What are You Reading?


I forgot to answer the original poster’s questions:

I’ve got a Kobo Clara HD and a Kindle Paperwhite, and I also read some stuff in Apple’s Books/iBooks. Plus I’ve got a few shelves of physical books yet to be read (or re-read).

I started with a Kindle probably seven years ago, but then I moved to a town with a wonderful independent bookstore that is affiliated with Kobo. They get a cut of any ebooks I buy through Kobo, so I go with the Kobo version of the ebooks I buy whenever possible.

I don’t set goals, but I do keep a list of books I plan to read, books in progress, and books I’ve either finished or aborted. It’s all in a FileMaker Pro database that I built in an attempt to teach myself how to build and use a relational database. It’s currently not a relational database, it’s just a single table. (Not coincidentally, FileMaker Pro: The Missing Manual is on my aborted list.)

I don’t read 120 books a year. In fact, I’ve read just 108 since 2013.


Currently reading David Sedaris’ Diaries 1977-2002 and the Beastie Boys Book. Just finished the Bullet Journal Method at the end of 2018, highly recommended if you are into journaling.

I always read real books. I stare at a screen long enough, my eyes need a break.

Last year I decided to take a break from non-fiction after reading a couple truly bad, overly long ones. It’s been a nice change of pace even though I only read a total of 10 books last year.


Paul Howarth, Only Killers and Thieves. Could be a Coen Brothers film…dark tale of the Queensland frontier.

Just finished Joel Dicker’s The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair…dark tale of suburban New Hampshire. He’s French but generally gets New England. Except he set his book in 1975 without mentioning Carlton Fisk :man_facepalming:t3:



  • Workflow Mastery: Building from the Basics by Kourosh Dini
    — An excellent book that gets into the details of doing things. Developing intention, sustaining focus, leaving things in a state so that the next time you visit a project there is minimal impedance to getting started. A great companion to his other products, Being Productive and Creating Flow with OmniFocus.
  • The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play by Neil Fiore
    — If you’re bouncing around with productivity systems, try all the latest apps, but they don’t seem to work, the place to tweak your process may be in executing, rather than planning. This book explains that procrastination is a symptom, rather than a character flaw. It goes into detail explaining the causes, and offers techniques to deal with the causes. I just finished it, and have started a second read. It has been extremely helpful to me, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
  • My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
    — The first in the series, and probably the best. The latest book, as its predecessor, spends too much time recapping why she is a zombie, and how the zombie thing works. (Eating brains allows her to appear normal, and prevents “rot”.)


I read best on paper, and always print and catalog journal articles related to my research. We have a lot of physical books in our house, and shelf space is at a premium, so I’ve tried several ways of reading electronic books: Kindle app on iPad Pro, Apple Books, Liquid Text. However, this bumps up against my staring at screens for hours, and it’s not pleasurable to stare at one for relaxation. So:

  • Kindle Oasis by Amazon
    — It’s a paper-like experience, without the paper. Lighter than most books, has page turn buttons on the side, and built in side lighting. The side lighting means that in darker environs, one can read without the sense that the thing is shining light into your eyes, ala iPad. I also get sleepy when reading in bed, just like a real book. The iPad, on the other hand, promotes wakefulness. The resolution is great, so there is no sense of looking at dots. I’m still getting used to the library system, other than that, an excellent device.
    I must add, the sync is dead simple, and Apple could take notes from them. Plug in the USB cable, and it’s like a thumb drive. Drag stuff in and it appears on the device. No iTunes and finding the app, clicking sync, etc. Just frictionless.


My primary goal is to finish my research this year so I can write my dissertation beginning in December. There will be lots of reading this year associated with that. I have books on statistics, graph theory, brain functional connectivity, etc. that I will read, and of course journal articles.

I do want to have one recreational book that I’m reading along, with no pressure of finishing. At the moment, this looks like it will be


@JohnAtl, if you’re not already familiar with the work of Edward Tufte, you should check out his books. He also offers workshops that I have heard are excellent, but I’ve never attended one.

His first book, the Visual Display of Quantitative Information, is a classic.


ebooks I made past the finish line so far this year:

Read: Kim Phillips-Fein - Invisible Hands_ The Businessmen’s Crusade Against the New Deal (2008, W. W. Norton Company)

Reread: p-g-wodehouse_love-among-the-chickens (now in public domain and free to download/read.)

Read: Tisdale, Sallie - Advice for Future Corpses (and Those Who Love Them). (2018, Touchstone)

Finished finally after 3 months: Atul Gawande - Being Mortal_ Medicine and What Matters in the End (2014, Metropolitan Books)

Skimmed through: Christopher Hitchens_ Windsor Mann (ed.) - The Quotable Hitchens_ From Alcohol to Zionism–The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens (2011, Da Capo Press)


Thanks @Quahog. I have his book Beautiful Evidence but have only skimmed it. I may go ahead and buy the book you mentioned.
He gave a seminar here in Atlanta, and I was on the fence about going. His online videos are really bad, and I figured his live presentation would be similar, so I decided to just get books if the need arose.
Thanks for the recommendation.


If it’s ever available at a reasonable price, I have to read this book. The reviews are great! (Really, you should read the reviews.)


What are MPU members reading now?

Right now I am in the middle of Neil Gaiman’s “Norse Mythology” on audiobook and Alan Jacob’s “How to Think” on paper. I usually have one of each going at a time.

Do any of you have yearly reading goals?

I’ve set a target of 36 books for this year, or 3 per month. My stretch goal is 50, or about 1 per week. I’m trying to take those numbers in light of the enjoyment/learning aspect of it, which is to say I’d rather read fewer books but enjoy them more than read more books but feel like its a chore or, worst still, a game.

What device do you use to read books?

For audiobooks, I use both Libby and Hoopla on my iPhone. Both use my local library system to “check out” audiobooks. I usually listen in the car during my morning and evening commutes, both of which are about an hour.

For non-audiobooks, I typically read on paper. I’ve read books on Kindle, and while I like the portability, I still prefer to read on paper. I find the “uni-tasking” nature of a paper book is good for me, making it harder for me to jump away to some form of social media.

While its not strictly a “device” per se, we’re big library fans in my family, so a lot of my books comes from there.

Do you keep a list of books to read? What about what you have read?

I’ve kept lists in Goodreads for the last 5-ish years. TBR’s go on the “Want To Read” list. I use “Currently Reading” in conjunction with the yearly Reading Challenge to keep track of progress against my goals. I also have a series of bookshelves that track things like year read, genre, audio/paper/ebook, books abandoned, and books to buy. I use these in “cover view” mode to see a Delicious Library like view of the books in a particular group.

I also write notes on many books, especially non-fiction and series fiction (e.g. Scalzi’s Interdependency series). Those notes usually end up in Bear, following a template cribbed in part from Mortimer Adler’s “How to Read a Book”.


I just read his diaries book and enjoyed it for a different format! Have a few of his books on my list to read.


Currently These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore.

I read a book until I finish it, then start on the next one, whatever it might be. Police procedurals and legal thrillers are my usual fare. Occasionally I’ll find myself enthralled by something more scholarly, as I am now. Anyway, no book-count goals, just always have at least one book in progress.


I’m about to read Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates as well as Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. I’m excited for them.

I use the app Bookly to keep track of my reading time and Goodreads for book lists and what I’ve read and want to read. I am working to read about an hour per day to keep up a reading habit.


I’m just now reading this one for the first time and absolutely agree with your assessment. One of the best books I’ve read in the past year or so. It’s slow going because I keep stopping to underline passages and take notes.


I knew I was likely to open up a can of worms with this one…

You all realize of course that my books to read list just now exceeded 150 books due to the recommendations here? :sunglasses:

And I have to confess, I’m even considering getting an Oasis Kindle just because of the button click and since now most of my books do not have color pictures or any drawings at all.


Haha don’t worry I have 400 in my “to read” list on Goodreads. So much good stuff!


That makes me feel a bit better.

Unfortunately my 150 are books I already bought, mostly on Kindle, I’m sort of afraid to see how big my Kindle Wish list is. I’ve also added a kindle borrow list for books I can get using the Kindle unlimited program.


Same here, over 150 books to read already bought (40% paper books 60% kindle).

Nice topic!

Currently reading the most recent Haruki Murakami book and (at a much slower pace) Charles M. Schulz’s biography.

I read both paper books and on the Kindle. I seldom read on iPad or iPhone, preferring kindle screen, which I find easier on my eyes, especially in dark environments.

I usually read (try to read) at least 2 books a month, but that’s not always accomplished.


I don’t even want to county how many unread books I have on my bookshelf and my kindle.


That was my Christmas present to myself a few years ago and I love it. The buttons are nice, it has orientation detection so you can hold it in either hand, and it’s a nice size for me.


Sing Unburied Sing was one of my favorite books from last year. Both moving and unexpected. I gave a copy to everyone in my office for Christmas.