Books are silent by nature but speak directly to our imagination. This is why reading is so powerful and emotionally engaging.
My relationship with books is somewhat seasonal where months go by, and I read nothing. On the other hand, when the momentum strikes, I finish a few books within a month.
I read because:
- I enjoy it
- It's an escape from the real world
- It's my ME time (unlike watching a movie, I cannot read books with someone else)
- I learn something
For at least 5 years, Kindle has been my go device for reading. Its portable, light, long-lasting battery life, distraction free and easy on the eye.
In recent years, for some books, I prefer listening to the audio version while reading it on my Kindle. The audio narration can add a unique blend of flavour to the story. It is a surreal experience consuming books in this manner.
How I find books to read?
My process is relatively straightforward and somewhat bulletproof (until 2020, you will soon find out). The process includes collecting all those recommendations from people on their best reads for a particular year. For example, Barack Obama shared his best of 2020 here. From here, I review what the book is about and if it interests me, it is shortlisted.
This is the critical step, I must find the book interesting. Regardless of how well-received a book is, if you do not find it interesting, you will struggle through it or give up on it.
I read 16 Books in 2019
Before, I reveal my reading adventures in 2020, below is what I read in 2019:
I recommend, all the above. They are all excellent.
I read a total of 2 books in 2020
2020 has been a disastrous year PERIOD. However, I did not expect my reading would suffer as a result. On the contrary, I expected to read more.
So, what happened?
As it has become customary, for any non-satisfactory result, one must find avenues to somehow blame COVID-19. This certainly is not the case for me. Normally, I read at night (an hour or two before bed) so not having to commute to work wasn’t taking time away from my reading.
Based on my Sleep Cycle data, I have been sleeping earlier throughout 2020 and as a result, reading far less (or not all). This partly may be the reason. However, A Gentleman in Moscow was not engaging me, and I didn’t have the desire to continue reading it. After finishing Atomic Habits in February, I made almost no progress with A Gentleman in Mosco. This, however, was no fault of the book; because in December, when I resumed reading, I finished this book within a week. On the other hand, I have been reading many articles on Pocket on topics such as Black Lives Matter, COVID-19 and USA elections. Honestly, this has not been good for my mental health and is probably why I was sleeping early. I strongly believe and support the Black Lives Matter movement, but I will be reducing my consumption of COVID-19 and USA politics.
This is not the complete truth. 2020 was also a year when I spent a lot of time on Twitter, reddit and community forums. Today, when I reflect, I ought to have spent more time reading and less time on social media. We all are time poor, and I know that reading is a lot better use of my time than social media.