My Bad Habit

short outline of my reading History and habits.

It’s weird for me to blog about optimization tips, because I’m a total mess with my time. But the reason for this blog arose partly after reading Malcolm Ocean’s post on the subject. 

I started reading books after I graduated from high school. In high school I had a horrible philosophy ‘Only hard facts matter, so anything outside of textbooks is a waste of time!’. And all that time my landscape of interests was pretty narrow. I started reading in 2016. I like to keep track of things (most of the time). So I have the record of all the books that I have read on my blog and Goodreads account, and my reading increased over time:

2016: 23 books (7,199 pages)

2017: 76 books (15,557 pages)

2018: 70 books (18,376 pages)

2019: 36 books (11,862 pages) so far

Major part of the increase is my consumption of audiobooks. I listen during commute (2-3 hours a day) and during work. But I can’t listen to philosophy and science books (there’re some exceptions). 

The other part of the increase rests on not being bogged down on a particular book. Most people advice (correctly) that you don’t have to finish a bad or boring book—it’s not worth your time, just start a new one. This advice would work for psychologically normal people, but some of us can’t follow this advice. I threw out a book after reading two chapters couple of years ago and it still haunts me to this day. I’d rather waste couple of hours to finish a bad book than to throw it away and have a horrible feeling in the back of my mind.

So what to do to increase your consumption, if you can’t give up on the book? If a book is slow going and boring, you get bogged down. 

The best way to overcome this problem is to start multiple books at the same time and read across them. If you read a chapter and don’t find it interesting move on to another book. You may come back to it after a while and give it another try. Over time your interests may change and you may end up liking the book. If not, then it’s gonna be a side-book (you can finish it by reading a chapter at a time over a long time without putting much effort into it).



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