I’d like to share with you a technique that I use whenever I’m reading a long book. It’s a technique I call “double bookmarking”.
I developed this technique based on inspiration from the documentary film “Touching The Void”, one of my most favorite films of all time. The film was about how mountaineer Joe Simpson survived a fall down a mountain and eventually made it down the mountain and back into safety despite traveling for 3 days with a broken leg and without food. The way he did it was that instead of seeing the entire task as an impossible task, he set short-term goals for himself. He would aim for moving to the next piece of rock he could see. Once he made it there, he celebrated it as a small victory, and then aim for moving to the next rock.
My technique of reading a long book mimics Simpson’s tactics by using two bookmarks. I put two bookmarks in a book like this:
The top bookmark is where I’m currently reading at. For example, I might be starting at chapter 1, so my top bookmark is at chapter 1:
The bottom bookmark is where my “next rock” or “next small milestone” is. If the next chapter is within 10-15 pages away, I would put the bottom bookmark at the next chapter. Otherwise, I might aim for the next sub-section. In this example, my bottom bookmark is at chapter 2:
Sometimes I set a time-based goal for me to get to the next bookmark, sometimes I don’t. Once I get to the next bookmark, I “celebrate” a little bit by taking a break and doing something else. And then I move the second bookmark to the next short-term goal, for example, chapter 3. This way I’ve reduced the task of reading a long book to just reading a bunch of shorter segments of text.
I hope you can find this useful!