For the majority of my life, I’ve always hated reading books. In school, you had to read. Parents have usually urged you to read. Homework mostly consisted of reading. I’ve always felt that more than 90 percent of the things that I’ve read were boring and didn’t intrigue me. Hence reading was associated with hatred.
At around the age of 17/18, my English wasn’t good. I was highly motivated to get better at it though. So I started reading simple English books and worked my way up from B1 via B2 to C1. Every word that I didn’t know I looked up on my phone, made a screenshot and went through them daily. As I read more books and got the vocabulary in place, I moved up a level. After a year or so I started reading regular books.
Since I’m a software engineer, I’ve started with the typical software literature that everyone is recommending. I’ve been enjoying to read a lot more since I was in control what to read and just went with my interests. It was my free choice. With time I have read most of the software books and transitioned to autobiographies, science, lifestyle and other categories.
During the last 2 to 3 years I’ve read more and more. Lately, around 4–7 books per quarter. It’s no longer mundane. It’s refreshing. With practice, you’ll get faster, especially if reading in a language that isn’t your mother tongue. The only downside is that with every book that you’ve finished there’s a probability that the author is recommending 4 other books. Your list of books to read will increase exponentially. I don’t mind that though.
Keeping everything in your head
It’s tough to remember everything about a particular book. But that shouldn’t be the goal. What I’ve ended up doing is putting a blank piece of paper in every book. As I read and find something interesting that I want to remember I write it on that piece of paper. As you get to the end of the book, you have an excellent little summary. Those notes also help me to remember the parts in-between. Additionally, you can use that paper as your bookmark.
With Kindle or any similar e-Book, it’s easier. You can simply highlight anything and it will remember everything for you, including the page you were on.
To get you started with reading, I’ve started a recommendation series of books that I like. Every post features three books. I’ve tried to mix it up so that every book features a different category: