How I went from reading 0 to 7 books a week

Hey everyone!

I’m ashamed to say it, but I had gone a LONG time without reading a book. I struggled to find time to read, and books took months to finish. When it came to the last 1 hour of the day, I found myself consistently choosing to watch a YouTube video over reading a book.

However, in the last 2 weeks I’ve managed to read 7 books, and it’s all come down to one thing - text to speech!

Around 2 weeks ago, I started using my phone’s ‘spoken content’ function alongside the Kindle app to read books to me.

This has been a game changer for me, as I listen to books at 3.5x speed when I’m in the car and walking. I’m able to finish a book every 1-3 days and retain the insights from them.

As with any productivity strategy, I find that there are pros and cons:


  • I’m actually reading books! - If it weren’t for this, I wouldn’t read any books throughout the year.
  • I’m able to retain a lot of the content - Even though the text to speech goes quickly, I’m able to keep track of most of what is said and bookmark the most important parts to highlight after my drive.
  • Avoiding fluff - Books (particularly self-help) are often full of examples and unnecessary content, so listening at speed allows me to glaze over these parts and extract the most important messages.
  • Free - Using the iPhone spoken content feature is free, as opposed to competitor software like speechify.


  • Lower retention - It’s possible that I have lower retention of the books than I would if I was reading them.
  • Less Mindfulness - My car drives become less mindful, as I’m constantly listening to something.
  • Missing sections - The speaking speed means that I sometimes miss out on info. I also can’t highlight information when I’m driving, which means that I might forget useful quotes.

Given that the alternative to reading books this way is to not read books at all, I’m finding that this has been a great way for me to consume content in the car. I’ve also discovered that it becomes easier and easier to listen at fast speeds once you get used to it! This means that I can push myself to listen at a faster pace if I want.

Finally, it’s so easy to listen to a book quickly, which means that I can listen to a book multiple times if I want to gain more insight from it.

If you’re like me and you almost never find time to read, try giving this a go!

- Emil

My Progress:

YouTube subscribers: 9,016

Newsletter subscribers: 183

YouTube revenue last week: $244.39

Welcome to Emil's Emails!

Sign up for my weekly newsletter where I share exclusive productivity tips, useful life advice and insights from my life as a medical student in Australia.

Read more from Welcome to Emil's Emails!

Hi everyone, Happy New Year! I hope that this year has been kind to you, and that 2024 brings happiness and success to you all. For me, the end of the year has always been a time for introspection. I like to reflect on the progress I’ve made and plan ahead for the year to come. The holiday season usually has a nice mix of free time and sentimentality that allows for reflection to flow smoothly. That being said, it’s very easy for us to make well intentioned, actionable plans for the year to...

Hey everyone, I just finished my third year of medical school and I’ve realised that so many of my studying mistakes could have been prevented. Over the last three years I’ve discovered several strategies that would have saved me hours of time, effort and more importantly, my sanity. Today, I’ll try to share as many of these game-changers with you as possible. So, let’s discuss: The strategies that you can apply before class that will save you hours of time How you can consolidate learning...

Hi everyone! A couple of days ago I was sitting at my desk, starting at my calendar and seeing it completely full with commitments that had seemingly piled up out of nowhere. When I’m faced with situations like this, time spent studying is usually the first to disappear from my calendar. Inevitably, I want to compensate for this loss, and I find myself thinking that I need to “try a bit harder” to stay on track. I’m sure that every student has wondered what would happen if they spent more...