I used to hate reading books. Well, not just books—reading in general. As a kid, I was supposed to read the books that were part of the programme in the elementary school.
I think it was about five books per year. It was mandatory. I would read these books in the first few years but when I think of it now, that wasn’t much of a reading. You know when you read something but your thoughts wander off and even though you read it you actually don’t? I found those books boring and by the end of the school I completely stopped reading them. Our teacher was extremely strict about it and she used to scare the shit out of me. But even that wasn’t a good enough reason to read. I remember thinking to myself: “How can people read books? I rather watch a film or play a video game. At least that’s not a complete waste of time, right?”
15 years later, everything is turned upside down. Now I read 3.5 books per month. That’s almost a book every week. I have a to-read list with more than 400 books on it and a goal to read 40 of them every year. I almost succeeded last year but fell short by 9. Moving to London completely disrupted my routine and I was unable to sustain such a rhythm for almost two months. Now, I think to myself: “How can people not read books?”. I stopped playing video games a while ago and I only watch a film every now and then. I read every day on my bus journey to work. I read while having lunch. Sometimes I even skip my morning exercise to read instead. I read them cover to cover. No skipping. For some unknown, strange reason, that feels like cheating to me.
So, what happened? To be honest, I have no idea. Maybe that ignorant kid simply grew up. At some point I started buying books and reading them. I believe it came from a desire to open my mind and get better at what I do—most books that I read are either design or typography related. It will take me 10 years to read all the books on my to-read list—assuming I can keep up the rhythm and that I don’t add more books to it (highly unlikely)—and I can’t wait to get through all of them.
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