How I read nonfiction books

Nonfiction books can change your life for the better. My life took a different path after I read Getting Things Done by David Allen. Since then, I started reading more and more nonfiction books - I try to do one fiction, one nonfiction book (though I admit I read the entire Cosmere universe books by Brandon Sanderson without stopping for air).

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

This was very helpful in starting my own literature notes. Could you talk a little more about how you set up your home page? And how do you use it?

I’m new to Obsidian and have been using a daily note template that I like, but I liked the photo of your home page and think that might be an interesting thing to check out.

Hi Dan!

My home page is just a note with some links to other notes. I keep it pinned to the left in my Obsidian setup so that it’s always visible. There’s nothing inherently special about it - just a note I always keep open. It looks something like this (with more personal stuff removed):

It also has my “Inbox” note embedded at the bottom - that’s a note I paste links to, etc., to be processed later. I use this as sort of my “menu” / navigation for my notes in Obsidian. When I want to spend some time writing but don’t have a specific note in mind, I scan through it to get some ideas.

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Just reread this Amir, thank you so much for putting it together. I’m trying to figure out a way to not only digest books better (this helped a lot!) but also experiment with ways that I can synthesize takeaways across multiple books at once. See if there are any fun insights to be had cross referencing my takeaways from a fiction book and a non-fiction book, for example.

I know one of my favorite things when I was in college were the unexpected connections you’d find pop up across completely different subjects. For example, a philosophy class and a biology class, or a computer architecture class and a foreign policy class.

Anyway, just wanted to thank you for putting this together - I love the prompts you give yourself in particular, I plan to use them.


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