How to Read 20+ Books Per Year Without Claiming a Single Minute from Your Calendar

My best friend reads every single day for some 30 minutes right before bedtime. He likes ancient Roman literature, fiction, as well as hard science. I keep asking him what serves as a cue for him to read and what his secret strategy is. He then would say that it has always been the way to feed his mind.

There’re few things that seem now timeless in the era of the Internet, and books definitely fall under this category. For many years, I’ve dreamed of becoming an avid reader but simply couldn’t find time for reading. Most successful people have rigorous morning and evening routines and part of those is a daily reading habit. 

In order to realize your goal and find time for reading, however, you must get up earlier or carve out some time from your busy schedule. You really don’t want to sacrifice quality time spent with your family. What if you could find time for reading without waking up earlier or investing a single minute from your agenda?

How I became an avid reader

I’ve been commuting for over 30 years and it was not until 2015 that I realized that my commuting time can be turned into something meaningful: reading time. I got my kindle, purchased my long-awaited productivity books, and started reading on the train.

It was quite easy to establish a consistent reading habit—my dead boring commute (remember, 30 years) allowed me to dive deep into books. During my first weeks, I tracked my progress with my habit tracker in Evernote, but I soon realized that I was on autopilot.

With a travel time of 35 minutes to the office, my reading time added up to a total of 70 minutes on a single day. Multiply it by five, and I got almost six hours of uninterrupted reading time every week. This equals almost a full workday. Wow!

That simple strategy allowed me to read 20+ books in 2018 without claiming a single minute from my calendar. Last year I spent virtually zero time reading beyond my commuting hours. It was only Christmas holiday and some nice late summer evenings sitting on the balcony when I picked up a book at home.

That’s one thing to read, another is to get the benefit…

Side effects 

As a cascading “side effect” to my daily reading habit, I’ve achieved far more than I could have imagined:

  • I dived deep into productivity, found my passion, and launched my blog.
  • I think now differently about my commute. From my current perspective, I wasted thousands of hours from my life with my commute staring out the window.
  • Sometimes I get out of the bed with enthusiasm looking forward to my commute.
  • I begin to consider myself as an avid reader.
  • I polished my English skills. (I’m a native-born Hungarian guy with virtually zero time spent in English-speaking countries.)


You might argue that you’re lucky enough to commute far less than me. No problem. Audiobooks can be your best friend when sitting in your car or jogging on the trails. You might also consider changing your commuting route or means of transport, as I did, to get more time to read.

It’s never late to change for the better. I paid a heavy price for that—at least 20 years of empty commuting time from my adult life. That’s a lot.

I have a dream that one day every passenger will hold a book—not their iPhone or the daily news but a real book or an eBook—in hand and transform the train into a reading room. 

I want to close with a famous quote:

A room without books is like a body without a soul.


To find out more about my reading habits, check out the following posts:

Your one takeaway: Grab your favorite book now and make sure that you have it at hand during your commute.

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Csaba Vadadi-Fulop

Csaba Vadadi-Fulop

Csaba is the founder of Productivity95. He is on the mission to share his passion for productivity and personal development and to help people find their own development path. Want to supercharge your productivity? Get the guide you need to make it happen (it’s free).