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Building a Digital Reading Habit

Using Kindle and Apple Books for personal growth.

A Kindle near a mug of coffee on a wooden table
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About 3 years ago I received my first Kindle as a gift. In those 3 years, I’ve gone through more books than the 10 years before it combined. It’s not that I didn’t like reading, quite the opposite. But as I got older, carrying a book with me everywhere just didn’t feel practical anymore.

My Kindle changed everything for me. The small form factor, simple layout, and unholy battery life on that little thing make reading a joy every time I pick it up. Things didn’t quite start out like that, however. It took a while for me to get used to reading for long periods again, and even longer to begin retaining information.

This week, I’d like to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the past 3 years that have helped to fuel my personal growth and goal of lifelong learning.

Read What You Love

It was hard as an adult to sit down and read like I used to as a child. There were too many distractions calling my name. After a while, I realized the personal finance book I was reading was going through my eyes and immediately out of my brain. I felt ashamed when I decided to put the book down and read some fiction.

The Planet Mars, the main location for the first Red Rising book

I started a sci-fi novel that captivated me. Before I knew it, I’d read the first 3 books in 2 weeks! I had rediscovered the joy of reading. Sometimes we try to tell ourselves that being an adult means we need to focus on more important things. While there is a time and place to educate ourselves, there’s an equally important time and place to relax ourselves. Trying to absorb financial advice was something I had to force myself to do. Reading about an exciting adventure had me yearning to get back to my Kindle.

As I made my way through my new novel, I found that I could read for longer periods. I also discovered that I was reading more of everything in general; the news, blog posts, and magazines. This opened my eyes to the next part of my reading journey.

Divide Your Time

I still wanted to read more educational material, so I devised a new strategy. My Kindle stayed on the nightstand by my bed for evening leisure reading. My iPad had the Kindle App and Apple Books, and that’s where I did my educational reading. My iPad goes everywhere with me for work, and when I find myself with a few extra minutes during the day, a quick chapter about motivating myself or getting stuff done does wonders for me.

An hourglass resting in pebbles

I found that focusing on more educational material helped maintain my focus during work, but the fiction helped me to unwind at the end of the day. By dividing my time between the two (and adding Audible to the mix while I drive) I found myself reading 3 books simultaneously!

Keep a List

Blowing through 3 books each week is great, but it also leaves me empty-handed when I finish my books. I’ve started keeping a note in my Notes App with a list of all the fiction and non-fiction books I want to read. As I meet new people or read other people’s suggestions online, I’ve filled my booklist with dozens of titles, many of which I would never remember to read in a hundred years.

A person holding an iPhone with the notes app open

You know when someone tells you about a great book or movie and you say you want to watch it but forget what it’s called about as soon as the conversation ends? Well, I started making note of those movies and books during the conversation and it’s been wonderful. I’ve been exposed to so many new authors, ideas, and lifestyles through my friends’ and colleagues’ recommendations.

I’d write about it more, but there’s a warm bed and Kindle near me that’s calling my name! Get out there and read more, especially read more of stuff that’s new to you!


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