find reading partners" — Reading clubs tend to force books on you. Instead, get a library membership and frequent bookstores. A reading partner to discuss and exchange books can help, though.
  • "Don’t read more than one book at a time" — 3 to 5 parallel books can keep things fresh and trigger unique cross-book insights. Ensure they’re not all fiction — so you don’t confuse Gandalf with Dumbledore!

This rebellious approach might slow down your wishlist tick-off and Goodreads flexing — but it’ll let you ingrain the habit of reading faster.

Pro Tip: Once you marry Miss Reading after serenading her, you can re-embrace conventional wisdom to “optimize” the habit of reading.

2. Spatial mood-matching book placement (SMBP)

SMBP makes it impossible to miss reading. The system’s simple:

  • Spread enough books around the house so you naturally reach for one (or more).
  • Plant them in the locations you frequent on a daily.
  • Ensure the placed book matches the activity and mood associated with the location.

In addition to auto-pilot reading, you’ll mentally associate the places with their book genres

To keep track of pages read, use bookmarks (highlighters/pens work) or rest the books facedown.

Be extra-mindful of the location-book-type matching to maximize the benefits of SMBP:

Don’t overthink the book placements — even a loose correlation with the mood/feeling of the locations is good enough. Placing the books is more important.


With SMBP, you’ll "accidentally" flip pages — even on the busiest and grumpiest days. It’s a "Set-It-Up-Once-To-Reap-Endless-Dividends" system.

P.S. Don’t forget to "refill" the placements — swap out existing books for new ones as and when you finish them.

Pro Tip: You can amplify the effect of books being in sight by chucking your phone out of sight — as the adage goes, "Out of sight, out of mind."

RELATED: Does Reading Make You More Attractive? 3 Reasons Why Women Love Men Who Read

3. Chew your food and ideas slowly

The best thing to do when eating is nothing — which we don’t follow.

The second best option is conversing with friends and family — but we can’t stop scrolling even then.


Instead, we do the worst possible thing: binging Netflix, Anime, YouTube, or Instagram Reels which leads to overeating, increased risk of diabetes, and poor digestion.

Reading during meals is a realistic compromise — not 100% mindful, but leagues better than TV-binging and phone-scrolling.

By picking the right book (SMBP-style), you can positively influence your eating as well:

  • Quick snack? Choose fast-paced thrillers — to avoid overeating and dilly-dallying.
  • Long meal? Go for thought-provoking self-help books — so you eat slowly and thoroughly chew the food (and ideas).
  • Something in between? Fantasy fiction can be the perfect midpoint.

Even then, try to alternate quality family time and solo-thinking space in at least one meal daily — both are crucial, but our suffocating schedules leave barely any time for either.


4. The smartphone ubiquity swap

The smartphone is almost an extra limb — it lives in our pocket, accompanies us to the toilet, sleeps with us, and gives solace during commutes.

No wonder we check our phones 144 times a day — the worst part is it can take up to 23 minutes to regain focus each time!

While optimizing your phone can help to an extent, it doesn’t address the root problem — the unconscious omnipresence of the smartphone in our minds, pockets, and soul.

Leverage your smartphone-linked auto-behaviors to your benefit by swapping them with books:

  • Get a Kindle. Get a Kindle. Get a Kindle — it’s been the best investment of my life. Period.
  • Pop the Kindle in your pocket and your phone in the bag — to rewire your urge to check your phone. If you’re a male, this will also shield your testicles from cellphone radiation. The friction of unzipping your bag for the phone is deliberate — bear with it.
  • Make your phone as "boring" to use as possible: grey mode + uninstall all non-essential apps + disable push notifications + do not disturb (use generously).
  • Stuck in a long queue, waiting lounge, or delayed date? Pull out your Kindle instead of your smartphone. If it’s only 5-10 minutes, admire the world around you — notice others stuck in their phone worlds, oblivious of the sheer beauty of reality.
  • Keep your phone facedown on the far end when working. Sleep with your phone on do not disturb in a different room. When conversing, don’t touch your phone. Cultivate revulsion towards your phone — through stubborn insistence, my darling mother drilled this distaste into my head.

Few go the extreme route — ditching the smartphone for a flip phone.


But if you gradually wean yourself off your smartphone and replace the check-my-phone itch with reading, observation, introspection, and mindful conversations?

Such an extreme measure won’t be necessary.

RELATED: 4 Unorthodox Books The Most Successful People Have Read Twice

Bonus — 3 more tips to reinforce your reading habit:

While not as "passive" or measurable, these tips will bulletproof your reading habit — and love for books.

1. Prefer bookstores when window shopping

Be it impulsive buying online or window-shopping on a resplendent Sunday — our consumerist society tickles us into swiping our credit cards.

Direct this impulse toward books — they cost less, pay off more, and better satiate your browsing/window-shopping urge.


Are too many books piling up at home? Gift, give away, lend, or multi-read them with the SMBP system. Or let them stay — you’ll inevitably pick them up someday.

2. Reading isn’t limited to books

Articles, blogs, newsletters, research papers, mini-ebooks — the internet is an ocean of writing. Taper off video content and devour the written digital word.

Too hooked to your devices? Head out for a stroll. Pick up a magazine or a newspaper from Walmart. Read the food labels. Peruse the billboards.


The more you read, the more you read.

3. The other side of the reading coin

Everything you read today was written by someone yesterday — or 30 seconds ago.

Be it on Twitter, Linkedin, Substack, ConvertKit, or the amazing platform you’re reading this on, it’s never been easier to write (online).

In a positive feedback loop, reading feeds the drive to write, which stokes the hunger to read more.

Don’t wish to write in public? Write in a personal diary. Write to vent. Write to express.

Write for the sake of writing.

AI’s making it magnitudes easier to analyze trends, produce content at scale, and repurpose existing content.

It won’t be long before this avalanche of AI-powered content turns today’s ocean of content into a world-flooding tsunami.


To thrive in such a world, bulletproof your attention — with a lifetime habit of reading:

  • Rebel against conventional wisdom — prioritize enjoyment over finishing books, reading goals, and milestones. Filter reading advice accordingly.
  • Spatial Mood-Matching Book Placement (SMBP) — plant books in the spots you frequent at home. Vibe-match the books with the locations.
  • Read While Eating — fast-paced books for quick snacks and thought-provoking ones for meals.
  • Swap your smartphone with a Kindle. Pop a book or Kindle in your pocket. Put the phone in the bag. Wean yourself off your smartphone.
  • The bonuses? Window-shop books. Don’t limit reading to books. Write.

That’s how you "passivize" reading — so you pay homage to the written word even on your busiest days.

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." — George R.R. Martin

RELATED: 25 Scariest Books To Read When You Want To Freak Yourself Out


Neeramitra Reddy is a 12x Medium Top Writer, Chief Editor/Columnist for In Fitness And In Health (IFAIH), and a Columnist for Wholistique.