This year I read 11 books in a month. Not every month. Only one month. That’s all I have read this year, so far. 11 is a low bar for book worms but considering that I read only 6 last year I already raised it.
If you had been reading my blog, you know I dabble with minimalism and digital minimalism concepts now and then. While I am in control of physical material consumption, digital consumption is where I fail miserably. I tried different approaches earlier for digital minimalism.
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All of them worked well only till I was intentional and conscious. I then fell back into the old pattern. (Damn you, Netflix! And you too, Youtube!)
Around April – May this year, I got inspired again and took it as a challenge. As I was reading the book Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport, I realized that I haven’t replaced my habit with an alternative to fill that space.
I replaced my mindless hogging of video content with reading books. While the milk was on the stove or while shooing away the dove, I had my kindle with me instead of my phone. One book led to the other and by the end of 30 days, I had finished 11 books and had started another 5.
The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel – This was my first experience with Audiobook. The book was good throwing a different light on wealth and human psychology when it comes to money.
7.83 Hertz by Sudhakar Kasturi – I came to know about this book through a family WhatsApp group which I am not part of anymore. This author is related to my wife and has written few books. 7.83 Hz is a science fiction based on Psycho terrorism or Psy Ops which aims to control the world by controlling the mind. It was an interesting read for most parts.
Hindi Ethirpu En by C.N Annadurai – This not a book but an essay. A speech given by the late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu about why he was opposing Hindi as an official language
Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport – This book was already a sensation. I have read Cal’s earlier book Deep Work which was inspirational. Never put this into practice though other than blocking the calendar sometimes with DW as the subject. Digital Minimalism was talking about evil of social media, how companies are spending billions to understand and influence people and how we can embrace digital minimalism with some practical tips.
Srirangathu Devathaigal by Sujatha – Late Sujatha Rengarajan is a renowned Tamil writer known for his forward thinking and simple writing. In this book he writes about his childhood days in Srirangam, a small town in Tamil Nadu. It was very relatable and it was easy to imagine the places he describes as I had stayed 3 years in this place. An easy, feel good read.
En Iniya Iyanthira by Sujatha – This is a Tamil book by the same author. The story is set in a futuristic date when machines and technology rule everyday life. The protagonist of the story is a talking dog named Jino. It’s a good suspenseful read.
Meendum Jino by Sujatha – This is the sequel to the above book. Again an easy read with twists and turns.
Finish What You Start by Peter Hollins – Well, I started reading this book couple of years ago and didn’t finish it. So, I decided to give it a shot again and finished reading the book. It had some good points but it did not impress me as much as the idea itself.
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau – I heard about this some 15 years ago when my friend suggested this book. I never read it at that time. I started few years back and the gave up in the middle. In the recent years, I have been thinking about additional stream of income and all, this looked appealing. I finally read this book. This has some solid points and anecdotes if you want to be an entrepreneur and have been thinking about starting up on your own.
Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson – I have read his first book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK. It was a refreshing read from the usual self help genre. I also like his Youtube channel. Everything is F*cked as he himself puts it a book about hope. He talks about two aspects of brain thinking brain and emotional brain. It’s a good read.
Inspiring Thoughts by Swami Vivekananda – This is more like a collection of his quotes. It was a quick read and shouldn’t really count. I have read Swami Vivekananda’s explanation of Karma Yoga long time back. I have his complete works downloaded on my kindle. But, I have to be in a particular mood to read that book. You have to be active when reading it. His works make you think.
I have few more that I have started and left midway, hopefully I will complete a few more in the next 1.5 months as year end is nearing.
The essence that I want to convey is that the digital minimalism actually works. Instead of mindless browsing at least I gained some knowledge through these books. I would be lying if I say I did not watch any video. I did but those were intentional. I consumed videos related to work competencies and I landed a new job in the same month.
Did I continue further? No. The challenge ended and slowly I got derailed quoting new job as an excuse. It is not as bad as I used to earlier though.
Life is but a sine wave. You raise to fall and fall to raise again.