Profile of a Reader
Congratulations! You know how to read!
Reading strengthens your brain. It also connects you with the thoughts of other people around the globe and throughout history.
Habitual readers tend to have successful careers. They also seem to be good at dealing with stress.
Reading is not natural. It was invented only a few thousand years ago to fill a need for accounting and record keeping. A small number of people had the ability to learn lessons from generations past. Civilization was becoming wiser. Widespread literacy was not practical until the invention of the printing press. And in the few hundred years since then, the appetite for knowledge continues to accelerate.
Knowledge is power. And in the hands of common people, the world is a better place.
Reading tweets, articles and pamphlets undoubtedly can improve your life, yet books are often the best way to get substantial quality content.
Here are some books that I have read: (The further down the list, the less likely you are to recognize the title).
[Freakonomics — Levitt]; [The Tipping Point — Gladwell]; [Outliers — Gladwell]; [Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #1) — Kinney]; [Quiet — Cain]; [A Short History of Nearly Everything — Bryson]; [Guns, Germs, and Steel — Diamond]; [A Brief History of Time — Hawking]; [The Omnivore’s Dilemma — Pollan]; [Kitchen Confidential — Bourdain]; [The Power of Habit — Duhigg]; [Team of Rivals — Goodwin]; [SuperFreakonomics — Levitt]; [The Big Short — Lewis]; [Good to Great — Collins]; [I Am America — Colbert]; [Moneyball — Lewis]; [The King of Torts — Grisham]; [Modern Romance — Ansari]; [Catherine the Great — Massie]; [Predictably Irrational — Ariely]; [The Blind Side — Lewis]; [Collapse — Diamond]; [The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid — Bryson]; [Dad Is Fat — Gaffigan]; [Furiously Happy — Lawson]; [Killing Kennedy — O’Reilly]; [Decision Points — Bush]; [Boomerang — Lewis]; [Think Like a Freak — Levitt]; [Consider the Lobster and Other Essays — Wallace]; [The Signal and the Noise — Silver]; [Imagine — Lehrer]; [The Mother Tongue — Bryson]; [The Universe in a Nutshell — Hawking]; [Neil Patrick Harris — Harris]; [The Undercover Economist — Harford]; [The Wisdom of Crowds — Surowiecki]; [Incognito — Eagleman]; [Antifragile — Taleb]; [The Ascent of Money — Ferguson]; [The Third Chimpanzee — Diamond]; [A History of the World in 6 Glasses — Standage]; [SEAL Team Six — Wasdin]; [The Information — Gleick]; [1421 — Menzies]; [The Bully Pulpit — Goodwin]; [Those Guys Have All the Fun — Miller]; [How Soccer Explains the World — Foer]; [Please Understand Me — Keirsey]; [Dataclysm — Rudder]; [This is a Book — Martin]; [Liberty and Tyranny — Levin]; [Super Crunchers — Ayres]; [The Etymologicon — Forsyth]; [The Logic of Life — Harford]; [Dave Barry Slept Here — Barry]; [Scorecasting — Moskowitz]; [Destiny Disrupted — Ansary]; [How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big — Adams]; [The Arctic Event (Covert-One, #7) — Cobb]; [Cognitive Surplus — Shirky]; [How Not to Be Wrong — Ellenberg]; [The First Tycoon — Stiles]; [Baseball Between the Numbers — Keri]; [The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets — Singh]; [Don’t Put Me In, Coach — Titus]; [Here’s Looking at Euclid — Bellos]; [Emergence — Johnson]; [The Particle at the End of the Universe — Carroll]; [An Edible History of Humanity — Standage]; [How the States Got Their Shapes — Stein]; [The President’s Assassin(Sean Drummond #5) — Haig]; [I’ll Mature When I’m Dead — Barry]; [Brainiac — Jennings]; [How Music Works — Powell]; [Automate This — Steiner]; [What If? — Cowley]; [Shaq Uncut — O’Neal]; [David Attenborough’s Life on Air — Attenborough]; [The Power of Babel — McWhorter]; [The Dirt on Clean — Ashenburg]; [Empires of the Word — Ostler]; [Writing Movies for Fun and Profit — Garant]; [Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer — St. John]; [Private Sector (Sean Drummond, #4) — Haig]; [Man In The Middle (Sean Drummond, #6) — Haig]; [A Conflict Of Visions — Sowell]; [Black Rednecks & White Liberals — Sowell]; [Life at the Bottom — Dalrymple]; [Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free — Doctorow]; [Hardball — Matthews]; [The Capitol Game — Haig]; [1812 — Borneman]; [Five Equations That Changed the World — Guillen]; [The Whore of Akron — Raab]; [Meat Market — Feldman]; [The Eerie Silence — Davies]; [The Theory That Would Not Die — McGrayne]; [Curious — Leslie]; [Embracing the Wide Sky — Tammet]; [The Half-life of Facts — Arbesman]; [Letters to a Young Conservative — D’Souza]; [Dead Solid Perfect — Jenkins]; [What Language Is — McWhorter]; [Narconomics — Wainwright]; [Uncharted — Aiden]; [Alphabetical — Rosen]; [America, 1908 — Rasenberger]; [Bourbon — Huckelbridge]; [Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions — Hayes]; [The Gutenberg Revolution — Man]; [The Sportsman — Jones]; [History Lessons — Lindaman]; [The Craft Beer Revolution — Hindy]; [Affirmative Action Around the World — Sowell]; [It’s All Greek to Me — Higgins]; [The Leading Indicators — Karabell]; [Where’s Harry? — Stone]; [Americanos — Chasteen]; [History in the Making — Ward]; [A Very Good Year — Weiss]; [Big Brain — Lynch]; [Epic of Evolution — Chaisson]; [Competition — Case]; [Chill Factor — Paitson]; [Playing the Field — Euchner]; [For Buckeye Fans Only! — Wolfe]
These are mostly nonfiction, but an occasional peppering of action packed novels spices things up.
I don’t always agree with the rest of the population when it comes to quality. I am among the 3,700 people who in aggregate think Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes is a great book. But, I go against 27 reviewers in my belief that History Lessons: How Textbooks from Around the World Portray U.S. History is also a terrific read.
I will typically read books that have been published within the past couple years. The largest exception is the 1974 fictional book Dead Solid Perfect which I read in 2007.
A healthy book is about 300 pages, but I also like Doris Kearns Goodwin who writes tomes 3x that size.