8 Tips to Read More
Chronicles of very randomly interesting stuff
Before you mention it - you are right. This is a bit of a non-standard article. From time to time I like sharing some interesting facts that I spend a lot of time thinking about. And this is one of those :)
Let me share the infographic first and then I’ll add some more context:
First and foremost - these are NOT some random tips that I picked up from internet. Nope. These are LITERALLY my first-hand experiences and I’ll elaborate on each one.
Before I do, I have to mention that almost a year ago, I wrote an article titled How I learned to read (and read 30 books in a year). In a nutshell, I went from not reading a single book in my life to being an avid reader, and that article shares a lot of my personal details.
This one is more or less the summary of it :)
So, let’s discuss each of the points:
Read more than one book at a time - this one was a literal game changer for me. Honestly. I remember being stuck for months reading Crime & Punishment, not wanting to start anything new before I finished that one and yet even by thinking of it was making me want to rip my eyes off.
The thing is that you really need to read whatever you feel like reading at the moment. Just like your moods will vary, so should the book that you are reading.
My advice is to have at least two to three books, ideally of completely different genre, and just pick the one you feel like reading the most.
Skim through books to get a sense of what’s inside - this is actually true for anything; especially when learning stuff. Khan Academy openly tells you to ALWAYS skim through lesson first, then do a quick read and then do a focused one. Same should be true for books.
Feel free to jump back & forth. Check what’s coming. Go back to what you missed. You are not obliged to read in a linear fashion!
Give it 15-20 minutes to get you engaged - and you might think that this is too short, but the thing is - we usually don’t start reading because we know we won’t have much time, while on the other hand we refuse to spend 15-20mins because it sounds too short, so what we end up is a freaking limbo sauce where we keep questioning but never deciding to take a course of action.
My advice - give book some short time to get you curious and if it fails to deliver it - forget it and move on.
Drop the book you’re not enjoying - this is probably one of the best advices I ever read. You DO NOT have to finish every book; doubly so the ones you are bored with.
I mean, you are likely skimming through this article, right? Imagine if you had to read every single blog post from cover to cover? That’d leave you with zero time to actually explore and find stuff that you DO enjoy!
Find genre that fits you - this is probably one of the most important advices. Explore and read variety of stuff until you find something that interests you. And once you do find it - feel free to exhaust the hell out of it!
One advice I heard some time ago was “find a writer that you like and read everything from them. And once you read everything, see what they liked and go and read that”.
Take it slow - seriously. It’s ok to skip a day. Or a week. Reading should be fun and not a forced activity. Hell, there are days where I spend 3 minutes reading and that’s it. And yet there are days where I can’t stop thinking about that damn thing I read within 3 minutes so I spend hours exploring. Just go with the flow.
Take notes while reading - and this is something that I struggled with. I clearly remember trying to read Game of Thrones and getting completely destroyed by sheer amount of characters and connections between them. But what I used to think is that having to write stuff down makes you dumb and that it’s not the “right way” to read.
Forget all the bullshit - take notes. Open excel. Draw charts if needed. There are tons of sites that actually give you great summaries of characters appearing in the book. Use them!
It’s OK to re-read the same book - and not only is it OK but it’s actually a great thing. Books are PACKED with details and there’s simply NO WAY to gather all of them in one go.
There are some books I read three times so far and I’m absolutely planning to read them 10 more times for sure :)
And that’d be about it! I’d be more than happy to hear your experiences!
P.S. Next article will be continuation of the Deep-dive into CLR series and will discuss Assembly’s Manifest file and what it is.