On Reading

The act of reading, or becoming an autodidact seems like one of the strongest indicators of long term growth, success, and intelligence.

It seems in our day and age those that are highly successful, carve out significant amounts of times to read. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama, Tim Ferriss, Ryan Holiday, Maria Papova, Nassim Taleb all seem to be incessant readers.

One of the most common excuses I hear or make to myself, is that we lack the time to read. Reading is a waste of time. I'd like to amend that misconception and say reading is one of the greatest uses of your time.

Learning, reading expands the perception of time. Reading can expand your mind, take your reality to another world, expand the life that you live simply by forcing your brain to think laterally and imagine vertically. Think of the times a story or book has taken you to another time period and you've been lost in its fold and perception of time. 

Reading expands the experience of reality in a way that changes the way you see the world. Reading is like cheating on the test of life, you get to experience, learn from, and steal from the wisdom of generations of writers and people that learned a thing or two in their life. Reading/writing is a means to pass on culture and knowledge as a species to the future generations of humans.

That being said I have a short list of recommendations around how to read more often. They surround approach to reading and getting into the act of reading:

TIP 1: Place books in physical locations you're likely to have some down time at. This could be your bedside table, in your car, in a backpack, or on the couch.

TIP 2: This is stolen from Ryan Holiday, amongst others, ruin the ending. Read the end to understand where the story is trying to go.

TIP 3: Jump around and explore, finishing a book should not be like a test or deadline, read it at the pace you're interested. Start new books as interest arises, but always make sure to come back to books when you're ready

TIP 4: Take notes or ear mark pages you find interesting for future use or even mental cataloguing of interesting facts

TIP 5: Read thematically, it helps fills out your understanding of a specific topic. Sometimes the best books to read in genre come from suggestions or tips in the books you are currently reading.

That's it. Reading should be viewed as a free experience into someone else's world, reading should be about growing as a person, and lastly reading should be about things you enjoy.