How I Read

7/365: Currently Reading

This post is a little different to my normal posts, but thought that I would share a very relevant on-going theme in my life and how I’m going about it: reading and writing. The motivation behind this was spurred by the shutting down of my beloved Google Reader which has served me faithfully for the last few years as my main portal of consuming information. I agonized over what could take its place and after reading this post on on How to Read on Farnam Street Blog (arguably my favourite go-to website), decided to improve how I am consuming and sharing my information and to use some tools more intentionally than I have in the past.

Traditionally, I’ve used my Google reader as my primary Inspectional Reading method, and as a way to keep up with news and thought leaders in specific industries. I still read on average a book per week (yes, sometimes I do slip up!) but haven’t been very good at going a step further in Syntopical Reading. Also, in either case, I haven’t been the best at keeping track of articles that I really enjoy, or dug deeper into them for more Analytical Reading. I’ve used half-heartedly to save these articles I like, but still – not good enough. Hence, in efforts to be better at tracking and sharing, I’ve divided my information consumption into the following three categories based on the How to Read post:

1) Inspectional Reading 

– I’ve migrated over to Feedly in replacement of my Google Reader and although am still getting used to the interface, I do like the design, and the process of migrating over has forced me to cut down about 20% of my RSS feeds so I can derive more focused content. I still have WAY too much feeds for my liking, so I need to cut down at least another 30% more.

– My twitter feed also serves as a way for me to keep up with news that I skim through on a frequent basis.

2) Analytical Reading

– I’m going to start using Pocket a lot more to filter through from my skimming of my Feedly and Twitter feeds to articles that really catch my eye. (It helps that I am a speed reader so can skim very quickly through large quantities of information) helps me capture key ideas that I can revisit and captures quotes that I really like for articles online.

Tumblr will do the same for for me as findings does, but for books that I read. I just to make sure that Readmill is pulling information consistently from my Kindle highlights.

– In terms of ‘saving’ articles that I like, I’m testing out Potluck, which so far is underwhelming, but what I like about it is that I can see what other friends are reading as well. I might return to if the platform doesn’t pick up, as I like delicious’ hashtag feature (makes sorting and searching so much easier)

3) Syntopical Reading

– I find that this type of reading is best done when I force myself to pen down my thoughts and hence, will be blogging more about my reading and cross referencing it with articles that I read. I’ve debated migrating over to Medium but haven’t reached that tipping point yet.

– I’m cutting back on my One Book per Week and instead, making sure that I read more deliberately and aim for a book per 2 – 3 weeks and intentionally what I’m reading on this website. I find that I’ve read so many books, but have missed out on the value that each of them provide as after a while, they all blur together. I’m making it a habit to reflect after each book and write down my thoughts on the book while it’s still fresh.

P/s: I’ve updated my What I’m Reading list, and am open to suggestions on how I am best tracking/sharing books that I want to read. 

4 thoughts on “How I Read

  1. Love the thoughts – I struggle with this, how to make sure what I read is actually captured somewhere both so I am forced to review it and think about it, but also so I can easily go back to it at some point. Evernote is the best thing I’ve found so far – the problem with a setup like yours for me is that I need simplicity and get quickly overwhelmed by too many web apps.

    Have you ever played around with EN? Any thoughts on whether it can replace some of the stuff you write about here (specifically Pocket, Potluck, Delicious, etc.)?

  2. @Oliver: Fair enough re: simplicity. I did use Evernote for a little while, but found that it lacked one criteria that I really enjoy in the rest – which is ease of sharing and visibility. I rather save things on Delicious and be part of the digital Curation Economy. A friend recently introduced me to Kippt, which I’m currently testing out. I think EN can definitely replace Pocket if you are disciplined enough to save each link you come across in email/twitter to read for later. As for Potluck, the biggest thing it has going for it is the ability to see who others are reading, which EN doesn’t allow unless you email the article. However, the lack of folders and hashtag abilities is less than ideal. I’m still searching for that perfect platform!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s