How I Restored My Book Reading Habit

Honestly, I was ashamed talking about the number of books I had read in recent years: it was about 1–2 books a year. I’ve always liked reading, but there are many more engaging sources of information, so I completely lost the habit.

Fortunately, it’s possible to regain the habit, in simple three steps (it’s sarcasm).

1. Reading from the Phone

It’s easy to imagine an idealistic picture, where I’m seated in a chair, drinking hot cocoa, and reading a paper book under the light of the evening lamp. But the truth is, I’m more likely to prefer writing some code or watching another YouTube video about Roman Empire.

I dedicated all my phone screen time to books. There are three main situations when I stick to my phone:

It’s an easy 20-30 minutes per day that can be converted to 15-20 books per year at my current pace.

2. Create a Backlog of Books

It’s a fun fact, but in books, you can find references to other books. It’s like jumping between the links on Wikipedia, but more extended in time.

With a backlog, I always have the next book to read. If the book I started seems to be boring and jeopardizes the habit, I just stop reading it and move to the next one.

3. Revisit What I Read

In the past, I highlighted some sentences but never came back to them.

With my other interest in note-taking techniques, I found a piece of advice that seems to work for me. Now, I highlight the sentences that surprised me, then return to them a week after I finish the book, and check if they are still surprising. Then I add such sentences to my Obsidian vault and that’s it. It’s not very time-consuming, and probably not much effective, but it’s better than nothing.