📚 Want to Read More Books in 2021 — Try 2X Speed

As an academic, I rarely have time to read “for fun books” and instead devote my reading time to keeping up with new discoveries and theories divulged in esoteric journal articles. This changed when I stumbled upon a YouTube video by Ali Abdaal espousing the merits of listening at 2X speed and faster. Wow, a typical non-fiction audiobook between 8-10 hours now only requires 4-10 hours to complete, and even 30 hour epic fantasy novels are manageable at 15 hours. After finding this superpower in September 2020, I have now completed 19 books over the last four months.

  1. Educated, Tara Westover
  2. The Stone Sky, N.K. Jemisin
  3. Hidden Figures, Margot Shetterly
  4. The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin
  5. Andromeda Strain Evolution, Michael Crichton
  6. How to Change Your Mind, Michael Pollan
  7. In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan
  8. The End of Everything, Katie Mack
  9. The Gathering Storm, Brandon Sanderson/Robert Jordan
  10. Towers of Midnight, Brandon Sanderson/Robert Jordan
  11. White Fragility, Robin Diangelo
  12. Why We Sleep, Matthew Walker
  13. A Memory of the Light, Brandon Sanderson/Robert Jordan
  14. Brain on Fire, Susannah Cahalan
  15. The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher
  16. Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee
  17. Hidden Reality, Brian Greene
  18. Armada, Ernest Cline
  19. Storm Front, Jim Butcher

Adjusting to 2X speed took me only a few minutes, and I enjoy listening to books more at double speed. I could finally finish the Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series that I started as a teenager in the 1990s. I also read many non-fiction books that I found interesting, but was never going to read without listening to the audiobook version at 2X speed.

I used the Libby app and my local library card to access these great books for free. The Libby app is much improved, very user-friendly to find new audiobooks, and even works in my vehicle via CarPlay. Most of my listening takes place while working out on my bike. I feel like my life has greatly improved as new words enter my ears and my legs grind out the miles each morning.

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