This past month I’ve been trying to read more, however, as wise Jedi Master Yoda says: “Do or do not, there is no try.” Yoda is right, it’s very hard to try. You have to just power through it, and do it. I managed to figure out a good way of making myself do my goal of reading more. Here is how I made myself do it.
I bought a Kindle
I ended up buying an e-reader that doubles as a tracking device (3G model), even if it went against my normal free software philosophy. The Kindle operating system itself is GNU GPL licensed, apparently, but most of the books on the Kindle Store are non-free (and contain nasty DRM). Supposedly it’s not super difficult to crack Amazon’s DRM, but I’m not bothering. I’m treating it as a very expensive library; I’m not treating the eBooks I buy from the Kindle Store as my own, because I know I don’t actually own them.
The reason why the Kindle helped so much with reading, is that it’s super convenient. I just throw it in my bag, and I always have lots of books with me. Even if I don’t have my kindle, I can pick up where I left off on my phone. I can’t use the excuse of “I didn’t have my book with me.”
I got books that I enjoyed reading
The first book I got when I received my Kindle, was a self help book. I like self help books, but they’re not quite fun enough to use my leisure time to read. So, I barely used it. That changed when I decided to buy a book that I’d been wanting to read for a long time, George Orwell’s 1984. I finished it in two days, and decided that I was going to focus on fiction from now on, because it’s more fun.
I still want to read more non-fiction, but I decided to build the habit of reading with fiction
I held myself accountable, with my Credit Card
I stumbled upon a service a week or so ago, called Beeminder. There are apparently a couple other similar services out there, but this one fit the bill and worked for me, so I didn’t bother looking more. I’d heard good things about them on IndieHackers and HackerNews, so I figured I’d give it a try. The idea is that you create goals, and you enter data each day. If you derail from your goal, they charge your credit card. My credit card hasn’t been charged yet – and I won’t ever let them! It adds some extra motivation to force me to do my daily reading. If you want to see my read-more goal, check it out here. I’m not affiliated with them, just a happy user.