I read 47 books in the first 6 months of 2023. Now what?

4 min read
brown wooden shelves with assorted booksPhoto by kevin laminto

Since I was a child, books are a big part of my life. But this year I had a goal of increasing the number of books I read. I didn't have a number at first but for some reason, 1 book per month was a pretty good start. So I thought about why not stretch this goal and make it 50 books this year.

I set this challenge on Goodreads and started reading voraciously. 1 book per week, 2 books per week sometimes. I was in the flow. At the end of July, 6 months passed, I read 47 books and counting.

For some reason, I started to reflect on this challenge and if it still made sense to me.

Some books I read were fiction, but mostly non-fiction, personal development, or biography books. From Harry Potter to 10x is easier than 2x. From Dom Casmurro to Deep Work. From Jony Ive to The Emperor of All Maladies.

Great books, some bad, mostly good. If they were all great, I think it would be a nice journey but the fact that I was consuming a whole lot of content but not really using it or applying it to my life bothered me.

So I stopped this rush to read more and started focusing on reading better books, only the best ones, and going back to my past process.

A new goal for the last 6 months

I set a new goal for the remaining 6 months of 2023: “Focus on less but better”.

According to research, slow reading can reduce stress, help read more, and improve the learning experience so I guess I'm on the right path for this new goal.

Before going back to my previous process, I wanted to get all the highlights, notes, and reflections I had while reading the books and I started refining and publishing them online on my Digital Bookshelf.

There you can find all the notes, reflections, highlights, quotes, and some questions that will help drive actions and habits to make your life easier. This is an excellent activity because it forces me to have clarity on how to apply the ideas and concepts to my life. And you can also use the bookshelf and all the knowledge in your favor.

Going back to my previous process requires taking a lot more notes and focusing on slow reading: “Less but better”. This is the motto for the rest of 2023.

I have a list of books I want to read and I sorted them by quality and interest, so I know I will definitely use my time to consume high-quality content and it won't be a waste.

My current process divides into two parts:

  1. Taking notes in my commonplace book
  2. Writing down ideas, concepts, and questions that will drive actions and habits

In my commonplace book, I have a series of topics like Learning, Problem Solving, Discipline, Mindset, 10x, etc I collect ideas and principles from books and any other content (videos, talks, articles, podcasts).

This idea came from Robert Greene and Ryan Holiday and their system to write original books.

And the second part of the process is to have a page for each book I read and divide it into four parts:

  1. What's the core idea?
  2. Why is it important?
  3. What are the questions that help drive actions and habits?
  4. Actions and Habits

That way it's clear to me how to understand the principles, get motivated by how important it is, and apply them to my life.

Every new book I read will have its own blog post answering all these questions. Some are already published like the 10x Is Easier Than 2x and Deep Work. And the website has a couple of posts published. You can see it here: bookshelf.

Two of my many interests lie in designing my life and my learning experience. My goal with all this is to use books to improve the quality of my process and life and achieve my goals.

So I designed a page called "Book → Action" where I have all the habits and actions I want to have in my life. Just the fact that I wrote them down and started applying these ideas, I feel my life improved in quality. In a couple of months, I will write how I'm doing it and what are the results of these habits.

I'll keep you posted.

Final words

I definitely read more this year compared to any year of my life and that made me realize how I really want to approach books from now on.

My goal is to use books to improve my life. I want only the best ones, slowly and carefully read them, take notes and highlights, reflect on them, and apply the ideas and concepts to my life.

All this process and notes will be published online so you can make use of the knowledge as well.

If you like books as I do, do follow these:

Until next time. Have a nice book-reading time!

Twitter Github