Restart Reading

Inspired by my friend GCM and the caretumbas.


Adult: Y colorin colorado, este cuanto se ha acabado…

Kids: NOOOOOOO!!!!!! One more? Please???

Adult: We said this was the last one. Please go to sleep.

Kids: Please? One more story? One more and that’s it. We swear we’ll wake up in time for school (puss in boots eyes) Please?

Adult: (deep sigh) OK… Which one?

Kids: The same one! Again!

Adult: (inaudible) you’re freaking kidding me.


Kids have an immense craving for stories and the good ones, they want to hear ad nauseam. Leverage the power of stories and regain the habit you once probably had.

A lot of us haven’t read a book in years. January comes along and we tackle a 300 to 500 non-fiction book that most intellectuals recommend. It’s hard to keep reading after the initial excitement dwindles down and the book gets tough to follow.

Instead, read great stories before bed. It will help settle your mind, release the fears of the day and prepare it for rest. Stories are one of the most ancient ways of transmiting wisdom. You’ll even become a better communicator and you’ll slowly build the habit of reading.

After you’re fairly consistent with reading stories you enjoy, expand the habit slowly to short non-fiction (under 200 pages). After three of those, go for the cool 500-page ones.


What should I read?

In the beginning, read stories. Then find someone you admire and read what they have read. There are tons of book lists. Here are my favorites.

Story Books lists

I Am Francisco Story Books

Non-fiction books lists

Derek Sivers Book Notes. He ranks 250+ books and has notes (not summaries).

I Am Francisco Blog Book Notes. My version of Derek Sivers’ book notes.

Tools of Titans – Tim Ferriss. This is one of the books I’ve gifted the most. It’s like a buffet for some interesting books and people. Glance over it and read what interests you.

Religious texts are always great


When to read?

Stories: before bed instead of reading non-fiction or scrolling through social media to get your mind ready for sleep and rest. During lunch breaks are good just to rest your mind.

For non-fiction: commute, the morning of a weekend. I take notes and highlight so I dedicate 100% attention to reading, audiobooks are a good alternative.

For stories or non-fiction: driving, working out and doing chores/errands. Audiobooks are the way to go in this case.

How to read?

For taking notes and saving space: kindle or an e-reader works the best for me. You can export notes.

For the love of books: if you love turning a page, the smell of books and walls with books but they take space. They make for great gifts, or borrows. My favorite reading experience was reading my cousin’s copy of Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince with her notes and chapter summaries. But as they say, lend a book only if you don’t mind not getting it back.

For multitasking: audiobooks are best when your hands are full and your attention divided, like when driving, working out and doing chores/errands. I’m trying to find a way through dictation of taking notes but haven’t found a good way. Let me know if you know of one.


As always, please share what time/formats work for you in the comments or via email.

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