Toby Wilkins

Personal Interests

Why I read using a kindle


Books are amazing. There are so many different topics and stories that you can dive into, whatever your interest. But, i never really got into them. That’s until I bought an amazon kindle paper white. I love the thing. It goes everywhere with me.

If I have a free bit of time on my hands, I read. If i’m traveling with nothing much else to do, I read. If i’m on the toilet, I.. You get the point.  When I got home from work, or had spare time on my hands – the default was always to watch TV. I have now changed that. My default is to read from the kindle. I only watch TV (or youtube) if there is a specific thing I want to see. By making this small change, i’m bettering myself in so many ways. 

In regards to what I read, it could be anything. I pick what ever is of particular interest to me at the time. For me, thats normally non-fiction with the odd novel thrown in here and there. My tastes vary greatly. If i’m struggling with a specific problem, I find a book about it. If I need to learn about a technology for work, theres probably a book about that as well. Take a look at my bookshelf for some particular picks that I like.

I have a rule. Even if i have purchased a book, I DO NOT have to read it all. if i’m 15mins in, and its not captivating me then I just drop it and move to something more interesting. Life’s too short to drudge through a book for the sake of completion. I also allow myself to skip and skim. I quite like the self help genre, but a lot of it is just the same repeated messages. I skim and skip over the bits that are not captivating and stop on nuggets that are interesting.

A tid bit on speed reading. Only focus your eyes on two parts of a line. About an inch in from the left and again and inch in on the right. Then, just do that for every single line on the page. Force yourself to go fast. You will be surprised at how much of the gaps your mind and peripheral vision will take in and the pages will fly by.

Reading with traditional books has a lot of friction. If you want to read something, you first have to buy and wait for it to turn up. With a kindle, most of them go away. When you order something its instantly delivered. Flip the cover open and you’r  at your last spot. It’s small and light, making it easy to take with you everywhere. 

Some print books are nice to hold, but some are just big and awkward. The cover flaps around and gets in the way. You need a bookmark to keep your spot. Yes they look nice on a table, but they are a pain to read from. The kindle is light, and fits nicely in one hand. Its super portable, you can take it everywhere. At any moment you have a bit of time, its super easy to pull out and get going. Even better, it’s not just one book but a whole library. If you’r that person that talks about the smell of a book, I have the answer for you.

Im frugal with how I spend money. However, books are the exception. I basically give myself an unlimited budget on spending money with books. They are an investment in myself, and make me smarter, happier and more rounded. I did end up getting to the point where I was buying too many to read, then my tase in what to read next would change when I got to them. Now instead, I keep a list on amazon of all the things i’m interested in. Then, buy a couple in batches as and when I need more material.

The kindle highlighting feature is fantastic. As you go, you can drag your finger over interesting text and it saves it for you. Later, I go back into the kindle highlights webpage, then move them over to my note taking app. At the time of writing, thats Evernote. I do a little review and edit at the same time, to remind me what I read. Over time, I have built up a treasure trove of useful tid-bits to rediscover. See building a second brain.

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