Building book-reading habit


I like reading, but I personally feel something has been lacking lately on my reading habit.

Recently, I have been reading self-help/motivational book, and my current two favorites are Ryder Carroll’s “The Bullet Journal Method” and James Clear’s “Atomic Habit”.

You might notice those two books actually connected in some ways. “The Bullet Journal Method” gives me deeper understanding on the technical side of bullet journaling, and “Atomic Habit” puts me on track on building the habit of journaling (Ryder actually put habit-building on the bullet journal book, but “Atomic Habit” elevates the habit building level to a new heights.)

Now. The problem.

I keep forgetting some topics and discussions on the books. There are so many good notes throughout the books, but it’s really easy for me to forget about it — and I ended up re-reading the previous chapters and unable to proceed to the next ones because I keep re-reading it again and again ad infinitum.

Just recently, I learned to highlight some words on the books and put sticky notes. You might protested that you have been doing that for ages and it’s really normal and “everyone is doing it” and so on, but not me, okay 🥲 I grow up in an environment where books are considered sacred, considering how expensive they could be. Now that I have adult money, I can buy stupid stuffs and books — so yeah, the act of scribbling on books is really really new to me.

Aaaaaand yet I still forget.

It’s frustrating, really. There are some stuffs that I really want to remember and apply, but I only managed to remember it like… 80% of it? For example, to build a good habit, we should make it into three things. Make it close, make it attractive, and goddangit I forgot the third one.

… OK, I just peeked at the book and apparently I got it all wrong. Make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, make it satisfying. I can’t confirm or deny I typed this with the book opened in front of me.

I’m asking you folks, especially the book lovers. How do you approach reading, and how do you collect the information and retain it? I would love any insights or tips.

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3 responses to “Building book-reading habit”

  1. Ditaa Avatar

    I have a book journal! Yep, that’s me, I journal about book. And particularly for non-fiction, I try to be discipline to write down important notes and my thoughts. As if there will be an exam in a few weeks, haha. Likewise, I don’t like to highlight or write down on the book. Because often I borrow library books.

    But in the end, often reading non-fiction for me is to understand. I usually have one or two take away that I carry it on forever but I don’t remember the details much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eric Gunawan Avatar

    I wouldn’t really bother to try remembering all or even one thing from what I read.

    I just take them all and hope if someday I’d ever need them, then it’d just come up eventually on my mind. Without the need for me to even “google” my brain.

    If it’s something that I know it’s in the book, but I can’t remember it, I can always just look it up again. That’s where ebooks win, but that’s for another debate.

    Anyway, this comes from me, who did the last reading on… my high school/college era?

    And that’s a long long time ago in a bed far far away…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nick S. Avatar

    I love to read and also feel like I don’t remember “enough” of what I’ve read. Like Eric, I also tend to know that just the act of reading will plant thoughts into my head and if they are important enough, they’ll come back to me.

    I read a lot on Kindle as well as using Pocket for online content, so using a tool like Readwise.io has become really useful for saving highlights. I would recommend checking it out if you haven’t already. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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