I'm a big fan of your blog, a lot of the techniques you talk about have really helped me improve my productivity over the last month or so. One of your posts that most struck me was the one in which you talked about how to read more. It got me thinking about how I could more easily reorganize my time to make it easier to read. I realized that I spend a lot of time reading every day, just not a lot of time reading books. So to remedy this I threw together a little app which I thought you, and your other readers, might be interested in. The basic premise of the app, which is called onesmallpage, is that it will send you up to 5 pages of a book to your email every day. This helps you use your email reading time to read more books. Anyway I know your inbox must be stuffed, but I thought I would share since the app is partly inspired by your blog post.
Thanks for taking the time to read this,
I think this looks way cool. If anyone tries it out, let me know how well it works?
Link here: http://onesmallpage.appspot.com/
Just finished A Christmas Carol, and still think this is a great idea.
One small complaint; three or four pages were missing. I'm not sure whether that's a problem with the book file or the email not being sent / received correctly. Although the slight overlap at the start and end of subsequent pages meant that only a couple of paragraphs were missed.
Thanks for your comment, I'm glad you're finding the service useful. Please let me know if you have any features you would like to request, or any books you think I should add - my email is dan (at) danshipper.com.
Signed up to receive, and have just read the first 10 pages of, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Great idea for a service. This book has been on my list for a while but I've never got around to reading it, so a bite-sized chunk in my inbox each day is ideal. Especially as the email displays well on my phone.
Excellent choice of books too! Good work Dan, and thanks for the repost Sebastian.
This follows on from "On Getting More Done – Top-down, or bottom up?" - the basic idea behind that post is you can get a lot more done by either taking on a lot more responsibilities, which forces you to adjust and use your time better - this is the "top down" strategy. Alternatively, you can slowly build and reclaim time from your life, moving your time from less meaningful areas into more meaningful areas.
But let's get more specific. I read a lot of books. Most smart people want to read a lot of books, but don't find the time to do it. So, how to read more?
This is where the bottom-up approach shines. You slowly move time from less meaningful areas to more meaningful areas.
"Sebastian, I just want to read more. I don't care about this tracking stuff."
I was a pretty good reader as a kid. My mom recounts me sitting in the corner reading in pre-school instead of doing whatever other pre-schoolers did. In Kindergarten, I was praised for reading more books than any other kid. Throughout the elementary school summers, I dominated the summer reading programs in all the neighboring cities.
Eventually, I started to realize that all of these books are the same. Sometime when I was 10, I started to realize every book seemed to be about some derpy kid who eventually overcame his fears and saved the world, or at least his friend group.
I had the intellectual ability to read YA and adult books at the time, but not the emotional maturity. So, I hit a standstill.
Time passes on, I get into Classics (aka: any title whose name being uttered made me sound smart). I got a Kindle and subsequently got into Indie trash, at one point reading one book per day. Then the Kindle broke and I had no clue what to do.
I went through a massive overhaul on how I thought about reading, which leads us to how I read today.