Compared to 2017 and 2018, if I look at my list of books (physical or e-book), the numbers have decreased. I think I’ve only read 30 plus books this year. However, I prefer quality over quantity. Apart from physical or digital books, I also read articles and research papers from academic journals. I’ve never counted how many but I read quite many in order to write a sound argument for the articles I’ve written for this blog. I think I do not limit to my type of reading materials. It would be better if I expand the source of reading materials for me to refine my way of thinking. The same issues are more current when they are being addressed in journal articles than in books.
My reading theme for this year is mostly to understand the fundamental concept of politics. I’ve picked up a few books that I’ve read that had served as an introduction to the field. Coming from an education background, I had problems understanding books that discusses politics as it was a foreign concept and field altogether even though I was already reading about the topic a few years back which means my fundamental understanding of it was not as strong. Towards the end of the year, I found myself able to analyze local and internal political affairs just by applying the fundamental framework that I had read from the introductory books on politics. I am able to get into conversations about politics and express an informed opinion on them.
Apart from reading, I’ve also started to write articles by using an academic approach even though I’m not in academia. My arguments should be backed up with facts and current research. This also helped me to refine my way of thinking about current issues.
2020 is going to be the year where I plan to start learning about the basic about economics because I’m aware that I am quite illiterate when it comes to economics. Apart from that, 2020 will also be the year where I focus on my thesis. Now, how do I balance my time with thesis writing and reading up on economics as well as work? I think it just takes discipline. Last time I was able to just balance between reading and working. Now I have to add in thesis writing to my schedule. We’ll see how 2020 goes for me.