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Read

07/24/2012 02:51 pm ET | Updated Sep 23, 2012

In high school, I didn't take AP English solely because of the amount of reading involved. I wrote a paper about my disdain for reading for my non-AP class after being subjected to Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, a perfect example of intellectual torture in the form of "required reading."

I struggled through readings in college and disliked much of my academic experience largely due to that. I was in classes like intro level politics that were, perhaps literally, mind-numbing because of the sheer volume, repetitive nature, and dullness of [most of] the reading. In my speech to the Freshman class at their orientation, I warned them about the importance of course selection to avoid these pitfalls.

Reading wasn't always my enemy, though. When I was a wee youngin', I used to read quite a bit -- Goosebumps, a series of sports books whose title I can't recall, and abridged classics. I even read Michener's 1000+ page The Source for fun ... during the summer! I liked to read.

After graduation, I subscribed to the digests of Mashable, TechCrunch, and VentureBeat and didn't consider them "reading" [I still don't actually] -- but I do/did enjoy reading them [or at least the relevant articles]. I also read a few books here and there [s/o Malcolm Gladwell] and also watched quite a few instructional videos -- e.g. Derek Sivers' "Uncommon Sense." 

It was from these post-grad experiences that I realized maybe I don't hate reading. Maybe my dislike for reading was because what I associated "reading" with was mandatory and endless monotony. I needed to redefine reading as learning from and engaging with content I actively sought out because it was relevant, interesting, rewarding or all three. In my retrospect blog post last year about my interesting expedition out West, I [in bold] wrote "I should have really spent more time reading..."

Over the past year in NYC, I've received excellent suggestions from ShahedCarter and Seth. I have a Trello backlog of books to read [I guess I could do this in Tracker too] and have been going through one every two or three weeks. I read the Hunger Games series in about 24 hours [half of which was time spent sleeping or eating] right after the sick movie trailers came out [I couldn't wait].

Among the books that I've read [by suggestion of the guys above] and re-recommend are Getting More by Stuart Diamond and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. Currently reading Let My People Go Surfing by the founder of Patagonia by suggestion of Jared -- who also suggested this handy link for future readings. As mentioned, I also count watching instructional videos as "reading" which, along with blog posts, tutorials, etc. have been a primary resource for helping me learn to code.

I've learned a lot and enjoyed the books that I've read and view it as a valuable resource for edification, growth and fun. Some of the books on my list for the future are Imagine, The Great Gatsby [I know, I should have read it by now] and a long stroll through The Philosopher's Notes [a great find by Shawn!!]. I hope I can up my book per week count and definitely recommend that you go out and read. If there's interest I'll post a running list of books I've read and recommend/have in my list.