Every year I set myself a reading challenge on Goodreads.
Goodreads is a kind of a book cataloging network, with discussion groups, lists, reviews and book recommendations. I like using it because of the bookclubs and the integration with my e-reader (Kindle).
I’ve been doing the Reading Challenge since 2012 and I broke my record in 2018 reading 52 books in total: an average of about 1 book per week. 🤘🎉
I can say that I read more because I decided to cut back time on other activities, like browsing social media. I realized that I was swapping reading time with mindless scrolling and that made me take a step back and evaluate how social media was affecting my habits.
That led me to uninstall all social media apps from my phone, delete accounts and use my “idle” time to read on my Kindle. During my bus commute, instead of checking Twitter on my phone I would take my Kindle. Instead of sitting down at home after work and check my phone I would open my Kindle. I decided to ignore the urge to be online receiving updates all the time. I wanted to retrain my brain to be able to deep focus. And reading requires focused attention.
The cool thing about the Goodreads Reading Challenge is that by the end of the year we get a report with some stats and the complete list of the books read. It’s nice to look back and remember all the books I experienced!
Here goes a list of my favorite books in 2018:
- You Are Not A Gadget by Jaron Lanier: this book made me seriously start thinking about the “attention economy”.
- Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier: and this one convinced me that social media is affecting my attention and my quality of life.
- Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry: I discovered the Kanban scheduling method and understood how it could be applied to my personal productivity system. I implemented everything I learned after reading this book.
- Autonomous by Annalee Newitz: A fresh sci-fi that made me realized how much I love disrupting futures and AI’s stories.
- Fast Tract Digestion Heartburn by Norman Robillard: This one helped me understand my stomach/gut health and made me change the way I eat. And it worked!
- All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells: Another great sci-fi that surprised me and made me want to continue reading the series.
For 2019 my challenge will be to read 52 books!