on reading lists and reading projects

3 min read

I have this crazy habit of creating lists for everything. Well. To be honest, I don’t think it’s crazy. It helps me get organized when nothing in this world is really well ordered. I like crossing items on a list and get the sense that I’m pushing a progress bar forward. I’m moving and I’m getting close to reaching the one hundred percent mark of my projects.

You might think that reading and writing don’t work that way, and you might find this talk a little bit incoherent, considering I wrote yesterday about deadlines not going well with writing for me. But this post has nothing to do with deadlines. It’s about lists and projects. Confused?

There are two main things I love about projects: the process and the progress. The achievement of a goal or the end of a project function more like a reward or just… the end. But the process is where we learn and evolve trying and finding new ways to do what we’re doing. And the progress works like feedback that we’re going the right way, or, at least, that we’re not stagnated.

So I do make lists for reading. I have lists for books that I want to read, books that I should read, books from a particular author to learn his work better, and books that will help me develop certain skills, like books on writing, for example.

If you’re an avid reader you already realized that you will never read all the books that are, but you might have decided to try. I’m that kind of reader. And if you are too, you need a plan. I know I need one. Or not just one, but several plans. And the trickiest part here, the challenge, will not be to cross all the books you put on a list. No. The biggest challenge will be to treat reading like that without taking all the fun and magic out of reading.

You know it’s the first thing that can happen. If you read books from a list, you might start seeing reading as another to-do list you have to tackle if you don’t do this right. Job traumas all over the place. You’re screwed. But one thing that might help you is not seeing your book list as a task list with boring items for you to cross, but as a list you’ll check after you finish this amazing project of yours to look at it, and say, yea, wow, I read all the books I wanted from that list. Now I’m ready for a new project.

Of course, you will only know if you’re ready if you’re able to see that list and remember the good times you had reading each book and the main aspects of each read. But that will be a topic to cover later in another post.

Now tell me, do you make reading lists?


  • WithloveMasi

    I used to make reading lists, but then I went through a moment in my life where reading didn’t taste like anything. Now what I do is “sort of” a list. I write down a shorter and more realistic ammount of books I want to read, or that I need to read for investigation purposes. But I always try to keep it short because I don’t want to go back to feel overwhelmed.

  • Karmon

    In my weekly agenda, I list the books I am actively reading or that I have borrowed from the library and have a deadline to read. Too many prescribed reading lists in college courses.

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