It vibes pretty well with my own "rules" for reading:
* I read one book at a time
* In general I only read when I feel like it, but I will read every day: if I don't feel like it, I'll just read one page
* At any point am I allowed to stop reading a book and pick up a new one
* I do not track "pages per day" or "books per year", I do not participate in "reading challenges"
This way, reading has most personal value to me without becoming a "second job" with the pressure to "perform" that comes with it.
Exactly. If you can develop a skill of reading in this manner, it's not something anyone can take away from you. No matter what happens to you: illness, imprisonment, poverty, divorce. No one can take that from you.
Aeon and its sister site Psyche are genuinely awesome. Probably the best sites I've discovered in years. Would definitely encourage you to read more of their work. There are definitely arguments I disagree with, but nothing to complain about how they're presented or sourced.
I like those longer reads that are somewhat detached from daily events that you can't really learn anything from.
Have you tried more than that and found it unsatisfactory?
I usually have two books on the go. I leave them in different places. That’s key. I am a different person in each place, and I can keep my associations separate and distinct for each book.
Given enough places, I’m confident I could read more than two books in parallel.
- classic fiction
- short nonfiction anthology
Progress is a lot slower per book, but it’s not a race. I much prefer being able to pick up whatever I’m interested in at the time than having to wait, feeling like I have to slog through the end of the current book.
However, if I'm reading a book on my phone & tablet, I'll mostly stick to one until I'm done with it. They way they sync reading status and time-of-last-access across devices encourages it, even with multiple devices.
If I don’t, my reading will become like my internet browsing: chasing my interest of the moment, half reading something about it, going on another chase and never properly engaging with one subject.
Of course some people will be better at context switching and the discipline to actually finish the multiple books they’re reading…but not me.
So if that's how War and Peace was originally read, why shouldn't I read it the same way?
What I meant with “stop reading” is “stop reading entirely”. If I read a book and at 50% think: I could probably finish it but it’s not really enjoyable at all, I just delete it from my ereader.
No sunk cost fallacy here :-)
There were a few articles I kept coming back to but couldn't get through because of distractions, so yesterday I decided to print out the articles I wanted to read. 30 mins later, I had gone through 3 three great reads (plus made notes).
It was great. I learned a lot, and they spurred some ideas as well. I think I might start doing more of this.
Some tips: I print 2 pages to a side, so 4 pages per printer paper. Even long articles don't use too much paper, and for my eyes it's still readable (there are a few articles where I need to enlarge first). I print using either Firefox's "Simplify Page" feature or its "Readability" feature. This removes almost all the noise: No ads, no menus, etc. It's just the article and relevant images. Similar to reading a physical newspaper.
It's been a game changer. I can now read wherever I want. Going to the mechanic? I just take some of these printed articles with me. I find myself taking notes on the paper - something I would not do well on the computer screen. My eyes get a lot less strain. Once you get used to this, there's no going back. Now when I see an article through a web browser, it's just ugly. Too many distractions. Even the menus are annoying. I didn't realize I'd been putting up with filth for so long.
I initially worried that my inbox would get full and I'd have the same mental angst, and my plan was that if it happens, I'll take a random bunch and throw it in the recycle bin. But it never came to that - I still manage to read everything I print. Somehow, the physical inbox weighs less on my mind than the virtual one. I don't feel I need to deal with this inbox. It's OK if it just sits there collecting dust.
Bad for the environment. Good for the brain.
Also, the amusing thing is kids were part of the reason I started doing this. I detest reading on the phone, and I cannot be glued to my desktop because I have to watch the kids/babies and they love turning off my PC. Printing them out lets me read them while monitoring them and being away from the PC.
I ask because I also started taking notes, primarily because I want to write about some of the things I come across. I write an investment newsletter (https://playingfordoubles.substack.com)
I probably need to get myself some type of filing cabinet to keep track of articles I'd like to revisit in the future.
Not a good one. I used to just use org modes' capture templates, but it wouldn't be organized, and it became a write only system. I recently switched to org-roam. Still, it takes work to organize so I don't really take many notes.
To be clear, when I said I take notes while reading, over 90% are "transient" notes - just something relevant for that reading and not intended for long term storage. So they're lost once I discard the article.
I've learned a ton of things that way. I'm not proud for the environment, but the physical aspect did have its importance.
Get some composting worms. They like cellulose
I wish they had physical distribution so that I can go try it out...doesn't seem like they do. But they do have a 30 day return trial.
I do this too and find it very enjoyable and easier to handle. I learned this from my grandfather. He was a civil engineer and one of the first people in the neighborhood to get a computer and internet at home. He had a good balance of traditional and modern.
I think i have printed probably about 30 so far, 2 pages per sheet + double sided so 4 on a page
Downside is you invest a small amount of time syncing between the two sources, and there might be additional cost associated.
Upside is you gain more cumulative reading time, and it keeps things interesting by adding variability and a new dimension to the experience.
Was pleasantly surprised to discover the depths of some children’s books though. Can heartily recommend anything by Tove Jansson f.ex
When I am driving in the car, cutting the lawn, walking for exercise..I am "reading". I make time to walk 50 min a day without exception and you just rip through books if reading 50 min everyday.
It made big difference for me in exactly that situation.
It's like a casual fan watching MMA vs someone who practices martial arts. You attend not only to WHAT is done but HOW it is done, and what it means to be able to do it. You move beyond merely witnessing and start analyzing, learning, and appreciating.
From the blurb on Amazon: "Shedding all polemic, Bloom addresses the solitary reader, who, he urges, should read for the purest of all reasons: to discover and augment the self. His ultimate faith in the restorative power of literature resonates on every page of this infinitely rewarding and important book.
BTW. I was surprised how sensitive this topic is at reddit.
They are calling anything and everything gatekeeping.
So even telling people how to retain more knowledge will get them to start screaming how you are putting pressure on people and killing the joy of reading. You get 10 downvotes instantly.
My problem with reading non-fiction books, esp while I worked in bookstore where I read book a day, is retaining knowledge. So I reinvented college syllabus like a dumbass I am.
Basically I went on to creating my own reading list of related books so I have this data cloud in my head that makes retaining what I read faster and better. I wasted months on this until I realised I am doing what universities are for in the first place and yep, after checking I found my reading list is bad version of collage syllabus that includes better books and way more current white-papers. And it is easier to shop around for better syllabus then spend months creating and reading books just to find something better later like how you skip patterns in programming while reading more and more workbook type programming books.
I can read everything except what I have to read for work or study. Otherwise I am immediately bored.
That's from R.A. Lafferty's "The Primary Education of the Camiroi" from 1966. I think I was turned on to Lafferty by this site and immediately loved his work. Still, I have "read" six books this week, and barely even remember which ones they were, let alone what they were about.
So, I become very discouraged and see reading as waste of time as very little will stick and this I'll "grow" very little from time invested. Poor ROI.
I still read but mostly for eprmeral enntertainmen
I generally try to do about one chapter a night, or ten pages an hour. And I admit it can be hard to get both steps done in the time allotted. Also, the resulting new card review load can be a pain in the ass -- a good cloze card will have three or four forms to review. If you're adding three or four cards per chapter you end up with a lot of new material to review that Anki frontloads by design.
tl;dr: Remembering stuff is hard. But possibly worth it.
I've never really understood the appeal of IR as defined elsewhere. My reading queue isn't just wikipedia dumps or some other 100 percent valuable source, often it's somewhat speculative. I really don't want to read 3 sections from random journal papers and then create cards; I need to once over a paper to even be sure the cards created are worth remembering.
Also, I bought a Kindle to read papers from more comfortable locations than a desk, with less direct light, and AFAIK, that is not directly compatible with the IR approaches that want to track reading progress. So I have no idea if these problems are solved, because I've never felt compelled to try.
In my experience, this task is still better when distributed over time. Time-distributed reading involves distributed judgement of quality.
What Incremental Reading would do for you, given enough sources and/or sufficient coverage of the subject matter, is effortlessly resurface highlights and cards whose usefulness was initially doubtful. Each resurfacing would be in a successively reshaped knowledge network that stands a better chance to help you understand its merits and role between other pieces of knowledge: between reviews, this network is forming and expanding in an initial stage, to then contract, solidify, and be pruned of noise.
When evaluating the usefulness of the card or piece of knowledge, without IR one may fall back to simply taking a snapshot of the network at t1 and t2 and judge on those premises. With IR you will have made the piece integral to the network the moment it is created, and will evolve as part of it. In the end, this piece may not be simply kept or discarded, but perhaps reassigned to complement a different source, or morphed into answering a different question. Whatever the result, it has better chance to serve your purposes (and even this capacity may be reassessed in the future).
I used to be able to "multitask" when I was in my early 20s and I got a lot of stuff done which resulted in my fast career progression and overall I noticed my knowledge about everything grew. The more I learned the easier it became to learn new things since pretty much everything is derived from something else, the concepts are quite similar. It doesn't take much to connect the dots.
But the "multitasking" had its peak and gradually became worse when I entered my 30s and now I'm 36 and I have to struggle to finish a book (or a course) and I hate myself for it. Whatever progress I make in one sitting that's more or less it. Every time I start reading a book, I immediately think about another book I could read. I have more kindle books, paper books and audiobooks than I will ever have time to finish and yet I can't stop myself from buying more.
It's a real struggle focusing on one thing and finishing it. I know some people prefer the freedom of doing multiple things at once but I think it's a trap and that freedom will eventually come at a price of attention disorder. The more things you do, the more things you want to do and with everything being immediately available these days, it's not that hard to get trapped in a vicious circle.
Perhaps my fault is that I used to read to complete an achievement and I did it for a very long time and somewhere along the way I forgot to read for pleasure; much like I listen to music or look at paintings.
I would push back on this point. You do not have to keep a flow of reading. If there is something that stands out to you, then it is noteworthy enough to pause and think about it for a bit. When I read books I am waiting for moments like this, as something the author wrote resonates with me. In my opinion, that's what makes reading fun and valuable. After you reflect on the line you can re-read to get back into the flow until you are pleasantly provoked by the next piece :).
Edit: I use https://www.onlineocr.net/ a lot when I later want the text
I liked the part of reading everyday - even just a page or two. I found through my own experience to be rewarding in time.
Another one I've learned is being open and immediately committed to reading suggestions for others, it's personally opened my perspective(s)
For some books I'll also use the margins or even bring along a pad of sticky notes. I tried actually taking notes while reading, but it ended up requiring too much setup for me to engage with as often as I'd like.
Actually, on point, in the middle of reading something I often loss interest and just closed it, unless it is something very interesting to me. Thus, of course I missed out on more information I could have extract from it.
Lets see if I can apply these methods toward my next reading list...
Which, BTW, is not the same as listening to an audio book. I like Audiobooks for fiction and entertainment, but listening to an Audiobook is NOT the same as reading, which this author touches on even they don't make the explicit connection.