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    • I used to read books with passion and regularly. Non-fiction and biographies drew me in with mountains of knowledge and history. I couldn't wait to finish one book and grab another.

      Over the last few years, that passion slowly shifted to a constant stream of breaking news and must-read articles. I still read about the same volume, but books are taking a back seat.

      Last year I tried to reignite my passion for reading. I bought a few new ebooks and got the latest Kindle Oasis with a better backlight for reading at night and higher contrast for reading outdoors. That combo worked great for a few days, but then I went back to the old routine of news and articles.

      I know that the culprit is my phone. It's with me, ready to deliver a hit of dopamine with the latest entertainment, news, and must-read articles.

      Today I picked up my Kindle only to discover that it was out of battery that lasts a month.

      I didn't pick up a book for a month. 😢

      Any tips on how to restart my passion for reading books?

    • Great question, @Vilen!

      I notice my consumption of books has changed somewhat in the last little while. There is so much expository writing to read on the web, that I have gravitated more toward fiction in my book reading as a bit of an escape from the inundation coming from other sources.

      I have found that separating the two types of reading materials (digital v hard copy) helps me keep things balanced. I try to get library copies of fiction to read in the evenings and it helps me put down the screens for the day and ease into my own domain for the night. (Even though I have a pair of “blue lens” reading glasses that are supposed to negate the effects of reading from a screen, I think there still may be some difficulties reading from a lit screen just before trying to sleep.)

      I suggest you try reading from a hard copy (newspaper, book, magazine, whatever) instead of a screen at the end of the day and see if that helps you reach your goal.

    • I can totally sympathize. My solution: don't avoid the phone, read books on the phone! Works well for me, especially as night (with night mode, black background, brown text, brightness all the way down). Excellent for winding down and getting ready to sleep. But also, because the phone is with you all the time, any unscheduled 15 minute block of free time is an opportunity to jump back into a book.

    • Read a book first? Before I reach for my phone in the morning, I reach for a book and read at least a few minutes. In my case it’s scripture, but Greg McKeown (author of Essentialism) recommends any wisdom literature that has stood the test of time. It’s a grounding habit that puts whatever you see on your phone into perspective.

      I also second the putting your phone to bed early habit. Real books are a great before-bed choice.

    • Maybe go to the library and pick up a big stack of books you'd like to read. Then, when it gets close to the time you need to return them, you will make a marathon day of reading. My second suggestion is to get a very comfortable hammock for your porch or yard and put several unread books in the hammock so you have to pick them up when you go to lay down.

    • Those are great suggestions!

      One of the reasons I actually prefer reading ebooks is because of the even lighting on each page. When I used to read physical books I found myself tweaking my overhead light way too much just so that each page is illuminated properly.

      I do miss the warm glow of the lamp and it does remove all screen distractions. I'll go buy an actual book and give it another read.

    • I've actually discovered a hidden "dark-mode" on an e-ink Kindle. In the accessibility settings one can flip a switch and invert colors. This way the background is dark and the text is light. It is a hack as it applies to all elements on screen including the graphics in the book, so it can look weird. But the backlight works perfectly with this set up and it is easy on the eyes.

      15 minute blocks seems a bit short to me to really dig into a meaningful reading session, but it does work to re-read something I'm pondering about. I'll try reading on the phone more and get a physical book as @lidja has suggested.

    • I was on an overnight flight last week and saw a reader with one of these 2-bulb reading lights—a stroke of genius! No readjusting the light every time you read from the left page over to the right page!

      The Lamborghini of Book Lights - Warm, Cool and Natural Light Types

    • We are rooting for you, @Vilen. And I'm taking note myself as I have been procrastinating on my list of next books. One of my setbacks is that if I start a good novel, I will read it straight through to the end in one setting if I can. Many a sleepless night as a result! Next up is The Small Backs Of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch, but I have to get in the right mindset as it sounds pretty disturbing.

    • I’ve been wondering how Cake panels might work to facilitate a book club type of activity. I saw that Naomi Oreskes (co-author of Merchants of Doubt) has a new book out (released just yesterday) that might be an interesting read for some on this platform...

      (Edit: @StephenL - you are such a great panel-person... Could a panel work as a virtual book club tool?)

    • Could a panel work as a virtual book club tool?

      What a wonderful idea! 💡

      Yes, as you’ve found from your own experiments, the panel interface can be used for more than moderated panels.

      For example you can use it to share a “ride report,” such as yours from this past spring:

      At the same time, you may want to ask yourself if restricting access to invited panelists only is going to provide the best book club experience. For example, I remember you and I believe @Denise and a few others discussing a book on happiness(?) as a conversation six months ago.

      How you could do a virtual book club as a panel

      A few suggestions:

      Post a sign-up conversation to gauge interest in your book selection and for interested readers to request inclusion in the panel.

      Make sure people know what to expect from your book club: will you be providing discussion questions or is it more free-flowing?

      Mid-way through the discussion, create a new sign-up conversation for the next book selection. This will give people time to start reading or to request it from their local library.


      These are just suggestions, not absolutes. The key thing is to have at least a few committed and passionate book lovers on the panel to share your intellectual curiosity with.