Daily lesson 4 – Your reading sucks

Winchester, UK – 5:15pm

How often do you stop and evaluate the quality of the books you’re reading? And most importantly, how do you know you’re getting value out of the books you’re reading?

These are questions I’ve been asking myself a few times lately. Especially considering I keep on stacking kindle books on kindle books, to just read bits and pieces of each and never finishing them.

So I decided to do something about it and as a guide, I signed up for Ryan Holiday’s Daily Stoic Read to lead challenge. Last year I completed the first Daily stoic challenge he launched and I found it really insightful and eye opening, so I wanted to give this one a chance too.

In Day 1 of this challenge, they have you think about and build a “commonplace book”. It’s a collection of quotes and interesting passages you find in books, articles and anything else you read. The purpose is to reflect while you read and in the future, too, with an easy to use system in place for collecting and looking back at your notes.

Here’s what my system looks like:

  • All my notes end up into an Evernote Notebook
  • For kindle books, I use clippinngs.io synced with my Amazon and Evernote accounts.
  • For online articles I add them to Pocket, then highlight what’s interesting and export the highlights on Evernote.
  • For physical books I just highlight them and once finished, parse through them again and copy the highlights into Evernote by hand.

I’m looking forward to developing better habits for assimilating and learning from all my reading and I feel this is a good first step.