How I read my books

A thread...
For the past 4 years, I have managed to read 40-45 books in a year.
After a lot of trial and error, I think I have arrived at a way of reading books that works for me.

It all starts with a routine.
1.
I read every morning, for 30-45 mins.
This is after 90 mins of waking up, once I am done with my meditation, my singing and my "sipping water like wine" routine (a story for another day)

I have read everyday for the longest time I know.
Almost at the same time everyday.
So today, it is a habit.
My brain dispenses the least amount of energy required, to read.
It has been trained how to.

It happens automatically, without much thought.
Like brushing one's teeth.
2.
I read all my books on my Kindle.
And I highlight obsessively, while reading.

While highlighting, I remove the context from the conclusion, so that later, I can apply the conclusion to any context as against being boxed by its original context.
For ex:
"What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan."
This sentence in Rework (link at end of thread) is in the context of a business idea.

With the context removed, it applies to virtually anything we do in life.
3.
While reading, I skim a lot.
I do not read every line, nor try and memorize every character (if reading an auto/biography)

Since I read only non-fiction, I can afford to do so. It also helps me speed up my reading.
I end up reading for 3.5-5hrs per week and that, along with skimming, is enough for me to finish most books in a week.

Some books take time and deserve that time as well, so I put no pressure on myself to complete a book.
4.
Which also means, I do not finish most books I start.

This was a big shift from before, when I used to feel guilty leaving a book unfinished.
Some 5 years back, I heard @naval and his approach towards books, so changed mine too.
A book has to earn your attention and interest
Not the other way around.
5.
Once done, I export the highlights of the book into a PDF.

And after 2-3 weeks, revisit the PDF.

By this time, I have forgotten most of what I had read, at least in my conscious memory.
So this PDF helps immensely in bringing back the concepts.
This is also the time, when I try and find patterns and connections with these concepts. Because (remember?), the context was removed from the highlights.

So now whatever is being read, is being read in isolation, in a pure form, with no bias, no attachment and no background.
I sit down, read a sentence and then "force" myself to imagine - where can I apply this in my life?

It is my favorite game to play.
Think for a moment how powerful this is, if done with discipline and regular frequency.

You begin to see different topics converge.
Books are powerful not because of the stories they narrate.
It is because how they help us see other stories in a different way.
6.
If I am left impressed with how powerful the book's concepts were or how excited I am to apply them to my life, I decide to buy the book in the paper format.

These paper books find space in our library and become re-reads.
I play with these re-read books, as we used to play book cricket.
I pick up a random book, open up a random page and just stand in front of the library for 5-10 mins reading the rest of the chapter.

No agenda, no expectation, no pressure.
Directionless reading.
Most of my aha moments in life have come from these book-cricket reading sessions.

I remember playing book-cricket with "Hard Things about Hard things" for 30 straight days in 2017, during a rough patch running nearbuy.

Every day the book spoke to me, like a mentor!
7.
I do not read multiple books at the same time. I know of a lot of people who do, but I haven't found it work for me.

I would much rather stop reading a book after 2 days, because I am not enjoying it, than pick up a book simultaneously as an excuse.
8.
While I read in any posture, the "concept application" process (Step 5) is done formally.
On a table, with a pen and paper.
It isn't recreation.
It is like work.
It is work.
9.
I do not listen to books. That is not for me.
The art of highlighting and then applying those to my life is sacred.
And audio books do not allow for that.
At least I havent found a way to do so.
10.
No topic is off limits for me. I love exploring. I love recommendations.
I follow very different people on twitter only for this purpose.

For the same reason, I avoid asking people in the same community. We seem to be reading the same books at the same time!
In summary:
1. I read everyday as a discipline, at the exact same time
2. I read on the Kindle and highlight obsessively
3. I skim a lot
4. I don't finish all the books I start
5. Export highlights into PDF and after 2-3 weeks, ask myself "where can I apply this in my life?"
6. Order physical copies of the best books. Open them to a random page and read for 5-10 mins
7. I do not read multiple books at the same time
8. Lie down while reading. Sit up straight while going through the highlights
9. No audio books
10. Read different topics
As a kid we could afford only Chacha Chaudhary, Billoo, Pinki and I used to LOVE them.

I used to look forward to summer vacations, because we could buy a comic from the station platform.

I stopped reading these comics.
But I couldn't stop reading.
Read what you love until you love to read
@naval
A thread on 20 books that shaped me up

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More from @warikoo

15 Oct
I was asked yesterday, "You talk about daily progress. How do we know that we are progressing daily? That is something hard to measure".

I have a simple yardstick for daily progress
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The world tricks us into believing that life's goal is comfort.

Because everything around us is designed for our comfort.
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Everything available at the speed of thought.
Getting to a life of comfort may be progress.
But living a life FOR comfort isn't.
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14 Oct
One of the best things we introduced at nearbuy.com was a form called "Why the fuck"

We encouraged everyone who saw something happening in the company that made them go, "why the fuck...?" to fill up this form.

A simple google form.
Anonymous.
We cared about the truth.
Not the source of the truth.
Once I received the question, I answered the question in all honesty and transparency.

And the answer was shared on the google sheet, with the entire company.

100% transparency.
Nothing to hide.
Never wasting a moment thinking what you told whom.
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9 Oct
Mistakes I made in my relationships

A thread...
I always sugar coated my feedback, even when I felt strongly that they had done something wrong.
I felt I would come across as rude.
I felt they will feel bad about themselves.

People who wish to grow always seek feedback.
Diluting the feedback is disrespectful to them.
I always wanted to know how I could help them.
I always wanted to know what was wrong.
But I never shared how they could help me.
Even when asked, I never shared what was wrong at my end.

People want the joy of being able to help you, just as much as you seek that joy from them.
Read 25 tweets
2 Oct
This right here, is almost all of consumer psychology summarized.
This picture is a real-life proof (take it for what it's worth) of the Prospect Theory - which was presented by Dan Kahneman and Amos Traversky in a seminal paper in 1979
bit.ly/2Gsq7i2

They (actually only Kahneman) went on win the Nobel prize in 2002.
A layman summary of the theory is
Pain from loss >> Pleasure from gain

It said
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Read 14 tweets
2 Oct
August 2016.
It has been 3 months since LinkedIn had launched its video feature.
And I had been waiting for it to be activated on my profile.

A thread...
I have been blogging since 2005.
Almost daily.
Started with my experiences as an MBA student at @ISBedu, then a consulting job.
Until then it was like a public diary.

But it took a very mature turn when I turned an entrepreneur in 2009.
I was experiencing so much, on a daily basis.
Making mistakes left, right and center.
Course correcting.
My biases were being challenged.

And I was learning so, so much!

The blog began to reflect that.
And people began to read it.
A lot more people than used to.
Read 19 tweets
25 Sep
Mistakes I made with my money.

A thread...
We grew up without any money.
Perpetually in debt. Hand to mouth existence.

Which is why I grew up hating money.
I thought it was the cause of all our problems.

And I never wanted money to rule over me.
What I didn't realize though that this desire to dismiss money, led me to disrespect it.

Because I had a knack of making money, I never really spent any effort in understanding how to maintain and grow it.

In the process making a lot of mistakes.
Read 20 tweets

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