Jason Morrison edited this page Mar 3, 2014 · 3 revisions

I want to get better at reading.

To be specific, each month I'd like to select a topic and thoughtfully choose several works about it, read them, and write about them. The writing can be reflective notes or, as is often the case with technical reading, small projects to practice or demonstrate skill in the new topic. Topics should build on each other over the course of several months. Another way of looking at this is: there are some topics I'm interested in but am not prepared for. I should select and schedule background readings for the months before those later topics.

Each month I'd like to read across a variety of works on a topic. That said, it's impossible to be comprehensive in only a month. At the end of a month, I'll move on to the next topic. I'll take notes about where to pick up on this topic when I revisit it in the future.

This is inspired in part by Apprenticeship Patterns; particularly the notion of maintaining reading list and publicizing it. It is also inspired by two ideas from How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading; first, that of taking a fixed duration of time to skimming for breadth ("inspectional reading"). Second, reading many views (often competing) on a topic in order to gain a more holistic view of the field ("syntopical reading", pretty sure Adler made that up though).

Some original notes:

  • Read 2 books a month?
  • Review notes later?
  • Do a breakable toy each month?
  • This "reading" list is developing into a "professional development" map.
  • It seems to span multiple disciplines - software, finance, and communication. says:

Inspired in part by Apprenticeship Patterns, I've decided to maintain a public reading list. The goals are pretty simple:

  • Be honest about what books I've read, partially read, and plan to read.
  • Write a few sentences about each book – mostly for myself but also for anyone who might be interested.
  • Only include books related to development, user experience design, and entrepreneurship.
  • Include screencasts as well since that's how I do much of my learning.


Formatting notes:

Much of this is written in my own personal "text editor TODO" markup which looks like:

_ a thing that needs to be done
x something that is complete
> something I decided to defer
* a section header
  * subsection
    _ a thing to do in this subsection
    x something complete from this subsection
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