Featured Fun Lifestyle

How to read more books

Replied to 8 Ways to Read a Lot More Books (

I read a lot of books. I agree with several of this author’s suggestions for reading more*:

  • Quit more books, earlier
  • Make your space comfortable for reading, and set it up to encourage you to read books over other activities
  • Always be bringing in new books and cycling out others
  • Track your reading

But I think he forgot an important thing: you should read books you actually enjoy. Reading will become much easier when you recognize that not everyone’s reading tastes will match yours — even your family and friends. Just because someone recommends a book directly to you doesn’t mean you’ll like it, or even that you have to try it. Just because a book is on a “best of” list doesn’t mean it’ll be meaningful to you.

Don’t treat reading as a chore, the brain equivalent of eating your spinach. Honor your own interests and read at whim, for pleasure. That means you need to learn to know yourself as a reader. The more you read, the better you’ll learn your own tastes, so you can choose books you’ll enjoy in the future and feel confident about quitting books you don’t.

*And if if turns out you’re actually not that into books as a storytelling medium, that’s totally fine too! There is nothing inherently virtuous about reading books versus watching video or listening to podcasts. If what you’re worried about is your ability to pay attention to long-form storytelling, you don’t have to win back your attention through books.

Technology The Internet

Read The Shallows

Read The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

Nicholas Carr’s bestseller The Shallows has become a foundational book in one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the internet’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? This 10th-anniversary edition includes a new afterword that brings the story up to date, with a deep examination of the cognitive and behavioral effects of smartphones and social media.

I didn’t expect a tech book more than ten years old to feel so relevant. There are a few dated passages, but on the whole it’s very aligned with our technological path, even if we’re a bit farther along. I’d say there’s a little too much detail on brain science, but overall this feels invaluable. I’m very glad to have read it.

I read the 10th anniversary edition and appreciated the new afterword.

Getting Shit Done Music

Focus YouTube ambient music


Had this on for two hours today and it was getting a little old by the end but 🤷‍♀️

By Greenred Productions

Getting Shit Done

Monk Mode: time-limited commitments

Liked How to Change Your Momentum in a Week or Two by David Cain (

Monk Mode, as I conceive of it, is a way of leveraging this principle to a less intense degree. You still focus on a certain kind of self-development work for a short period (perhaps writing, meditating, practicing piano, or lifting barbells), you still commit to a list of no-no’s during that time (perhaps no alcohol, no social media, or no sugar), but aside from that you live life normally.

Essentially you’re committing to a new lifestyle standard in certain respects, but for a short enough time that you can sustain the effort to the end.

Similar but more intense / concentrated version of his Depth Year idea.

Getting Shit Done Lifestyle

Live in fullscreen mode

Bookmarked 5 Ways to Simplify Your Life – zen habits by Leo Baubata (zen habits)

Curate your day.
Start living in fullscreen mode.
Weekly clearing ritual.
Eat simple foods & move.
Slow down & enjoy quietude.

Doing one thing at a time – I was thinking recently maybe if I let myself not always be doing chores while I’m cooking or waiting for the kettle to boil or whatever I could let myself rest. I’m too focused on maximizing every minute 🤷‍♀️

I also like his approach to planning a day: “What handful of things would make your day amazing?” For most days:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Enjoying a cup of tea
  • Avocado toast (or other delicious breakfast)
  • Reading a book
  • Hanging out with friends or my husband
  • Finding some new music
  • Making progress on my book
  • Learning something new

I live a pretty simple life already and try to keep it that way 🤷‍♀️

Getting Shit Done Self Care

Magic level

To ask yourself after a work block:

What was your level of Magic for this work block?

1 – fizzled out

10 – fully tapped into magical flow!

from Courtney at CaveDay — a fun way to think about work, focus, and energy

The Internet Writing

What Makes a Book

Quoted December 2020: Fresh from Ganymede! by Robin Sloan (Robin Sloan)

I want to end this year by going back to the basics.

I think the kind of writing and thinking people do on the internet—on news websites, on social media, in email newsletters—is like campfire light, or the light of an inscandescent bulb…That kind of light blooms wide… and fades fast.

Collimated light is different. It doesn’t scatter and diffuse into darkness.

I think writing a book requires collimation: getting your material pointed in the same direction, filtering out the bits that wander elsewhere. … A book is a laser beam.

There is a sense I think a lot of people share: that their contributions to social media, even if they are bit-by-bit rewarding, don’t really add up to much. A sense of all those words just… burning away, like morning mist over a pond. And: I think that sense is correct!