How I Read

I got much more into reading in the last few years. Having barely read a book since finishing high school this was a hard habit to rekindle, but very glad I did.

In the morning I read something heavy while having a coffee. This book lives on the kitchen table, and I keep a notepad and a pen/pencil there. I usually read these cover to cover, but spend a bit of time with the table of contents before starting and decide on things to skip to or over. Getting better at marginalia, but I still have a deep-seated reluctance to write too much in the books. The notes are a vague summary of important points, also list of good pages/chapters and sometimes quotes. I try to read for 30 mins at least very soon after waking up.

After this and a bit of work I walk the dog, and usually listen to either biographies, pop-science, or sometimes science-fiction. I tried Audible for a few books, but tended to zone out too often. So I now get ebooks (epub or pdf) and use Google Voice on some Android app to read them. That sweet, tinny, robotic voice at high speed is just unnatural enough to keep my attention. And it comes with the hilarious occasional mispronuniciation, or reading punctuation out load. Dot dot dot.

One annoyance is page headers/footers, or badly OCRd books from Gutenberg. Having the same content read out every page gets a bit annoying, but not enough for me to edit the book and find/replace the content. If I find an easy way to do that (especially from phone) I would love to start though.

These books I usually highlight parts I like, but don't often take notes because writing on a phone is annoying enough when not also walking the dog. Audible's easy 'add highlight' button was quite good in this regard, but I like being able to review the notes as text rather than audio. And now too happy with this setup to try Amazon's Audible/Kindle combo so I guess will stick with it for now.

After that it's mostly just screens and browsers for the day. I would still like a good PDF reader (both application and physical device) but haven't found anything I particularly enjoy reading on yet. Kindle is a bit small, most tablets are a bit awkwardly sized. Laptop works ok but less so for reading on floor or couch.

I keep a fiction book by the bed that I read before going to sleep. Something easier to read that doesn't need notes. Base goal here is at least 1 page. Ideal is 20 or more, but I usually go to bed tired and fall asleep fast.

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