My Daily Reading Strategy

 

Most of you who read my blog with any regularity know I read a lot. At any given time, I’ve got ten to twenty books going. I would estimate I read 150-200 books per year. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about my daily reads of periodicals of one sort or another and the medical literature.

I had a guest visiting not long ago who saw me go through my paces and wanted to know exactly how I did it and what I read. I figured if he was that interested, there are bound to be other folks out there just as interested, so I decided to lay it out in a post. Plus, Michael Hyatt, a blogger I read from time to time, did the same thing a few years ago, and I found his daily reading list interesting.

Newspapers and periodicals

First thing I do when I get up in the morning — after throwing back my 16 ounces of cold water and fixing a Cafe Americano — is to run through my list of daily newspapers and periodicals.

The New York Times
The Wall Street Journal
The Financial Times
RealClearPolitics.com
The Drudge Report
The Spectator
The Economist

It takes me about half an hour to forty-five minutes to make it through all of these. I don’t read every word, just the headlines and briefly skim any articles I find of interest.

I like to read The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal sequentially. One day I read one first, the next day the other. They have wildly divergent opinion pages, so I like to keep some modicum of balance. Obviously, The New York Times has a liberal bent while The Wall Street Journal has a conservative one. What I find interesting, though, is that the actual reporting often goes against the bias of the particular paper. In other words, I find The New York Times reporting of some event that has political overtones to be more conservative than The Wall Street Journal’s reporting of the same event. And vice versa. It’s as if the reporters — as opposed to the editorial writers — bend over backwards to be non-political. But the big difference is in the opinion pages and especially in what each paper chooses to write about.  Which is why I like to read both.

I always read The Financial Times, which is my favorite newspaper of all. Great writing and different perspective from any of the US published newspapers.

I click on RealClearPolitics.com (RCP) because I’m a political junkie, and RCP always has all the up-to-date scoops on everything. It is an aggregator of political articles appearing elsewhere and works hard to find a balance by listing as many liberal outlook articles as it does conservative. RCP is also my jumping off point for RealClearScience.com, which reports on science articles in the mainstream press.

I always hit the Drudge Report next. I love Drudge because, although he’s partisan, he doesn’t mind putting up any thing at all if it will get him hits. Best of all, he has the pelotas to go out with anything – even the barest of rumors – before confirmation, so I always feel I learn about it first on Drudge. Some of the time he has to eat crow, but the majority of time, he gets a scoop.

I then take a run through The Spectator, a British publication, my favorite weekly news magazine of all. I never miss an issue. The writing is spectacular and the subjects are always intriguing. Plus, since it’s from the UK, the US politics, which it reports on, are presented in a much less overtly partisan way than they are here. And the writers there have a perspective writers here don’t have.

Finally, I make a digital thumb through of The Economist, another UK published news weekly.

You may wonder how I can root through all of this in only half an hour or so. Two reasons. First, I’m a very fast reader. Reading is like any skill – if you do it a lot, you get better at it. I’ve read voraciously since I was in grade school, so I’ve gotten very good at it. Second, I read enough of any article I Daily Reading Listfind interesting to know if I want to take the time to read the rest of it. I then save it to Evernote in a file called Read Later. Then I read it later when I have some spare time.

I keep all these sources in a Chrome bookmark called Daily Reads in my bookmark bar. And, incidentally, although I read all these journals and magazines online, I subscribe to the print versions, just so I can have the full text available. And to take them on planes to read and throw away en route.

So, the first half hour or so of my day polishes off all of the news and current events kind of reading I do.

Blogs

I then turn my attention to the blogs I keep up with. These I subscribe to on Feedly. I used to use Google Reader, which I loved, but last July, Google ditched it. I don’t like Feedly as well, but it works.

You can see below the collapsed categories of the blogs I read.

Feedly blogs

I wrote a post not long ago on the eight low-carb blogs I always read. But there are a lot more that those eight that I read as well. I’ve listed my expanded Feedly low-carb-blog category. There are more than this, but these are the ones who have published posts in recent history. Nice thing about Feedly is that it lets me know if there are new posts without having to actually click onto the blog.

Animal Pharm
Authority Nutrition
Beef and Whiskey
Body by Science
Conditioning Research
Cooling Inflammation
DietDoctor.com
Doc’s Opinion
Dr. John Briffa’s Blog
Dr. Malcolm Kendrick
Dr. Ragnar
Evolutionary Psychiatry
Fat Head
Fred Hahn
Free the Animal
Gary Taubes
Health Correlator
Hunt.Gather.Love
Hyperlipid
Jimmy Moore
John Durant
Ketogenic Nutrition
Ketopia
Low Carb Confidential
Mark’s Daily Apple
Peter Attia
Richard David Feinman
Paleo Diet Blog
Robb Wolf
That Paleo Guy
The Anecdotal Biochemist
The Daily Lipid
The Ethical Nag
The Poor, Misunderstood Calorie
The Scribble Pad
Wheat Belly
Whole Health Source
Zoe Harcombe

Going through and linking all these blogs from Feedly made me realize I have a lot of blogs that are diet related that aren’t in the Low-Carb Bloggers category. I just didn’t have it in me late tonight to go through and pluck them all out.

Scientific papers

After I make a run through the blogs to see what’s new, I then go to NetNewsWire, my aggregator app through which I keep up with most of the medical literature I read. I can go through in a hurry to see if there is anything I want to read in full text. If so, I go into my university affiliated online library and download the full text in pdf. I usually pull a bunch of these down every day.

NetNewWire

I don’t have all the journals I want on my NetNewsWire app, so I go to the journals page on our website and go through the rest of the journals I read that way. And, again, I go through my university online library to pull down whatever I want in pdf.

I keep all these pdfs stored in various files on my Mac and read them when I have time. Any of them I feel would be of interest to my readers, I end up posting on my Twitter feed.

By the time I’ve gone through all these maneuvers, I burned through a couple of hours and about three Cafe Americanos and am ready to get on with my day.

Part of getting on with my day involves checking Twitter every few hours or so. I find a ton of interesting scientific papers there. I try to follow those who post links to papers instead of those who report of what they had for breakfast, though, I, myself, am guilty of that on occasion.

Typically, once every few days, someone will link a paper on Twitter that sends me off down a rabbit hole of pulling a large number of the citations listed at the end of the paper. When that happens, I spend more time than planned and invariably get behind. And endure the scorn of my lovely wife for not having done those things that I ought to have done.

Once I have all the day’s information stored and/or catalogued, I grab every second I get throughout the day to try to get it read. I get an enormous amount of reading done on airplanes and in airports. I don’t watch TV, and I always have something with me to read. If not, I actually have anxiety. So, if I’m in line at the bank, I’ve got a book. In fact, if I have to wait anywhere, I’ve always got something to read. It’s amazing how much you can pore through in a day if you just take advantage of a few minutes here and there and apply it to your reading list.

If you enjoy this kind of thing, let me know in the comments. If enough people do get benefit from it, I’ll put up a post on how I do my book reading. How I use Kindle and my own private Kindle site to save notes, and how I can crowd source the gist of most books without reading them.  Also how I use Evernote to keep it all together in a meaningful and easily retrievable way.

Or if you think there are blogs I should add to my list, I’m all ears. Please let me know.

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86 thoughts on “My Daily Reading Strategy

    • As I’ve gotten older (65) I find I don’t have the attention span of a manure gnat. Some of your techniques may be helpful. I began reading at an early age and used to read everything I could get my hands on. A friend loaned me the trilogy “Lord of the Rings” 3 days before I rotated back from Nam on the condition I gave them back before I left, whether I finished or not. I did (he didn’t believe it). Sure can’t do that anymore because I suspect I’ve experienced a couple of minor TIA’s in the last dozen years, but don’t tell my wife.

      I still have the ability to “scan” although not as accurately, but my reading speed has probably been cut in half, from over 2000 wpm to less than 1000. Concentration is pathetic and if I even finish a book nowadays it’s the exception, not the rule. Stupid plots and poor writing puts me off, and I lose interest. If a fiction author hasn’t researched his material well, or makes a lot of spelling and grammatical errors, I put him down. It seems hardly anyone can (or wants) to SPELL correctly these days so most of what I read is aggravating.

      I did set a goal to read Will Durant’s “History of Civilization” last summer and got through Vol. I and part of Vol. II before becoming overwhelmed with maintenance & repairs on my own and relatives houses. Love the way he writes – what a lost art! Had to keep a dictionary handy, though.

      Almost 30 years ago I attended my 20 year HS reunion. Wandering through the old school I ended up in the library and curious, began to pull out books I remembered reading. I was stunned! I was either the ONLY person to ever check the book out, or was the last one. Tells a sad story about public education, for sure, and that was before the digital age. Is it no wonder ignorance abounds in this country?

  1. Have you considered using Pocket (used to be called Read It Later List) or Instagram instead of Evernote for filing things to “Read Later”? It has extensions for Chrome and Firefox, and pulls the main article from a page and adds the text (or whole article) to your reading list, which then keeps track of whether you’ve actually read it. I prefer it to Evernote for that.

    I find it interesting that you use Feedly and NetNewsWire, as in my mind they do the same thing.

    • You’re right re Feedly and NetNewsWire. I just got started on NetNewsWire on the scientific journals quite awhile ago and didn’t think of it as an aggregator for blogs. Was using Google Reader for that and kept it that way until Google quit Reader. Maybe I’ll move all the blogs to NNW.

      I have used Pocket, but I quit because I tended to put stuff there and forget about it. Whereas with Evernote, I always end up getting back to it because I use Evernote all the time for other stuff.

    • Also there is an iphone app called voice dream that will read all the article in your Pocket que to you with pretty good text to speech voices and variable speed. Great for the ride into work.

  2. You read the NYT and the WSJ, one liberal and one conservative.

    Great.

    I mean, I myself love both kinds of music, country AND western.

    Do you ever read counterpunch.org or antiwar.com?

    Not to mention the blogosphere.

    However, I envy you if you do in fact read 150-200 books per year. I cant match that and know i need to do more.

    btw, what do you make of the recent report that middle aged people eating protein have shorter lifespans?

    • Have not read either of the sites you mentioned. I’ll take a look, though.

      I have pulled the paper on protein and shorter lifespans and glanced over it. Haven’t read it thoroughly, however. It appears that most of the actual experimental work was done on mice while the human data was scrounged from database searches. I’ve got a long plane ride tomorrow, so I will turn my full attention on it then. It has certainly caught the media’s attention.

      • Saw this on Zoe Harcomb’s site re: the lead author of “meat as bad as smoking”

        The study claims to have adjusted for protein in general vs. animal protein to conclude that animal protein is the harmful factor and not protein per se. Call me suspicious, but I always check for conflicts of interest and the lead researcher, Dr Longo, has declared interests in (actually, he’s the founder of) L-Nutra – a company that makes ProLon™ – an entirely plant based meal replacement product.

        Hmmm.

  3. I use many of your strategies for my own reading habit, but I’m intrigued by “your private kindle site”? – I’d definitely like to learn more there.
    Also, thanks for the Feedly tip – I hated it when iGoogle went away; I’m now largely confined to wordpress blogs and their reader.

  4. Thanks for posting, and have followed up on many of your reading suggestions. I am also a fast voracious reader, and find that has mixed benefits. I read a lot (friends and the people who work at my library branch are amazed at how much I read), but there is always the possibility of running out of material. My ratio is about 3/4 non-fiction and 1/4 fiction. Ditching TV last fall was wonderful, more time for things I would rather be doing, including reading. I don’t miss it at all. The few things I want to watch I can view on-line.

    Also, for your on-line reading pleasure, sciencedaily.com is a great way to get an overview of what is happening in science generally, if you aren’t already reading it. Top article today: “Prequel outshines the original: Exceptional fossils of 160-million-year-old doahugou biota”. Who can resist a picture of an extinct salamander showing skin and external gills? And I am not being sarcastic, it is a fascinating article.

  5. Thank you for sharing your reading habits.
    I am dedicated to making the most of this precious life.
    I appreciate your road map.
    Magically,
    Dana Law
    Amazing Dana the Magician

  6. I try Twitter from time to time and usually conclude that for me it’s a mostly a time-waster. I don’t have superfast Internet, and I often click on a Twitter link, wait what seems like hours but is probably seconds, and find the reference is something I read three days ago. And there are no comments.

    Sometimes one link will appear on multiple Twitter feeds and one wastes time following them all.

    One paper in isolation doesn’t mean much. It needs someone with a grasp of the literature as a whole to put it in perspective. Is this result good confirmation of other studies? Is it an outlier with questionable methods? Do the authors have good reputations? Are they drug company shills? Or is this paper a brilliant new approach that may lead to significant advances?

    You have excellent analytic skills, and I enjoy your blogs. The frequency of your blogs has gone way down since you joined Twitter, and I think the ROI is lower.

    I’m hoping Twitter will be like CB radios, a temporary fad.

    • I went back and checked on when I started using Twitter. It was right at the time our sous vide business kicked off. I never would have dreamed it was going to require the time commitment it has. That’s the reason the blogging frequency declined, not Twitter. Twitter allows me to quickly throw up an interesting study for all to read instead of spending several hours I don’t have posting about it.

  7. Yes please! As someone who ends up spending {wince} MORE than a couple hours every morning reading though my ‘stuff’ — I’d love to know how you get through it in a more streamlined fashion!

  8. Hey! Thank you so much for this. It’s super helpful. I liked the tip about using twitter to follow others posting scientific papers. I would benefit from a post on how you read books and file the information (and more info about how you sift through journal papers.)

    You’ve inspired me to get a system in place for my reading as I’ve been recently hired by an integrative MD as a researcher. So this came at perfect timing for me. Off to my third cup of coffee from the carafe.

  9. I do find it helpful to learn how others go about the similar tasks of a day that I am finding increasingly more difficult as I get older. In this way, I pick up new tricks, so to speak, that help me learn some new ways to do old things. Thanks for the peek into yours and the tips I can use in my life: a retired therapist with advanced heart failure caring for a very dear husband who is recovering from a stroke 5 years ago.

  10. I’m kind of curious how you go through so many books in a year. That’s amazing. My friend recently told me about the app, “Spritz” that helps build a person’s reading speed. I thought of giving it a try. I use Feedly as well and I love the format of it. It definitely saves me time when perusing the Blog world. If you’re ever looking for another blog to add to your feed, there’s always mine 😉

    • Noted re the blog. Thanks.

      I go through a lot of books because I read fast and read all the time. A number of years back, I was shocked to discover that reading is a chore for a lot of people. They view having to read something – even light reading – as work. I’m just the opposite. I love to read. I find in immensely relaxing. When I learn of a book that interests me, I can’t wait to get it in my hands. Kindle has indulged me in that I can get it immediately. So for me, reading is fun. We all tend to do things that are fun for us, and since reading is fun for me, I do a lot of it.

    • I do read it from time to time, but it’s a little over the top for me. And a little quackish in many respects. I’ve noticed a lot of scientific papers that have meager data presented as if they are an exciting new discovery.

  11. Do you have an opinion on polyglycoplex (PGX)? I saw a program on PBS last night in which Dr. Mark Hyman was recommending its use. He said it “soaks up sugar and fat, curbs appetite, lowers blood sugar, and promotes weight loss.” Sounds great if true, but I’m skeptical and would really like to know your thoughts. Thank you.

    • I don’t know all that much about it, but from what I have read, it appears to be just a glorified form of fiber. And I’m not all that sure fiber does much for us.

  12. Thanks for sharing, this is interesting and adds to my reading list. But I will have to adopt some of your strategies to be more efficient in my reading with those additions!

    I’m a political junky as well, try to watch / read a wide variety to challenge my thinking though I am libertarian (fiscal conservative and somewhat social liberal). I find the recent Arizona veto by the governor as a very interesting issue that most people see as far too black/white when it is fairly complex….

    Like your New York Times/ Wall Street Journal example, do you have a similar list of “counterpoint” blogs, authors for low-carb. And a “neutral perspective” one like the Financial Times?

    • One of the reasons I love politics so much is being able to observe how the system works. And I don’t mean the political system. I mean the way politics and politicians create cognitive dissonance and then resolve it so that hardcore followers of one side or the other never have to do any critical thinking.

      One side uncovers a scandal perpetrated by a member or members of the other party. If it’s the president, all the better. When this hits the news, it makes the followers of the party committing the scandalous act uneasy. But these followers don’t have to wait long because within hours their side will come up with a way to blow it off. Or blame someone else. Then the followers – who don’t ever have to think or really delve into what really happened – have their cognitive dissonance resolved, and they can go happily on their way secure in the fact that their party has clean hands.

      I don’t have a list of counterpoint blogs because I use the mainstream media for that. For years, all there was were counterpoint (to low-carb) articles everywhere. Even now, every time a study is published that gets any press time, I’m bombarded with people asking me for my thoughts on it. So I get plenty of counterpoint without ever having to look for it.

  13. Hello from the Dallas suburb town of University Park.

    Did you ever read _Amusing Ourselves to Death_? I’d love your take on the book if you ever get around to checking it out.

    It’s of course available on Amazon, but I was a little surprised to find a moment ago that it’s actually out there in pdf form for free as well: http://zaklynsky.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/postman-neil-amusing-ourselves-to-death-public-discourse-in-the-age-of-show-business.pdf

    Thanks much for what you do. Big, big fan.

    • Glad you enjoy the posts. I have not read the book you mentioned, although it sounds right up my alley. I need to grab a copy.

      I did go to Amazon and read a few of the reviews. This popped out at me from one of them:

      Television, as our modern-day uber-form of communication, has biases which are destructive toward the rational mind. TV teaches us to expect life to be entertaining, rather than interesting; it teaches us to expect 8-minute durations of anything and everything (anything else is beyond our attention span); it teach us to be suspicious of argument and discussion, and instead to accept facts at face value.

      I couldn’t agree more, which is why I almost never watch television. I learned all I needed to know about TV from a PR agent one of our publishers used years ago. We were going on some talk show – I can’t even remember which one now – and this guy told us that contrary to whatever we thought about it, TV is an entertainment media. The stations use entertainment to sell advertising. Doesn’t matter if it’s the evening news, 60 Minutes, NFL, or I Love Lucy, it’s all about selling ads. Certain groups of people love to hear pundits scream at and talk over one another (which I despise) on these argumentative political shows, and that sells ads for those shows and keeps them going. It’s all entertainment. He told us not to worry too much about what we said, but to make sure we were entertaining or the host would cut the interview short. I had never thought about all this before that, but as soon as I heard him say it, I knew he was correct.

      • The book was written in 1985 and its author Neil Postman passed a few years back. To my knowledge, he was never able to comment on the internet as a medium. But it’s a fascinating read. I’ll look forward to your thoughts. Thank you.

  14. I find this extraordinarily helpful. In fact, I generally wonder what influences the thinking of any author.

    Do you think that you are typical among medical doctors in scope and approach relative to keeping up with the latest research and advances?

    It would seem to me that it would be equally important to keep up with what is going on in the various health related blogs as well as the more formal medical research literature. Even scanning book reviews on Amazon might be helpful even though it is all anecdotal.

    • No, I don’t think I’m typical. Most docs I know keep up with their own specialties via a couple of specialty journals. Most get a ton of so-called throw away journals and usually throw them away.

  15. Wow, I thought I read a lot! I do have quite a few of the blogs you read loaded into my Feedly and the tally is up to around 50 at this point. One of my faves is http://www.wellnessmama.com. She is an engaging writer and covers a lot of interesting health topics along with many recipes for things like homemade toothpaste, deodorant that really works, sunscreen, and household products.

    The other new blog I am really enjoying is http://www.primaldocs.com. It’s usually a quick read by a different practitioner each day and covers a wide range of things. The one about the “8 signs of heart disease most doctors miss” was great and I’ll probably print it out for our patients where I work. (acupuncture office)

    Also, thanks for the heads up on the free book by Anthony Colpo – that made my whole day! I would also be very interested in your strategy for book reading – fire away!

  16. You are fabulous. I loved hearing how you go about your reading as I am also an avid reader and it overwhelms me trying to sort and catalog for later…I just bookmark in a “Read” category at this point. I have a new laptop, so I’m trying to get things more streamlined. Haven’t jumped in yet with Evernote – seems like using Outlook OneNote (which I’ve yet to jump into also) would be just as good…?

    I found my way to Peter Attia from your post on low-carb bloggers and I have to say – wow. I love this man! I have read and watched everything out there by him and have posted a few comments to his blog indicating that I found him through you. He mentioned that he would have to thank you… What an amazing man he truly is. I am now again thinking of this one TEDMed talk where he shares such a personal story.

    Because of some of the posts by Peter and You and Dr. Dominic D’agastino, I have begun a ketogenic diet for all of the important reason not the least of which is the cancer management/avoidance/treatment type theories. Fascinating.

    Oh – what are you thoughts on “bulletproof coffee?” I’m guessing you have heard of this and the guy who promotes it.

    Thanks again, Dr. Eades!

    Sheila

    • I do drink Bulletproof coffee from time to time. But I like it black a lot better. But occasionally I have the urge for it and will drink a cup or two.

      Glad you are enjoying Peter’s posts. He’s a great guy. MD and I just had dinner with him and his family at his house a couple of weeks ago. He’s a real sous vide aficionado since I turned him on to the technique. So he fixed us a great meal all cooked sous vide.

  17. Make this, please, 16 ounces of warm water in the morning. In the long run, your kidneys and your life force will thank you.

    But you could do a short cold shower after your warm one, every morning (unless you have contraindications like uncontrolled high blood pressure and/or arterial disease). Start at feet, hand, face – and take a month to do your whole body.

    Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author.

  18. “I have used Pocket, but I quit because I tended to put stuff there and forget about it.”

    I find the same with Kindle. When there are free or cheap books on Kindle, I download them and forget about them. The hard copy stacks up, and when it reaches the ceiling, I try to read some so I don’t punch holes in the ceiling. Unlike you, I’m a slow reader.

  19. I thought I was a voracious reader! I skim many blogs and articles on several subjects including nutrition. Read novels more slowly. I enjoy your information, writing and intellect very much. Thank you.

    I too, love Cafe Americano. I used a little espresso maker called an Aeropress (Amazon $25) that you can take when you travel. Of course filtered water (Berkey) and the best beans. (BTW, I also like Jameson)

    • I’ve used the Aeropress, but I prefer the actual espresso, and the Aeropress doesn’t make it to my satisfaction. I’ve switched over from making it myself as shown in the video linked in the post to using Nespresso, which I find vastly easier and much better.

  20. Dr. Eades,
    I disagree with your assertion that “Reading is like any skill – if you do it a lot, you get better at it.” I love to read and read a lot, but it has always bothered me that I don’t read faster. I can skim, but then I find my comprehension isn’t as good, and I want to absorb and understand what I read. Do you have any tips for reading faster? Did you ever take any speed reading classes or implement certain strategies? Please do share more information about your reading habits/organization, etc. I always find your posts educational and entertaining and this is no exception. I think you are definitely an outlier in terms of your reading amount and speed. Thanks as always!

    • You don’t know how fast you might read if you didn’t read a lot. Could be a lot slower than it is now.

      I don’t have any real tips on reading faster. I once took a speed reading class in summer school in college to get some extra credits. I basically got a pass in the class because my reading speed was so high with great comprehension that the instructor said he didn’t see how what he was going to teach could help me a lot. I think it’s kind of like golf or skiing or anything you start as a kid. You just develop a skill with it that you can almost never catch up to if you start as an adult. And I read voluminously as a kid.

      • I too am a lifelong voracious reader. When I took a speed-reading class in 9th grade, my reading speed went way up. So I think a speed-reading class might be beneficial to some.

        I loved this peek into your daily reading habits and hope you post about your book reading too.

      • Just took a look at the site. I could hang in there pretty easily at the 600 wpm. Be interesting to see how the technique works when they finally make it available.

  21. I highly recommend Reason.com for a libertarian view of today’s news, especially their Hit & Run blog. There’s often interaction between the Reason staff and the people who comment on the blog posts. I’ve found it entertaining and educational.

    • I’ve subscribed to Reason on and off over the years and know a few people on their editorial staff. At a party a year or so ago, I met one of the upper level execs, and he told me he would put me on the subscription list. Somehow it got screwed up, and now I get two issues every month. I also read Reason.com.

  22. Thank you, I loved this post and I now love you even more!!
    What is your eyesight like Dr Eades? Are there specific eye exercises and supplements you recommend? A close friend has reading habits similar to yours and she is dangerously short sighted (at risk of retinal detachment).

      • I think the perfect vision may be the key. I’ve always had astigmatism, which my muscles were able to correct when I was young, but I couldn’t relax my eyes when reading. Reading meant “focussing,” a certain amount of strain. I remember as a child saying early in the morning, “My eyes aren’t focussing yet,” and I couldn’t read the text on the cereal box. (I didn’t follow a LC diet when I was 10.)

        The first time I got reading glasses, I was amazed. I could just sweep my eyes across the page without effort.

        I wonder how many children have vision sufficiently good to read the eye charts but with sufficient strain to slow down their reading.

        • I’m going to do a post on this very thing at some point. I think all kids should be put in reading glasses to save their vision. It’s all a matter of anatomy and physiology.

          • Have you ever heard of the Myopter? It lets you read while your eyes are focussed at a distance. I like trying weird gadgets and bought one. Using it, I was able to relax my eyes completely when working at the computer. However, the field of vision was too narrow, so I couldn’t read fast, and I stopped using it.

          • Have never heard of the Myopter. Since I’m not myopic, I probably don’t need it. Sounds like it does the same thing reading glasses do.

  23. I loved this post and would love anything and everything you would take the time to write about how you streamline your voracious reading. I read a lot too, since before kindergarten, and agree about how it is a skill polished by use, but I think you’ve got me beat and I’d like to know how to expand to your level.

  24. One of the things I admire about you is your hungry, insatiable mind. It makes for a valuable experience for your readers here, too. So generous of you to make available some of the fruit of your intellectual foraging.

  25. “You may wonder how I can root through all of this in only half an hour or so. Two reasons. First, I’m a very fast reader…”

    I find it unconscionable that schools do not teach students to speed-read — which just means learning not to subvocalize everything. Most people go through their entire lives only reading at the rate they can speak. It’s a monumental handicap.

    As far as the “protein causes cancer” study, first, it’s associative data. Second, FFQs are bunk and we know that (Salvini 1989). Finally, as Zoe Harcombe points out, all-cause mortality over the entire cohort was not increased by protein. They sliced the data until they found one slice with increased cancer incidence…which was, of course, balanced by decreased cancer in other cohorts.

    (I’m not sure how I failed to make your reading list…I’m not sure whether I’d prefer to find out that I’ve managed to offend you in some way, or that you don’t find my work interesting!)

    JS

    • I agree about the speed reading. In today’s world, it’s a necessity.

      You didn’t actually fail to make my list. Nor did you offend me. You are in a different list. I have you in the Science category. When I started aggregating all these blogs, I put those with blogs of a more scientific bent into the Science category (which is where you ended up) and others with a strictly dietary bent into the Low Carb category. After a while, I ended up putting everyone who wrote on nutrition and/or science in the Low-Carb category. But those in the Science category stayed there. I really need to do a resorting.

  26. Doc,
    As an avid reader myself, I would love to see more posts on how you do your book reading, how you use Kindle, and your own private Kindle site. Please more!

  27. I started my own list only yesterday of what i need to check daily/weekly etc.

    so I have a list of podcasts to listen to (on my commute and during runs and walks) I try and source interesting content and guests for Vinnie Tortorich, Ben Greenfield etc so it’s a great way to find folks such as yourself.

    Then an extensive list of blogs (your 8 daily blogs were my first!) and this list grows the whole time.

    I didn’t know about Feedly or NNW that’s great to know – i will get notified if anything new is posted.

    I’m going to add another 25 or so from your list see if they suit me. I am nowhere near as fast as you !

    Then I have two groups I read on facebook, plus Twitter – I have 25 accounts i actively click through including yours. That way I can retweet anything of note. Then of course there’s the social side of Twitter.

    In addition i am OBSESSED with triathlon so i’m trying to stay across the latest and greatest with social media for that too.

    Fitting it all in round a full time job, training and a nine year old daughter is challenging.

    Thanks for your list – I thankfully don’t have much thirst for politics!

    • Ah, you just reminded me of another reason I have so much time to read. I have avoided getting on Facebook. Everyone I know who is on Facebook seems to spend a ton of time there. And I would be no different. I recently got reacquainted with an old high school friend. Her doctor told her to get a copy of Protein Power to help solve some of her health problems. When she got it, she remembered the name and recognized the photo on the front, so she tracked me down. I’ve spent a fair amount of time emailing back and forth catching up on our current situations, families, etc. It’s all been greatly enjoyable, but I can’t imagine having half the people in my high school class and college and med school and various jobs I’ve had all communicating with me through Facebook. I would never get anything done.

      • Well for Facebook it’s more of a voluntary job that I do – I am one of the admin people for Vinnie Tortorich and for Chris Macca McCormack so for Macca it’s all about race results around the globe. It sure is time consuming because you end up in more of a dialogue than you do on Twitter for example.

        Talking of Vinnie – we would love to have you on the podcast – this week was John Briffa – he was fantastic! Vinnie has had Gary Taubes, Tim Noakes Dr Westman – so many great names now – why not you!

        If you want to come on reply on here and we’ll hook something up.

        Jo

  28. How timely! The other day, I got so frustrated at my slow reading speed (again) that I spent an evening googling about how to read faster. I’ve taken speed reading courses in the past but they didn’t make much difference – the faster I read the less I comprehend.

    But, these days, most of my reading is actually done on the computer screen or ipad (news, research, forums, etc.) which is somewhat different from reading a book Most speed reading advice suggests using a ‘pointer’ of some sort (finger, pencil or such) but there is not much that can help for reading on a computer screen. In my search for speeding up that type of reading I came to this site http://www.spreeder.com/blog/speed-reading-methods-for-computer-screen/ which gives some techniques like using the mouse as a guide, etc.

    I bet YOU, Dr. Eades, don’t need any of these props – you just read fast because you’ve done it most of your life and you’ve got a nimble brain! I’ve come to the conclusion that some people’s brains are just not ‘wired’ to ever read really fast – but then maybe it just takes more practice and perserverance.

    Yes, I would definitely be interested in reading about YOUR reading habits and anything that would help me and probably most of your readers as well.

    Seeing your blog in my inbox is always a source of joy and anticipation. THANK YOU!

  29. I’d love to see more of how you do such prodigious feats of reading, as well as the organizing principles that lead to selection, acquisition, and, finally, how you remember the important information over time.

  30. On top of the list of blogs etc I posted last time, I also use multi-reddits which are combinations of sub-reddits, as reddit usually has the quickest links to new articles/journals/tidbits and also there’s often very good responses to them in the comments.

    Eg, one for keto-related stuff:

    http://www.reddit.com/user/ashsimmonds/m/keto

    Then just sort by new to see what’s happening in real time basically.

  31. Great blog post – thank you for sharing! Would definitely be interested in more details regarding you books / kindle approach that you mentioned in your final paragraph:

    If you enjoy this kind of thing, let me know in the comments. If enough people do get benefit from it, I’ll put up a post on how I do my book reading. How I use Kindle and my own private Kindle site to save notes, and how I can crowd source the gist of most books without reading them. Also how I use Evernote to keep it all together in a meaningful and easily retrievable way.

  32. Yes! Very interesting.

    Do you subscribe physically to all these publications? Or to online versions as well? Does your mailbox physically fill up with papers? And how much do you estimate it costs you to subscribe to all these sources per month or year?

    When you leave on travel, is it a burden to put so many publications on vacation hold?

    And how, precisely, do you organize using the iPad or Kindle? (You have obviously become expert.)

    I find it very instructive to learn skills from someone I respect — whereas opinion and ideology ( I don’t mean yours, but in the commentary section) becomes numbingly boring after a bit. Self-appointed experts and all the rest…

    Thanks for such a useful and personal piece.

    • I do subscribe physically to all the subscriptions. Other than the daily newspapers, which I stop when I’m traveling, I receive in an executive mail center. And if I’m gone a while, they do accumulate. It takes me no more than five minutes or so online to suspend all the newspapers while I’m on the road.

      It is kind of costly. Especially for the Financial Times and The Spectator. The FT is around $200 per year, The Spectator is circa $160. The others, not so much.

      I will post soon on how I organize using the Kindle app on my iPad.

      Don’t know when that might be because I’m traveling now, and in a hotel that has wretched internet service. Sometimes I can get into my blog, and sometimes I can’t. Which is why it has taken me so long to respond to this comment.

  33. ” the faster I read the less I comprehend.”

    @Rosemarie, I think this is true in general. I have a friend who races through novels at high speed. I sometimes read the same book more slowly and comment on something, and she says she doesn’t remember it. But she does remember the novel as a whole.

    Reading speed depends in part on the material. When reading medical articles, Dr Eades doesn’t need to spend much time on the background, as he’s already familiar with that, so he can skim that and get to the meat of the article. You and I might have to cogitate about some items in the Introduction.

    I was a professional copy editor, and one reason I was good at it was that I read slowly, and I noticed small errors that others didn’t. I used a pencil, and then later the computer mouse, as I read. The purpose of such tools is actually to *slow you down.* If you read a sentence as a whole, you may not notice that a verb is missing or a “their” was used instead of “there.”

    Unfortunately, all that moving of pencil/mouse gave me bursitis, which I’m still dealing with. Trackball helps.

    @Dr Eades. I wasn’t suggesting that *you* use the Myopter, but you said you were interested in *preventing* eye problems in children, and that’s what it’s for. Although controversial, there’s some evidence that a lot of close work causes myopia. I had always been hyperopic but became myopic in my 40s when I was editing 8 or 10 hours a day.

    • The notion that close work causes myopia is controversial, but not to me. I’m convinced it’s true. A device like a Myopter, or better yet, weak reading glasses, should prevent it.

  34. dang, I never heard of all this stuff… feedly, netnewswire, evernote…. I must be doing the internet all wrong hahaa….
    Amazing traffic bump from that little mention up there in your feedly list, makes me feel like I need to post something soon. Ugh.

  35. I loved this post and would LOVE to learn more (what you mentioned at the end).

    Chris Kresser .com has great content IMHO.