How I Read

Read what you love until you love to read. - Naval Ravikant

I try to take time for reading on a daily base. I don’t restrict myself to certain topics, rather the topics find their way to me. I think reading itself is essential, not so much what you read.

Jura, Switzerland (2021)
Jura, Switzerland (2021)

Sourcing books

Usually, I get recommendations through Podcasts or other books I am reading. Those are recommendations by authors which I have liked to hear or read about before. I add them to my wishlist or even download them to my Kindle right away if it seems promising. If I am not 100% sure, I’d check out reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. Sometimes I would read the summary on Shortform - The World’s Best Book Summaries first to decide if I dig deep into the real book.

What is your favourite book and why? If there is any recommendation, I’d be happy to hear about it!

Selecting what to read

I typically read a few books in parallel. I just don’t like to stick to a topic for too long. Also sometimes I feel like the topics need to settle a bit before I add more on top.

So what is the next book I read? I try to choose based on certain criteria, but usually, the answer is based on mood and not so much on statistical insights.

  • A novel. I like big books or even a whole series to build up a story slowly. Examples: Harry Potter, or the Robert Langdon Series by Dan Brown.
  • A non-work-related non-fiction book. Examples: Sapiens by Yuval Harari, Factfulness by Hans Rolling, Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman.
  • Work-related books. Usually a few in parallel. Examples: No Rules, Essentialism, Deep Work or The Mom Test.

Reading books

I read on Kindle, 100%. I highlight interesting parts of a book, which is much easier than taking notes in parallel. I use Readwise to sync my Kindle highlights into Notion. This way I can always look up things later if I want to come back to them.

I try to remind myself I don’t need to read a whole book. Especially in non-fiction books, I am still learning to skip through pages or chapters if they don’t give me enough insights, sometimes I’d rather scan through pages.

Understanding

Not all the ideas stick obviously. Some of the ideas I read about come to the surface much later. Some of the books I learn from are a lot deeper than I have first anticipated, but over time I implement more and more of those insights. One of my favourite books in this aspect is Essentialism.

For really good books I try to summarize the most important bits I have taken away, as this clarifies a lot for me and I structure all the information for myself again.

Actually telling other people about the books I have read shows best what I have really understood or not, or where I have still questions I can not answer. When trying to structure all the information for me and put that into a quick list of learnings, the idea of writing book reviews wasn’t far away and is now part of this website.




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