I had planned to complete 12 books in the year 2020 and completed exactly the same. All thanks to lockdowns and the work from home situation last year, I had enough space to do so without fail.
I recently came across the 52 Book Club which encourages people to read a book a week and hence 52 books in a year. Initially, I was intrigued by the idea but later I decided to not go down this route and rather focus on quality and not quantity.
I mostly read nonfiction, with some biographies or classics here and there but it’s mostly to gain understanding or a new perspective.
Nonfiction books generally contain a central idea with other sub-ideas justified through examples and strategies to act upon. It’s loaded with a lot to think, brainstorm and implement. Reading passively is easy.
Highlighting could be the next logical advancement, but thinking and writing ideas while your read is amazing. Summarising the key ideas and applying the key principles in the real world is the final nail in the coffin to properly leverage benefits from a well-written book.
It takes time, effort and conviction to make the best use of what you read.
Reading 12 books, roughly 1 book a month, gives one enough space to not only read and think, but also to act upon the ideas and experiment with those in the real world. Maybe even look at some supplementary material regarding the ideas to have a complete understanding.
It’s all about going deep.
While I was reading Steve Jobs’ biography, I used to watch old videos of Steve Jobs to get a better perspective of his personality and also read about the life stories of people important in his journey, just out of curiosity. I was able to reflect and think about his thought process and maybe even imbibe that in some capacity. All of that was possible because I allowed ideas to seep in slowly and not rush to the next book.
Tasting 52 books is fine but narrowing down to 12 books a year that you read with full intensity and sincerity would help you reap tremendous benefits.
Reading a book can potentially and should change your perception and your mental models about the world. It changes you as a person and so going through the motions and not really absorbing the ideas is a sheer waste of time.
It doesn't matter how many books you read but how they changed you.
I’m all in for exploring different genres and being able to do things fast and better. We grossly underestimate our potential and so we can surely read 52 books, and still absorb the material but the question is until we are at that stage, we should lower our expectations and focus on the few and do them properly.
Have lots of inputs and a strong filter!
I have a habit of taking highlights from books using a kindle which I compile to re-read the most important lessons from.
If you don't have time to read the books I read but would still want to get insights from them, I would suggest checking out the book highlights.
I write articles related to personal development, AI & Data Science, and whatever I think is worth sharing :)
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