About 3 years ago, I decided to make it a requirement to read books and also make it mandatory to finish reading those books. I got interested in books even before that. I remember thinking when traveling, it will be a good idea to try to read a book. However, there were only a few books that I managed to finish reading. After reading somewhere that Dumbledore from Harry Potter was based on Merlin, I picked up the book That Hideous Strength to read. Even though Merlin was only briefly included in the 3 part book, it was one of the books that I managed to finish reading fully. However, I have been reading more often now. I keep a list of books on the GoodReads and try to check off from my reading list every chance I get. I buy most of the books from Amazon when I feel like it. And this has made it so that I have books in hand to read when I am finished with one.
My reading list is a split between software engineering books, philosophy, and few fictional books. There are of course books in software engineering that are inspiring, books in fictional that I can’t put down once I start reading. However, I find the most joy in reading philosophical books even though they are only a few in my collection.
I’ve tried reading books via kindle, and iPads. I’ve even tried audiobooks. However, I always fall back to having physical books. I find myself losing concentration when listening to audiobooks. I find the eBook readers good for taking notes and searching for stuff. However, I seem to keep forgetting what books I have on there and what I’ve read already. It doesn’t give me the same amount of joy to see that I’ve read or listened to those books. I certainly need to come up with a strategy to refer back to the content in a book. I tried a couple of times to highlight sections of a book that I found helpful, but haven’t been able to carry on the habit. Or doesn’t feel sustainable.
I however revert back to my iPad mini when I want to read a book that’s probably not worth having a physical copy. Just because, I am finding it difficult to store the books I own now. I also find it easier to read on iPad while travelling and with limited lights. Also, it easier to carry around than physical books.
Reading books is one of the best decisions I’ve made in life. It has allowed me to develop new habits, helped me with living a life with meaning or at least find meaning. I have been using books as my main source of information about the world and how to live. I have generated the tendency to only half trust what I hear from people I socialize with. Unless it confirms what I read in a book somewhere.
I noticed more and more that people who are successful in life or are famous in their field, all have reading books as one thing in common. Of course, I am not the first one to notice this. I find it really useful when an interviewer asks the interviewee to list books that they recommend.