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  Tips for reading (more) books...

[10 November 2020] I watched a WheezyWaiter video where he talks about ways he reads more. It was quite a long video, including other non-book-related-things so I list here his points, and then follow it with my own views.

11.48 - 27:12
#1 identify why you want to read more
#2 read everywhere all the time
#3 don't be afraid to quit a book
#4 read multiple books at a time
#5 make your bookshelf a living thing
#6 have some easy books around

[#7 watch less youtube]
[#8 make time for reading]


I find that focusing attention simply on "reading more" to be a problem. Some people read masses of books in a year, far more than I have, and seem to thoroughly enjoy it, but I find it too passive. It likely works well for novels, like films, where you just move onto another story, but for non-fiction where I hope to learn something, not so good. It is nice to get lost in a book, but then to simply move onto the next leads me to forget what it was I just read about. This is partly why I find myself returning to books I read some years ago; time has passed and it's almost like I never read it the first time. Also, with my different mindset to what it was the first time around, I find new perspectives and things that intrigue me. I like to give myself time and the opportunity to delve deeper into those things, something that I fail to do if I simply move onto the next book.


Reading everywhere all the time is all well and good (perhaps, especially if it's a gripping story you can't put down) but it's those longer periods of reading where I think you really get to absorb yourself in a book or topic. There are already those things that limit our ability to focus and distract us, books, I think, can help us combat this.


I recognise and share WheezyWaiter's point about quitting a book; only a few times have I done this, but I am now a little more prepared to do so if I really think I'm not getting into a book and on that I determine I feel I don't need to read right now.


Reading multiple books is made possible and practical I think when the books are of a different type (such as a hard one and an easy one), as per my examples above. There is the hard slog of Einstein's Universe, all about technical things like physics and mathematics, then there is the (hopefully) absorbing novel, the ones that I intend to dip into each day to get them read, and even the project of "Brian reads..." It's kind of like watching a film (which ideally you'd watch in a single sitting), vs the TV shows you tune into on different days of the week, and the time you might spend on Youtube watching random stuff. There is also the present book on my ebook reader which I keep forgetting about.


Making your bookshelf a living thing is a strange concept but I have a couple of different "book areas" in my home. I have the books that I've read which line two sides of my bedroom floor, and then I have the stack of books that I intend to read. It's easy for the latter to become stagnant with books I thought I wanted to read (when I ordered/acquired them) but then I read others first, depending on what takes my fancy when it comes to choosing another book to read. There is also my ebook reader and a folder on my computer of books to read, which again can become cluttered with stuff I'm no longer interested in or forget I ever was).


Avoiding distracting things (like Youtube) is my input to the whole topic of reading more. I find I have to train myself to switch off from computer stuff and instead sit quietly with a book for a length of time, typically an hour or however long it takes me to get through a chapter of something. Anything distracting, like trying to read whilst in the same room as my computer, or having a phone on, will prevent book immersion.


Through all of the above, without setting a time for, or a point in the day when you actually sit down and read (or do anything in particular that you want to get done) will lead to failure in my opinion. I typically set the morning for my Encyclopedia reading, whilst I drink my morning cup of tea. In the winter I like to switch off from my computer in the evening and instead sit in my lounge with a fire going and read right up until bed time. Lately I've been sleeping in my tent most nights, and some of those I take my Lewis Carroll book in with me and read a couple of chapters of that by torch-light.

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