You don’t have to finish that book

Have you ever heard of the sunk cost fallacy? 
In economics, a sunk cost is any past cost that has already been paid and cannot be recovered.

If you spend $15 on a burger (I promise this is going somewhere), and are only able to eat half before feeling uncomfortable, you should stop. But since we are emotionally tied to the money we’ve just spent, we tend to eat past our discomfort or full feelings in order to somehow get MORE value out of our burger, even though we have already gained full value.

I’ve got a pile of about 25 unread books on my desk. I am ashamed of them. I don’t allow myself to read them, because I want to read books one at a time, cover to cover. I paid good money for those books, I want to extract full value from them. This strategy obviously isn’t working out for me, as I am full of self-loathing, and don’t know what is inside any of those books I want to read.

So I’ve decided to try an experiment: I’m going to leaf through each book and write down three bullet points from each. Afterwards, I’ll put each book back on the shelf and mentally check them off in my mind. And I will forgive myself for not reading as aggressively as I would like myself to. At this point, if I have any additional curiosity about any books, I’ll pick them back up and see if I can’t squeeze 3 more bullet points out.

Tis better to skim than to get stuck.