If there is something that changed my life in the last years is reading. Some years ago, I notice that something was missing. I was not sure what was it, but I felt that neither my job, my family, playing music, nor running was filling some emptiness inside me. Now I know what was it. I needed more insight into the thing that matters to me. I needed more thinking on these issues and understanding the opinions of people that had invested a lot of time on these topics.
Of course, in the beginning, I did know what it was. And how to fix it. That was happening at the same time that DxO was going down. The company I had been working for five years was about to fail. I thought that it was time to switch gears and look for something else. The first step was to refresh my knowledge of the current state of development for iOS since I wanted to move to that space. I started reading about architecture, existing processes, and also the latest on the management of small teams. I just wanted to get new knowledge of the current state of the art. But what I found was much more.
I notice that I felt fresh and full of new ideas. It was like having a hot shower after some days in the mountains with snow up to your knees. I stopped playing guitar and started investing all of my free time reading and listening to audiobooks. I focus on technical and psychology books because they were the ones that I am more interested in. I knew that I should put something else in the mix. Too much focus on a few topics will block me sooner or later. But that never happens.
This year I have read 54 books, which means more than a book a week. That is possible because part of them are audiobooks. In the last 12 years, I have been listening to podcasts always, and that helps me in gaining the habit of listening with full concentration while doing other things like errands or cleaning. Last summer I painted my house while reading a couple of great books. That said, nothing beats the act of reading a paper book. Some of the books that I have to listen to, I also got them in paper and read them. I have a full-stack for next year ready.
I know now that I’m better and happier thanks to my books. I love having them around and reading them. As you probably know, I do not make use of television (including youtube and similars), radio or social networks. I keep the use of my digital tools for work and study exclusively. My current habits include one hour of reading in the afternoon, and plenty of listening along the day while having lunch, cleaning doing errands or shopping. I also read a technical paper just after lunch before the work session in the afternoon.