When I was in high school, I had periods of very intensive reading. On some days, I would rent a book from the library in the morning, read it until the evening and rent another one the next morning. I even kept a journal (too bad I don’t have it anymore) that spread across several pages of the books I’ve read.
Besides the required books we had for school, I was reading a lot of science fiction and fantasy and in just a couple of months, I had accumulated tens of books read including most of the works by Jules Verne.
However at some point, that all stopped. Not that I didn’t want to read but somehow I’ve ended up in a situation where only a few of the new boos I’ll read were interesting to me. Years have passed and other than the tons of technical programming-related books I’ve read I never went back to reading in a regular fashion.
About 6 months ago, among many changes I made to my life, I had the will to start reading again. I was optimizing how I spend and separate my time, how to make a balance between family, work and my YouTube channel and while listening to an episode of the Making It podcast, there was a recommendation for a book that caught my attention.
“Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” by Brian Tracy was recommended by David Picciuto and I instantly got it. It was now a matter of finding the time when to read, and how to make it a habit.
The version I’ve got is electronic, so I went looking into different applications, and after a few, I’ve settled onto “Moon+ Reader”. What I truly love about the app is how it handles screen brightness.
I read for about half-hour each day when I put my kids to bed. After their storytime, we turn off all lights and I have the app way low in the brightness setting so it does not hurt my eyes. Additionally, since everything is dark and the screen is almost dark, it also helps me to get sleepy and fall asleep faster.
In this whole process, what really fascinated me and inspired me to write this blog post is the fact that since I’ve started this habit of reading, I’ve been accumulating books in my reading list from almost every book that I’ve read. By the time the list is reduced by a single book, I’ve already added a couple new.
One of the best books with a ton of referrals for other books is “Tools of Titans” by Timothy Ferriss. The book is a summary of a lot of interviews he has done for his podcast, where a lot of them also recommended other books for reading. With this book alone, I’ve expanded my reading list by at least 20 other books.
Here are some of the books that I’ve read and I highly recommend:
- “The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau
- “Made to Stick” by Chip Heath
- “The Achievement Habit” by Bernard Roth
- “The life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo
- “Deep Work” by Cal Newport
- “The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday
- “Getting Real” by 37signals
- “Atomic Habits” by James Clear
On the path of self-improvement, it is important that you schedule a time for the things that you love doing. Do not just say that you will do it but instead schedule a time when you will do it. That is the only way you can truly stick to a habit.