I’ve been there. We have more books that what we like to admit and we have more games in Steam than what we’d like to admit. I was hoarding content for three more lives as if I was to get them.
This small rant is my own way of admitting that time is limited. Acknowledging that time is limited, anyway, has some implications.
Choosing your next read is a very rewarding task. You get the dopamine shot of imagining yourself when you already know the topic of the book. It feels great. Anyway when the time comes and you need to actually invest the effort in doing the read… well then that makes the thing harder. Reading is a high reward high effort activity in contrast to shopping books which is a low effort, low reward activity.
At the end of the day we try to spend a lot of time in choosing a new read since we are going to spend a lot of time reading so it may be worth the effort, isn’t it?
Well… it is and it is not. I spend too much time in small bursts of choosing a next read instead of actually reading. I could just concentrate that effort in a single moment making my decission more conscious and removing the background noise of all the other potential choices I could have taken.
Hoard and just choose when you have to
I am applying the same principles I do with software decissions. I delegate the decission to choose my future reading when to the moment I have to. This has the same advantages than with software. The best moment to decide what to read is when you have to. Your interests may have changed by that time or you have more pressing endeavours to pursue that make another read more appropriate.
You should either read stuff you can apply in your daily life or change your daily life so you can apply stuff you read.
Invest the energy in making reading cheaper
I am, lately, making reading accessible at all times. I store just a list of potential reads. Something dirty in an obsidian note. I add and remove things there with no thinking upfront. I just embellish the list when I am actively working on it finding my next thing.
Also I am starting to favour audiobooks that I can listen to while cooking or jogging. Something I can have at all times for short bursts of time.
Listening to this Ali Abdaal podcast has inspired me to start increasing slowly the speed which audio is played. I am not a native english speaker so I started slow but I am increasing with time and it looks like there is something deep there. It makes sense anyway. Listening requires less brain cycles than talking.
Leave reads unfinished
This is a classical advice I won’t elaborate here but I just will repeat it instead. Leave books unfinished if you are getting nothing from them. Do not suffer for nothing. Use your time wisely.