Carina Silfverduk

agility practice lead

Tag: read

Read More, Read Better 2019 edition

I am a voracious reader, and am always learning. I figure my ability to read and learn is one of my most valuable skills, so it’s one I practice.

I have a lot of tricks to remember what I read, and be able to use it. These are some great ones I use – though not complete when it comes to how I read. I’d add these additional tips:

  • Set a reading goal and track it with a tool (I recommend GoodReads so you can track page/percent progress), this is my number #1 tip – use a WIP limit and focus on done to make greater progress
  • Find a note taking technique that works for you, this helps you retain what you learn better. Some have use an old-fashioned notebook, iPad and Apple Pencil, or type up notes in a tool like Evernote.
  • Figure out your favorite way to read (audiobooks, ebooks, physical books) or if you’re like me, a combination. Do your favorites most.
  • Spend time summarizing what you’ve learned (drawing, writing, talking, teaching, etc)
  • Use what you read as jumping off points for new reads: I often check out everything on a subject from the library and pour through them to find the best books.
  • Turn off the TV – it’s amazing how much you can do when you’re not in front of the TV.
  • Find places you like for reading – it’s easier to make time to read when you’re doing it somewhere you like.
  • Try alternate reading techniques for using your available time for reading – for example, if your hands are busy driving or doing chores, listen to audiobooks.
  • Try reading, then take notes – sometimes I’d rather read once and return for notes, which can make it easier to find the salient points if I’m not sure where a book is driving to.
  • Read it again – if I find a book particularly enjoyable or profound, I may read (or listen to) it again
  • Branch out by trying books you might not normally read – you may learn something, or at least expand your horizons – cultivate curiosity and ask questions along the way.
  • Be sure to throw in books you know you will like too – this makes it easier to read if you’re in a slump.
  • Find other people who read like you (or not like you!) – you’ll get their recommendations and can share yours, as well as finding interesting ways of connecting unrelated ideas together.
  • Subscribe to or find a summarizing service if you find it helps you – it can be helpful to refresh your memory (this doesn’t work for me but I know a few readers who like it)

Learn more at

Farnam Street: 

  • James Clear:
  • Recently Read: The Best Books I Read in 2018

    Reading Goal for 2018: 150 Books

    For 2017, I participated in a reading challenge through Good Reads setting my goal at 75 books. I surpassed that goal and read 100 books last year.

    This year I doubled by goal to 150 books. I hit 100 books in April. I hit 230 in November.

    How I Read

    The excellent thing about Good Reads is that I can track my progress, by page or percentage read, and this keeps me motivated to keep working towards my goal. I try not to have too many books in progress at a given time, usually my average is about 6 books at any given time.

    My reading approach includes both listening to audiobooks through the CD player in my car and Libby or Overdrive, reading physical books from the library or my workplace library (or my own copies), reading on Kindle or another ebook reader (Libby or Overdrive work well for this – I can reserve and checkout books without having to abide by library hours) and my employer provides access to Safari books which I can read from a computer OR my mobile device.

    If I’m in the car, I focus on either audiobooks on CD or digital audiobooks played from my phone. If I’m at home doing the dishes or cleaning, I listen on headphones or a speaker.

    I often read a book more than once – first reading for my understanding, and second to take notes.  If I’ve got free time to spend, I’ll pick up a book and read / take notes as needed.

    I use the approach of reading the table of contents for physical and digital books, noting the TOC in notes, and then creating notes by chapter.

    Best Books I Read this Year

    • HBR’s Guide to Delivering Effective Feedback
    • Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
    • Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
    • Driving Fear Out of the Workplace by Kathleen D. Ryan
    • Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
    • What We Say Matters by Judith Hanson Lasater
    • Co-Active Coaching by Laura Whitworth
    • Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal
    • Humble Inquiry by Edgar Schein
    • The Five Levels of Attachment by Miguel Ruiz Jr.
    • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
    • The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
    • Before Happiness by Shawn Achor
    • The Agile Mindset by Gil Broza
    • Immunity to Change by Robert Kegan
    • The Zen of Listening by Rebecca Shafir
    • Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright
    • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
    • Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

    Check Out my Full Reading List

    I’ve read a variety of fiction and nonfiction this year, as I did last year.  Interested in the full list of what I’ve been reading? Take a look here.

    You can also see my year in books here.

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