I've been a long-time user of Kindle and Audible, with a few physical books thrown in here and there in an attempt to determine my preference between physical or digital formats. I think the truth is that I like both, as each has its advantages.

Digital is convenient.

There is no doubt that the ability to pull up a book on my phone from anywhere to continue reading is very convenient.

However, this convenience comes at a cost.

Digital formats make it easy to blindly highlight and bookmark without revisiting. Then services, like Readwise, absorb those highlights and compile them into a massive personal database of all your highlights.

In theory, this is extremely helpful. Some people undoubtedly couldn't manage any other way. They process these highlights as if there's no tomorrow and make connections to all their other notes.

However, this method is not for me.

I tend to get caught up in the "system" and lose the enjoyment of reading.

I've also experienced this with podcasts. I was using the Snipd podcast player for a while, thinking I would create highlights of interesting things. The app works great, as it has some AI to make snipping highlights from audio easy.

However, I found that listening to a podcast had become a chore.

While there are no guarantees that I won't go down that road again, I'm currently stepping back and using physical books for a while.

This doesn't mean I won't be taking notes on my books. I'm using Cal Newport's method of marking up a book. It involves simply making a mark in the corner of a page that has something useful and adding a line next to the paragraph.

The purpose of this approach is more about making the content easy to revisit when I need it (if ever), rather than trying to process everything I find interesting into my system.

This is something I've been calling "Just In Time Note Taking". I essentially bookmark what I find interesting so I can get back to it later if I ever need it. This contrasts with "Just In Case Note Taking", where I take notes on everything right away, which is very time-consuming and often unnecessary.

Back to reading!

✴️ Also on Micro.blog ✍️ Email 🐘 Reply on Mastodon