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How much do you read and how do you plan your reading?

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  • How much do you read and how do you plan your reading?

    Do you have a reading project with each book being as a next action? I have composed a couple of reading lists that I keep in my project list. Those two lists are essentially fiction and non-fiction. I have about 30 books in each list. Now, I do not usually plan how long it is going for me to read each book on the list. I usually just take my time and enjoy the act of reading. (I no longer try to speed-read; I find the "mind like water" feeling present when I read something to just enjoy the act).

    How do you manage your reading? Do you have a list? (I adjust mine when something comes up that I want to read and rearrange the list; many books on my list are in order of priority I must admit. The ones at the end are more someday/maybe whereas the first 5-10 are a must).

  • #2
    I have a project call ReaD for pleasure. The books are next actions, that ususally are in anywere. When I finish a book I simply change my next action...


    • #3
      Thanks for sharing.

      I forgot to mention that I also use SmartList2Go on my Palm, and every time I finish a book I make an entry in my Books I Read List and make some comments and grade the book. That way I have a record. I know some people simply register at and post their reviews of books (and CDs and videos for that matter) on that site. You can also review your history that way. I use Amazon to store my WANTED list -- any CD/DVD/book I see on Amazon and think I would be interested in having I just enter into my Wanted list.


      • #4
        Anything that I want to read sometime, but not right now, goes on my Someday/Maybe list. I have a list there just for books.

        Once I identify that I'm ready to start reading it I set a Next Action to get the book (through whatever means is appropriate). Then I have a next action for the next thing to push me into the project. For most books I will have a NA like "Read Chapter 4 in XXXXXXXXX". For some of the books that I am a little more resistant on, yet I need to read for business reasons, the I will add a next action of "Read page 112 in XXXXXXXXX". I do OK once I get started. Once I put the book down I set a new place holder on my mext actions list.


        • #5
          Hi Alsa - I had that same question a couple of months ago and some great ideas from folks on this forum - although this new thread I'm sure will also generate some good new discussion. This should take you to the older thread.;highlight=


          • #6
            I think that reading has to be a big thumping solid project – like going to the gym. Reading has the peculiar status of being very easy to do – therefore not very macho or “sleeves-rolled-up-and-getting-stuck-in” …and therefore somehow lacks status as a worthy task; yet on the other hand books are regarded as doors to wisdom and other peoples’ thoughts.

            I plan my day around things I have to do, yet still entertain the illusion that I will “squeeze some reading in” during the day. Needless to say, this never happens, and I actually don’t think I have read a book so far this year.

            If I try to set aside quality time for reading, the scales always tip in favour of some physical task. I don’t know if it's guilt, or the accumulated opinions of all the Philistines (oops, sorry) I have met over the years, but whatever the case, the books ain’t getting read.

            I do feel that “self management” and “productivity” produce a bias towards activity: they produce a culture where action is favoured over sitting still (and reading). I think reading has therefore become marginalised, albeit accidentally.

            Personally, I wish I could approach reading like a student. The best reading of classical literature I have done was while doing an Arts Degree course several years ago: it was close, intensive, underlining/note-taking reading, but I will never forget those books.

            Brian Tracy says somewhere that, even as knowledge workers, we should mind our bodies with the care that athletes mind theirs: I’m sure there must be an “athletic” way of reading too - not with speed as its objective, but with the aim of absorbing solid chucks at a steady powerful pace in set periods of quality time.

            Set it up so that you are not interrupted – if those around you don’t respect your reading time, then go to a park or coffee shop. You can’t let reading be something you do “until something else shows up” – because if you do, then any idle chatterer will ruin your session … and feel that it’s ok to do so.

            I’m writing this post as much for my own benefit as yours – trying to workout some way of getting moving again on the reading front.



            • #7
              I have a next action that recurs weekly, "read a book". Pleasure is implied.

              Reading magazines, catalogs, etc isn't a project and doesn't have a next action. I do keep a "to read" pile in a zipper folder (one of Levenger's travelling inbox), and they get grabbed when there's a free minute.

              I do have a next action to finish working my way through Your Best Year Yet, but that's because the issue is really working my way through the exercises, not just reading the book.

              I would rather read than do most other things, so while this works for me, I wouldn't make it a universal recommendation.


              • #8
                Reading styles can be very different

                For me reading has never been a problem in the sense that I would read a too little amount. On the contrary, I enjoy reading so much that I even might forget whatever I am doing if I find something more interesting to read.

                I don't know whether to recommend this "style" but if you want to get into it the "instruction" would be as follows:
                • Read what interests you really, not what you think is "good" for you
                  Read every day with fascination
                  Read and forget the clock

                So I really don't know whether this style is recommendable at all...but it's fun


                • #9
                  I only assign NAs for work-related reading. I don't list them as separate projects because, for me, they tend to fall within other projects. I do have "Books to Read" and "Books I've Read" lists in Memo (I use a Palm) for recreational reading, but I really don't adhere to them that much. If there's something else in front of me that looks interesting the list goes out the window.