8 Things I Learned Reading 50 Books A Year For 7 Years

#1: Reading isn’t a secret to success

(1) Truly good books are few and far between — and so they’re priceless

There are two camps of “good books” and both of them are rare.

  1. The second is good craft. It doesn’t matter as much what the content is because the writing is so goddamn beautiful it all but sings off the page.
Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

(2) Conversely: there’s a lot of garbage out there

My least favorite books are what I call “bullshit business books” — the theoretical fluff written by people who have never directly done the thing.

(3) Reading easily becomes just another form of consumption — and procrastination

And if you learn only one thing from this post, make it that.

(4) If you’re reading for growth, read to get answers on specific questions

From books for healing to engineering books to resolve a design question, books are an excellent resource for specific questions

(5) Listen to people who have actually, firsthand experienced the thing

My favorite types of books are autobiographies and memoirs from people I admire — with top slots going to Zero to One (Thiel), Big Magic(Gilbert), Fashion is Spinach (Hawes), The Hard Thing About Hard Things(Horowitz), and Man’s Search for Meaning (Frankl), and honorable mentions going to all of the dozens of autobiographical pieces I’ve read (Vaynerchuk included.)

(6) Context and timing is king

Maybe we’d eventually like a certain book, but we’re just “not ready for it,” or right now’s not the right time.

(7) Confirmation bias, the risk of influence, and the fact that no writing can be totally objective

Writers are people. Be careful what you read.

(8) All of this being said, reading is a personal journey

One person’s bargain bin find is another person’s salvation.

My top recommendations

Because this is always the first question people ask (even after I tell them that reading is personal and it depends on what you’re looking for, see above.)

  • For psychology: Flow (Csikszentmihalyi), Blink (Gladwell), and Stumbling on Happiness (Gilbert)
  • For management: Napoleon Hill’s chapter on “Leadership” in Laws of Success, and Hard Thing About Hard Things (Horowitz)
  • For work: Big Magic (Gilbert), Rework (Fried, Hansson), Zero to One (Thiel)
  • For relationships: All About Love (hooks)
  • For something beautiful: A Field Guide to Getting Lost (Solnit)

Writer — www.krisgage.com reach me at krisgagemedium (at) gmail (dot) com

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