The best investment I made YTD


Yes, you read that right. Books.

Earth. Shuttering. Isn’t it? Yeah, I know. Still, to me, it has been an important realization.

I’ve spent $342.11 so far this year on books. While it’s impossible to put a hard number to the return those books have yield so far, I can guesstimate that it’s orders of magnitude more than that.

This year I’m starting every morning with 30 minutes of scheduled learning reading. Non fiction books only. Interesting things only.

Don’t take me wrong. I’ve been a relatively avid reader all my life, but a few days ago I read David Cancel’s post about his reading routine and I took a few key points and incorporated them into my routine.

Without a doubt the one that had the largest impact was ditching the habit of finishing books.

Books have usually one or two core and impactful concepts. Around those central ideas there’s normally useful structure.
In the perimeter of that structure there’s usually filler content that makes up for around 50% of the book. (This is specially true for recent non-fiction books). Content that is, at best, second-class citizen to the central ideas.

Filler Content

This content is often puffed up by citing, usually worthless, social experiments in an attempt to build up the credibility of the book while at the same time providing a story format that might make the book more affable.

This is the worst kind of filler content. Social experiments are routinely biased and extrapolating from them to substantiate author’s main points is regularly a stretch of the imagination.

Even worse, it makes the author lazy at observing direct experiences from the real world related to the main thesis of the book. (A step further, if you are a regular Planet Money listener you might have heard how many scientific studies are flat out wrong)

Ever since I gave myself permission to not finish books I find myself purchasing a book every day. My hit-and-miss rate of reading interesting and actionable information has shot up.

I’m learning something useful. Every. Morning.

How can you beat that? I start every day with a fresh new perspective, a new concept. I might agree with it or not, but it enriches the framework I use to understand and interact with the world. In that way, I know that everyday will include a minor victory.

What’s $342.11 compared to that? Nothing.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to recommend this post (by clicking the ❤ button) so other people can find it. Sharing is loving!

Update: I decided to start sharing what I learn on a bi-weekly basis. If you want to tune in check it out here.

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