Books Read in 2017
2017 - A Year in Reading.
Total Books Read = 56
Total Pages = 16982 | Average pages per book = 326 pages | Longest Book = 976 pages - Team of rivals
Books read per month = 4.6 books
Average Amazon Bestseller Ranking = 85,790
Fiction Vs Non-Fiction
Fiction - 6 | Non-Fiction - 50
Genres of Books
(Gender of the author never crosses my mind while reading a book, but seeing the data above has made me think.. is there a unconscious bias or something, I don't really know.)
Most Read Authors
I use Google Sheets to keep track of books I read and do some slicing and dicing of data.
How Do I Read?
I set an ambitious goal of reading 100 books a year and I’m happy that I was able to finish 60 and this is how I managed,
It actually starts with finding time to read, most of us have the intent to read books but what lacks is the discipline to find time and make it as a regular habit - that is all, it is simple.
I started manufacturing time.
I started tracking every minute of the day to find how did I actually spend time.
Using apps like Moment(iOS) and Rescue time for Mac I was able to pin point the exact number of minutes I spend on these devices and find out where do I spend them - the websites, applications, emails etc. The numbers were huge and disturbing.
And this is what I did,
Uninstalled all social media apps from the smart phone. My screen time on the phone reduced from 2 hours to 20 minutes.
The default state on my Mac is - Turn off notifications at all times.
Used Freedom(Mac app) to block apps, websites and even the entire internet from,
Morning 5 AM - 8 AM. I spend 30 mins in the morning dedicated to reading.
Evening 10:15 PM - rest of the night. I spend at least an hour reading at night before sleep.
What else did I do?
I was always reading, everywhere and when ever I got time. I have books in my bag, tablet and audio books on the phone. Audio books are great when you have a long commute to make every day to work. Most of the audio books are around 8 hours which you can finish off in a week.
I was reading multiple books. Reading requires a mental state, I can’t read a book on statistics or science when I return from a tough day at work, In such cases I can always resort to fantasy or biography. Reading multiple books on different genre and subjects will help break the monotony.
Tracking my reading progress(on the google sheet) inherently motivated me to keep an eye on the score card of finished books and the time left to finish the goal.
Read fast and read deep. How is that even possible?
The lost art of note taking.
3 months down the line I figured out that the level of retention from the books I’ve read was alarmingly less, I was not able to tell what the book is all about concisely in a sentence or two.
Then I started taking notes. Taking notes indirectly helps you to engage and have a conversation with the author.
Immediately after completing a book, I spend around 15 mins going through the notes to recollect the important facts and things I loved.
After a week, I’ll revisit these notes, export it as PDF and publish it as book notes. Find book notes here, here and here.
My Top 7 Picks this Year.
- Thinking, Fast and Slow
- Team of Rivals - The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
- The Big Short – Inside the Doomsday Machine
- The Shoe Dog - A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
- How to read a book
- Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure
- The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley are Changing the World