Reading Tips

Amjad Masad (@amasad)

The advice from @patrickc on reading (from @farnamstreet podcast) has had a profound effect on my reading volume, comprehension, and generally, I'm enjoying reading a lot more than I used to. Here are some tips:
I used to feel guilty if I don't feel like finishing a book that I started. That had a negative effect on my reading volume and enjoyability. But the insight that the intersection of books you enjoy and books worth reading is huge makes it easy to discard books for better ones.
Reading as an active process: this makes it easy to extract a lot of value from books without the sunk cost of having to sit through the boring parts. It's also a lot more fun and interesting experience.
Relatedly, taking notes in the margin, while useful for going back and finding the interesting parts, I found it instrumental for better comprehension. When you're actively hunting the interesting parts, and writing something down, it really cements it in your head.
Taking notes and the following insight about having books all over your place that you can serendipitously pick up, made me switch most of my reading away from the kindle to physical books. I use pens instead of book markers so that I don't have an excuse not to do active reading
Finally, reading anytime and anywhere. While I did a version of this before, I just took it to the extreme and occupied most of the lost time in commutes or while waiting for something with reading (which was typically occupied by idle scrolling on social media).
My recent Radical Markets review was made easy by a lot of the advice here. It was easier to get through the book, much more enjoyable, and rewarding to go back and read my notes to write the twitter review
Lots more interesting stuff in the podcast:…