Alex BespoyasovAuthor's photo

There's Always Time to Read Books—2

This is a remake of my old post about reading. That time, I almost didn't tell you exactly what I was doing to have time to read a lot. Correcting myself.

I took most of the techniques from a lecture by Ludwig Bystronowski Designer's Design. I encourage you to watch it, Ludwig explains there the reasons for his conclusions and how he came to them.

I'll just run through what techniques I use.

Several Books Simultaneously

I don't read one book at a time, I always have several books open. On my laptop I have books on programming, on my phone everything else.

On my phone I have two readers: iBooks and Litres. I use them simultaneously to read books of different genres in parallel. Right now, for example, I have Pelevin open on Litres and Kurpatov open on iBooks.

So I do not get tired of the same book.

Don't Read Boring Books

It's a cliché, but you don't have to read boring books. As soon as I realize that a book is uninteresting, I close it and put it aside for the future.

For me, there is a difference between a difficult book and a boring book. For example, I recently read “How to Understand Architecture”—it's full of terms that the authors think I should already know. I had to read it with an open google, because otherwise I wouldn't understand anything.

Or “Urbanism” by Glazychev, it was like a textbook for universities, written in academic language with sentences of 3 pages each. It was hard to wade through the language, but the benefits of the book outweighed.

These books are difficult but interesting because I want to know what's next in them. A boring book, on the other hand, doesn't grab me at all, and I'm not drawn to open it again.

Don't Count Pages

I used to set myself a daily minimum in pages. At some point I noticed that it turned into a daily maximum: I read 50 pages and closed the book with a sense of accomplishment.

Now I don't keep track of the number, I just read for pleasure.

Read on Breaks between Work Tasks

During breaks, if I feel that I am not too tired, I read.

There is, however, one peculiarity—I rarely read programming books during breaks. I need to switch from work to something else to have a better rest, so I read programming books in the evening or on weekends.

Read on Leisure

In a cafe, in the park, while commuting, before going to bed, after dinner, sometimes instead of breakfast, often instead of tweeting. The more interesting the book, the more opportunities I find to return to it.

Make Breaks in Reading

Reading all the time is difficult, so sometimes I take a break for a couple of days and don't read any books at all.

I realize it's time to take a break when I stop perceiving what's written.

For example, I have three books open. I start reading the first one, my eyes run along the lines, and the meaning slips away. I stop, open another one. If it's the same, I open a third. If I can't concentrate on the third, that's it - it's time to take a break.

Don't Read if Don't Feel Like Reading

There are times when the system fails, and even breaks in reading don't help me. I used to worry about this a long time ago, but now I take it easier.

If I feel like I can't concentrate on anything at all, I just forget about the books completely for a while. Usually the desire to read returns after a week or two, and then I start again.

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