Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Finding Time to read & indentifying what's worth .

There are so many books release every week (on all subjects)

How do you keep up with the information overload ?

How do you make sure you only puchase the books which are worth reading ? (ie: checking the customer reviews on ?)

How many books do you read per month ?

I find that Joel read an anwful lots, I wonder where he finds out the new books which are worth reading

Sunday, August 22, 2004

"Worth" is a very subjective measurement. I liked a lot of books that you would probably hate, and v.v.

Spend more time in book stores. :-)
Sunday, August 22, 2004

Before I got married, I averaged about 3 books a month.  Since then, I average about 2 books a month, so I'm a bit more selective.

I make a point of alternating between technical, fiction, religion, political, etc.

I also keep a running list of books that I'd like to read and if I see something interesting, I add it to the list, I rarely pick it up immediately.  Therefore, I can always have a running list of my interests and determine what's relevant/important and what my priorities happen to be.

My 0.02.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Well, I recently broke my ankle. Got more reading done for about 6 weeks.

I don't recommend it though, as there are disadvantages too.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

I never find time to read. I make time to read. Put it first on your schedule and fill in around it.

I keep ~100 items in my Amazon Saved Items list and add/purge to/from it several times a week. When I have completed all but one or two of my current reading list, I purchase  a few more books (and always a CD - mostly jazz).

I don't purchase exclusively from Amazon. I use their list and read the reviews (with plenty of salt grains). I put Joel's current recomendation, "The Curious Incident...", in my Saved Items list and then found the paperback on the shelf ($12) during my Saturday morning book store rounds and purchased it. Purge.

I purchased the book, not just on Joel's recomendation but after reading many reviews.

I had considered Thomas Malone's "The Future of Work" but it never bubbled to the shopping cart and I eventually purged it from my list. After some recent blogging activity about the book, it went directly to the shopping cart for my latest purchase.

The short list changes almost daily.

Anyhow, that's what I do.

fool for python
Sunday, August 22, 2004

I buy what I'm in the mood for, otherwise my mood shifts and I never get around to reading the book.

Only what I want to read now. Otherwise I end up with a pile of books I haven't read and don't want to read.
Sunday, August 22, 2004

Do you keep all the books your purchase or do you keep everything ?

Or simply just sell the more technical oriented (ADO 2.0)

Sunday, August 22, 2004

"Do you keep all the books your purchase or do you keep everything ?"

I recently got married and moved to North Carolina. My wife has been through one masters degree and working on a second, and I am a geek, and it s amazing the number of books we have. I keep meaning to donate the technical ones, but every time I go to I end up needing it. For example, my current position happens to involve a mess of a system written in ASP 3.0, a set of books I was ready to donate.

As far as what I read, we go to the local library about once every three weeks and check out a mess of books. My current selection has some computer history, animal beahviorism, finance, and photography. I just don't have time to keep up with the new books, and am finally getting to a point in my life where I don't feel the need to stay on the bleeding edge of every technology subject.

I think another poster hit it right, if I tried to find time I never could. But I make time at various points throughout the day, and that's how I get it done. Bathroom, few minutes before bed, etc.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

"computer history, animal beahviorism, finance, and photography"

That sounds about like the kind of spectrum I typically read.

I live in NYC so reading was usually done on the train on the way to work. One of the benefits of not driving, but if I drove you can be sure I'd listen to books on tape in additino to music.

I eat way too much fiber to actually spend a significant amount of time in the bathroom. I was thinking of getting one of those readers-digest-esque bathroom readers though. 1 page summaries and interesting factoids. I think Zig Ziglar is a big promonent of putting a dictionary in the bathroom. I guess one of those vocabulary builders would be more focused.
Sunday, August 22, 2004

Reading in the bathroom can be a crappy experience.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

I commute via public transport, so I get about 1-3 hours worth of reading per day, depending on how awake I am.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

I sell some on Amazon.

fool for python
Monday, August 23, 2004

I listen to audio books in my car (half hour commute each way). It's amazing how much I get through in that otherwise-wasted time.

I borrow audio books (tapes and CDs) from my local library. They don't have a real wide selection, and what they do have is slanted more towards the elderly people in my small town. At first I thought that would be a problem, but then I realised that there are a lot of classics that I'd always meant to read and never found time. By reading outside my immediate interests, I've broadened my general knowledge and stumbled across some interesting stuff. I've also listened to some absolute tripe :-).

I've even started buying audio books on eBay. The great thing about that is you can listen to them and then sell them to recoup most of your cost. You also get a wider selection than a small-town library offers.

There are audio books available for free in various places around the net. Free Culture is a great one for anyone interested in digital media.

I download interviews from and listen to them on my iPod. They're great for keeping my technical and industry awareness current.

I don't buy many dead-trees books anymore. Mainly a few technical reference books, photography books, and hard-to-find niche books. I'm very slow to read them, since there isn't much spare time available anymore.

Darren Collins
Wednesday, August 25, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home