Reading Books in 2019

It’s mid-April and I just completed my 20th book in 2019. That’s already more than the number of books I read in all of 2018. I neither made a new year resolution to read more books nor am I rushing through books just to up my count (although I did make a note at the end of January).

Now, 20 books is no big deal for some prolific readers but given that my work schedule has exploded and I rarely find any idle time for other pursuits, it’s an achievement for me. I wanted to take this opportunity to note down certain things that’ve worked for me.

  1. Keep at least 2-3 books on your currently reading” list.
  2. Have a healthy mix of fiction and non-fiction books.
  3. Fall asleep to reading a book.
  4. Use a mix of mediums audiobooks, ebooks (Kindle or iPad), or a paper book.
  5. Listen to an audiobook on your 40-minute commute each day. Switch to a week of podcasts after you finish one long audiobook just to keep things fresh.
  6. Abandon books with…abandon that you don’t find interesting by the 50th-100th page instead of trying to finish them. Reading other books at the same time makes this easier to do.
  7. Make full use of one of America’s best ideas - your public library. Borrow liberally and max out your holds queue especially with popular books; both in paper and ebook/audio versions.
  8. Read in short chunks of time, even 5-15 minutes couple of times a day, instead of seeking out long periods of time that you plan to read for.
  9. Take time off for/after lunch and go outside to read. Admittedly, it helps to be on a college campus with plenty of green space and reading spots.
  10. Don’t worry about reading books on the same topic while reading. I get lot of recommendations from within the non-fiction books I’m currently reading.
  11. Alternatively, identify friends on GoodReads whose tastes match yours or trust them enough to expand your horizons (Thanks, Vasta).
  12. Throw in a few page-turners that will keep you reading some books quicker than others that you may want to savor and digest slowly.
  13. Sometimes walk away from a good book. That will make you want to come back to it with renewed interest. Let your subconscious brain churn a little.
  14. Personally, documenting progress of the books I’m reading on GoodReads (after turning off updates for my friends) has worked for me.
  15. Use OCR text scanner apps to document quotes, excerpts, or prose you loved and save to any notes app. I use TextScanner OCR and Bear.
  16. Quit Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and switch to Micro.blog ;)
April 13, 2019 · books


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