Why you aren’t reading more books

Books help you with planning and strategy. They help you think in new ways and teach you concepts that are time-tested. They help you see the big picture of your business and how all the pieces fit together.

This makes you money.

People write books when they have big ideas to communicate. Valuable ideas. A book takes years or even decades of an author’s thinking and experience and distills it into a package you can read in a few hours. Talk about value. You’re getting a Big Bang for a few bucks.

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What’s better than reading? Re-reading

I’d like to re-read a book every month or two, but right now that rarely happens. I get distracted by New Book Sexiness.

Sex is actually a nice metaphor. A lot of people talk about how great it is to read around, sampling a different book every time. But anyone who’s stuck with one book for the long haul knows that this leads to a richer life.

New books are always going to be sexier — it feels almost like an instinct. And if you have a long list of stuff you want to get to, there’s a certain pressure to pick something different off the shelf, in the name of “progress”.

But the re-read always rewards your selection.

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On the shortness of life

Preoccupations look seductive, but only until you possess them and find them more trouble than they’re worth. We’re quick to toss away years of toil for the promise of some future pension, but when we’re threatened with terminal illness, suddenly every day becomes important. It’s the illusion of the unknown: we discard our time like it’s nothing when we’re not sure how much of it we have left, even acting like it’s infinite, but we value it supremely as soon as our days are numbered.

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Discoverability for books is not enough — a case for better reading list tools

What’s the common thread? These are ways to help you organize the books you already know about. Whereas most book-related services only care about discoverability.

Here’s the problem with that. Any serious reader has plenty of books to last them a lifetime. Yes, it’s always good to discover new books, and there are always new books coming out that I want to know about. But in a world of information overload that pain pales in comparison to the difficulty of making sense out of the hundreds of books I have on my list.

Which of these books will I enjoy the most? Which are most relevant to me right now? Which are highly regarded by the people I respect? There are no easy answers to these questions. But existing offerings don’t even try.

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7 Great Places to Read

I’ve taken books to the synagogue, to the DMV, and to the gym. I took one to my colonoscopy.

But I mostly read in the same few places. They lack distractions. They’re comforting, familiar, and full of positive associations and memories.

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