Kindle Oasis: How Reading Other Books Outside Medicine Motivates Me to Learn

Kindle Oasis: How Reading Other Books Outside Medicine Motivates Me to Learn

As a freshman in medical school, I was hesitant to read more. I thought it could be a bad decision, since I had so much to read. I was so obsessed with only learning and studying medicine. Not only that, but I was looking at my life like a tunnel.

Cindy Yoseffa
Cindy Yoseffa
10 min read
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Freshman Problems with Reading in Medical School

As a freshman in medical school, I was hesitant to read more. I thought it could be a poor decision, since I had so much to read. I was so obsessed with only learning and studying medicine. Not only that, but I was looking at my life like a tunnel. A tunnel that would bring me directly to the place called being a doctor in hospital.

I didn’t realize it until I became so stiff and overwhelmed with studying. Then I began my journey on finding a couple of tips about how I can study medicine effectively in Germany. I started with an e-book on Kindle on my iPhone 7 Plus written by Cornelia Bues (2016) in German: Medizinstudium - Tipps für dich!. Her e-books come in three parts:

I found myself in that period reading all her e-books while studying. It was such a relief and very calm, as If I had a mentor while studying alone. One thing that most international students don’t know: Studying medicine abroad can sometimes be a very lonely road: Be ready to study long hours alone! If you are not aware, you can quickly feel isolated. We don’t want to go there.

Why I Read More While Studying

Being a foreign student makes me vulnerable at university. Most German and international students from other countries can’t relate to my experience. It gave me a barrier that other German students don’t have. Even if I met some Indonesian students along the way, it doesn’t mean we quickly become best friend at university. Just because someone is coming from the same country, does not mean you should become best friend with them. If you don’t really have enough things in common, such as interests, values, ideology, and communication style, it will be harder for you to build that human connection with others. It doesn’t matter which nationality or ethnic a person has, as long as both of you have many things in common, your friendship is real and strong. Even sometimes with language and cultural barriers. This is the reason studying abroad can be so lonely. You indeed don’t have many things in common with your buddies, but you can learn so many new things, about cultures, languages, human and other things. Then you kept being questioned for every human interaction: Does your way of thinking and living healthy, or it could be you are just fixed minded? You will feel exhausted, and it’s a lonely road.

Since reading a book about outside my study makes me feel less alone, I read different subjects other than medicine. It relaxes me and calms my nerves. Reading medical books with tons of information is a unique approach to reading. Here you need to read and be able to explain or actively recall that information as much as possible. Those books are like your professor at the university. Nowadays listening to a Podcast or watching YouTube videos with an easy topic works for me and helps me relax. Those books and podcasts are like friends. I just need passively reading, listening or watching them. It’s such a relaxing experience.

Well, some of you probably asking: Why don’t I go outside and talking with other people to feel less lonely? I did that before Covid-19. Now that activity could lead me to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and I could die. It’s already a year now, and we are still on lockdown here in Germany. I can see and understand how the depression caused by isolation is rising.

What about Video Call? Now I can’t argue with the pandemic, right? But there is something crucial with chatting and studying. When you are studying, reading or listening, your brain is in a passive approach. But when you are chatting, video calling or commenting in social media, your brain is in reactive approach. The energy that you need to change your approach from passive to active is enormous. I’ve definitely guilty doing this so often. I read this from the book Make Time also on Kindle.

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This is the reason I read much more than ever while studying. Reading a book helps me cope with very long hours of studying alone, without really wasting my energy. Books are friends who help me to broaden my mind, without making me exhausted, since I can control what topic I want to read and how long I want to read. Therefore, I batch my social proactive time, and it works wonder for me. Not reading other books outside medicine as a freshman is still one of my biggest regret as a medical student until now.

How I still read lots of books even with enormous amounts of study time in medicine and part-time job

I read as much as I could. I used to read on my iPhone, my Laptop, and actual paper books. Nowadays, these paper books are much more expensive than e-books. They are also heavier. Well, borrowing from the library could be an option, but I just can’t keep out with the deadline. I like to decide by myself, when I want to finish a book, based on my needs and current moods.

After years and years of not wanting to buy an e-book-reader such as Kindle, because I think it’s unnecessary and a waste of money - since I see myself as frugalist. I got fed up, because now I have so much books in my student’s apartment and could barely put my stuff or walk without jumping on a book. Since then I was a minimalist lifestyle with a Kindle device and hopefully somehow save the trees. I got lucky and bought a Kindle Oasis with the Easter discount. Not only that, but I saved 100 Euro for it. My two cents as a student with minimal budget: Please wait for Black Friday, Amazon Prime Day or other holidays to buy a Kindle Oasis or other Gadgets on Amazon. You’ll get them much cheaper in this way.

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Since I also work to pay my rent, I need to read between the time. I read when I am traveling with the local transport, sometimes I read in the break time at work. On some days I have so many patients that reading a book is not an option. When the sun is shining, and I just want to lie down on grass, bringing a bunch of books feels like a burden than an enjoyment. Kindle comes very handy in these situations. It’s a better activity than scrolling down my smartphone. Like most of the people on the internet, I have difficulty in maintaining a healthy relationship with social media. Some users are hater and stalker. They spread hate, and I refuse to consume their negative energy. Kindle is until now giving me a positive experience better than social media.

Kindle Oasis as The Power Gun for Reading

  1. The Kindle Oasis has the best e-Reader experience you can’t deny. Even if you are a lazy reader. Just having one will motivate you to read more.

  2. Buying with Only WLAN in special edition. The special edition means you will get ads on your Kindle. You can 👉 turn on the Kindle special edition on your computer later and additionally pay for 20 Euro to get no ads. I don’t think it is necessary. If you have 20 Euro to burn for that, then do it. I would probably prefer to use the 20 Euro for other things like grocery.

  3. It’s better to have Kindle in 32 GB, specially if you have lots of audiobooks on Audible. Even if you don’t have that much, I still prefer the 32 GB. I believe in the future, more e-books will have bigger size. It’s always good to be prepared. I prefer to use my electronic as long as I can.

If you are in Germany, I suggest that you buy the Kindle Oasis Set on Easter for around 240 Euro. You can use the monthly payment (de: Ratenzahlung) on Amazon. This Easter in Germany Amazon has 30% Rabat on Kindle. 30% Rabat also means, if you buy the fancier Kindle (in this case Kindle Oasis 32 GB + WLAN), you’ll get it much cheaper on holidays, rather than buying another affordable Kindle such as 30% of 120 Euro (Kindle Paper White 8 GB + WLAN). And if you pay the Kindle Oasis for five months, you can pay it for 50 Euro monthly.

The Benefits of Reading (for Me)

Reading as much as possible has actually improved my mental health. Not only it makes me feel less lonely, since I read someone else’s mind, it gave perspective in seeing something with a different angle or just learning how to learn and understand other’s mind. Every time I have existential - big - questions or just want to learn something new, I look for a book and read it. I always feel better afterwards.

Reading books combine with therapy, heal some of my narrowness - unhealthy mindset - and fuel my ignorance with blessing. Reading is like the active way of fixing your unhealthy mindset, while therapy helps you passively understand yourself. This combination is the bomb of understanding your mind. My mind became one of my best friend when I’m alone. The next friend I need to better understand is my emotions - I’d talk about it on my future posts -. Especially in the Covid-19 Lockdown these friends - Emotions and Mind - are becoming my best companion and I gain more respect and self-love. Lockdown is like a calling to meditate and being spiritually awakened.

Reading a book is not the same with just reading an article or a post on social media. You gain a more profound understanding of a topic. Reading an article or a post is like knowing something. But knowing is not the same with understanding a topic. You know Deutsch is German language, but you don’t understand when a German talks. This is the same with knowing and understanding.

Who should read more?

Everyone should read more. You should not only read non-fiction books but also fictions. Sometimes I learn more about life in fiction books, rather than a non-fiction book. Students particularly should read more and increase their reading speed. Our momentary educational system doesn’t prepare us exactly for the actual life. The University of Life - This is how I love to call it - has another way of teaching and lecturing. So, you need to prepare for them. At the university sometimes you still can cram to just pass that test. Not at The University of Life, if you don’t pass the test, the test will come harder this time. The real deal is you can’t cram the things in life. You really need to train yourself day by day.

Growing up in the harsh Asian community, it takes a ton for me to understand myself. The Asian culture supports the way of life of being together mostly all the time. That makes it harder for Asians like me to expand their mind differently. Since you have to be alone to develop your own opinions and your own visions. Such quality labeled as being difficult. In the west the skill to have your own opinion and to think differently is mostly - not always - positive and the culture supports it. Germany, as the land of the thinkers, is heaven for people who love to think differently and to understand deeply. Book in this sense is like a medium, where you can develop your unique opinions and express it without being shame of having one.

Productivity

Cindy Yoseffa

Cindy is a medical student from Indonesia at LMU/TU in Munich, Germany. She also has a YouTube Channel and is hosting a Podcast: Parva et Magna.