Reading is something that, from the point of view of someone who doesn't read, is very intriguing. Every single time I enter a library and I look at the hundreds of books that are just sitting there, waiting for someone to read them, my mind is blown. “Every single book here has a lesson to teach me. Thousands of pages filled with so much knowledge” — I think to myself, and yet I have only read 3 books in my entire life.
Why? I'm not sure. It's one of those things I've been wanting to do for a while, but never got around to actually doing. The good news is, that's about to change soon.
how it started.
Around 2 months ago I was browsing YouTube, as I always do, and stumbled upon an amazing documentary by Max Joseph titled “BOOKSTORES: How to Read More Books in the Golden Age of Content”. In it, he travels all around the world visiting the most beautiful libraries he could find, each one with a different aesthetic and history behind them. He also has a talk with Tim Urban, who is a TED speaker, owner of the blog “Wait But Why”, and an avid reader, about how many books anyone could read every year by sitting down and spending 30 minutes a day reading.
I don’t know why, but this documentary really stuck with me. Every time he entered a new library, just like me, it was very apparent that he was awestruck by the scenery and incredible amount of books surrounding him. The documentary is amazing and, after watching it, the idea of “Hey, maybe I should start reading” started frequenting my mind.
Sometime after that, around a week ago actually, a desire to read some books just popped up out of nowhere. I had no idea what book I wanted to read, since I didn’t know any, or why I wanted to read. I just knew I suddenly felt like I wanted to read, and that now I was going to act on it. For the next few hours, I looked for all kinds of books and bought the ones that seemed the most interesting to me. A total of 9 books that I am now determined to read and that will hopefully help me get into the habit of reading.
so, what now?
As of writing this, none of the books have arrived and so, while waiting for them I made up a set of rules/guidelines to simplify the process of making reading a habit. The idea behind these rules is that, hopefully, I’ll be able to make the most out of every book I read. Some of these rules I want to follow strictly, while others should just act as things to keep in mind while reading.
1. show up everyday.
Someone once told me that “showing up” is the hardest part, and they aren't wrong. I feel like the hardest part of this journey will be to find the time to sit and read every day, and once I actually start reading, it will be super easy. This holds true for any new habit that you want to start; once you keep it up for a few weeks it becomes second nature.
2. read a minimum of 25 pages every session.
Initially, I was actually thinking of doing what was suggested in the documentary, reading 30 minutes a day, but instead I decided on reading 25 pages a day.
Having a minimum amount of pages to read every session means that any distractions or pauses while reading won't result in me having to keep track of a timer. It's just easier to manage.
3. no distractions.
With so much technology nowadays it is extremely easy to get distracted. Because of this, I'll make sure to not have anything that can distract me when reading.
To achieve this I will be reading in a park that I really like and that not many people go to with my phone turned off. There's a fountain with a constant stream of water, birds everywhere, and the perfect bench for writing/reading with a really nice shade. Overall, it's an amazing park to go to.
4. review every book/take notes.
Knowing that I have to write a review about whatever book I'm reading sounds fun, and it will also encourage me to "pay more attention" while I read. This is because I'll have to highlight important/interesting parts of the book, come back to them when writing the review, and think about why I felt like it was worth highlighting that specific part of the book. Not only that, but doing this will encourage me to keep everything organized and well documented in order to make it easier on myself when writing. Overall, the whole idea sounds beneficial for me in the future. (Note to my future self: You are welcome 💪)
cool, but what books am I reading?
When looking for what books to buy, I ended up choosing books on many different topics that interest me; finance, math, productivity, etc. With that said, here are the 9 books I ended up choosing:
- Atomic Habits, by James Clear.
- Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim
- Contagious, by Jonah Berger
- Dreyer's English, by Benjamin Dreyer
- The Personal MBA, by Josh Kaufman
- A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
- A Mind for Numbers, by Barbara Oakley
- A Random Walk Down Wall Street, by Burton G. Malkiel
- The 4-Hour Work Week, by Timothy Ferriss
They each seem incredibly interesting, and I can't wait to read them all. I'll probably begin by reading Atomic Habits (because what better way to start a habit than reading a book about habits) and then read whatever book I feel like reading after that.
This whole endeavor seems fun and, hopefully, it will also be interesting for at least 1 person reading this. Anyways, someone once told me that it's important to finish your posts with a bang (note the title of this section).