5 January 2022

Some reflections on a year of reading

Must read less…

I’m not one for New Year resolutions but there is never a bad time for some reflections.

Last year I read 116 books.

It’s a decent number, indeed it often surprises people, and it certainly affords me a lot of scope to cover plenty of new and classic books. I do include audiobooks but I now select these with care as detailed audiobooks quoting evidence drive me nuts as there is no easy way to take notes and look up references. I’ve tried various techniques but it just doesn’t work.

My best strategy for the next few months is to read a little less. Not the most common of resolutions but I certainly don’t need to read more. At least not books, although I do think I have scope to read more academic papers in a targeted and purposeful way. I’d like to capture more notes, write more, and linger over the books I do read. If I dropped a couple of books and spent that time writing it would amount to a significant increase.

Now, it is not quite as straightforward as that and reading is obviously a different kind of experience. Yet, there is scope and, as with many things, it is far too easy to chase the numbers and I think, honestly, that is what I have been doing. In the old cliché, I need a little more quality rather than quantity.


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