In January 2019, my best friend (someone I spent a genuinely unhealthy amount of time with) moved out of Bangalore, and I suddenly had a lot more time than I knew what to do with.
Since January is for promises, I decided to dial up the focus on reading. I used to get through a healthy number back in college, but the habit had mostly dried up since I started working. I’d tell myself that this was due to a lack of time, my job was demanding, the usual nonsense. Then the founder and CTO of my company put up a post on social media about his top 10 books from the year, mentioning that he’d read about 25 in total, which put an end to my excuses. If he was able to make that kind of time, I could do it too.
So this year would be different. And it was. In 2019, I went kind of berserk and read more than I had in the previous ~5 years combined. It was intense enough that I actively chose to dial it down in 2020, which was still a great year for me reading-wise.
Along the way, I stumbled upon a bunch of habits that work for me, and a few that don’t. Some of these are likely to be useful for other folks too, and I do enjoy sharing them and stealing some from others. Reading habits are now among my favourite things to talk about and I think it makes sense to document some of the ones I like. I’ll have a link to share next time someone asks, and I’ll end up writing regularly, which is something I want to do anyway. Because, as you know, January is for promises.
I expect this to be a series of short posts, usually under 500 words. The quality will vary, but that’s okay, the objective is simply to churn them out. Refinement and proofreading can happen later.
Some topics I want to cover:
Fixed Windows: Finding time to read
Do audiobooks count? Do rereads count? Do comics count? Does the instruction manual that came with my Bluetooth speaker count? Spoiler alert: Yes
eBooks vs pBooks: Why gifting me books is such a bad idea these days
Scouting for New Reads: Listening to the universe, spreading your bets, and annual reading checklists
The Joy of Abandoning a Book
Audiobooks: Picking your narrators well, and taking all recommendations with a very generous pinch of salt
Reading Parties: Reading as a collaborative activity
Not all of these will turn into a separate piece, but it’s a basic skeleton for the series.
I think I’m close to 500 words already. Let’s see how this goes.
PS: I’m quite aware that an 11-part series of essays with “I” in the title is borderline narcissistic, but I really do think this stuff will be interesting (and I want to get everything out of my system). To balance things out, I’ll do a TLDR thread on Twitter sometime so you can skip the fluff if you’re in a hurry.