Lessons learned after 300 books in 4 years

~ 1 minute

Four years.

Three hundred (mostly nonfiction) books.

There are a few simple lessons I learned after reading all of those.
They might seem too obvious, but aren’t all the great truths simple?

Anyway, here they are:

  • It’s much better to read the best book on the topic 5 times, than to read 5 different books on the topic once.
  • Eyes that pay read better than eyes that don’t. Eyes that pay more read better than eyes that pay less. In other words, when you pay for a book or a course, you’ll dedicate more to it, so you’ll get more value from it.
  • Good books can offer you a lot of great ideas and useful knowledge. You can’t apply or adopt all of it in your life. Focusing on 3 ideas from which you can benefit in a near future is the best thing you can do.
  • If you read ~1h (almost) every day, you’ll be able to read 60-80 books per year.
  • When you read a lot, you’ll forget a lot. Make notes about the most important ideas and knowledge you get from books you’ve read.

Also, I find this quote very interesting:

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time—none. Zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads – and how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.”

Charles Munger, the billionaire business partner of Warren Buffett and the Vice Chairman at Berkshire Hathaway.

Happy reading! :)

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7 Comments Lessons learned after 300 books in 4 years

  1. Moschops

    “It’s much better to read the best book on the topic 5 times, than to read 5 different books on the topic once.”

    That seems very odd. It directly contradicts my own experience; that to understand a subject, different sources on the same topic need to be read. Reading one source repeatedly means I have no chance to identify mistakes or biases the book contains. I also often found something I could not understand was made much easier to understand by reading different approaches to the same topic. I don’t know about five different books on the same topic, but two (or maybe three) is far better than reading the same book two (or three) times.

  2. Sigi

    That’s it? No revelation?

    Can you compare your reading of non fictional books with news from nytimes, it news, blogs etc.?

    How did you read every day an hour?

    Ebook vs. Paper book?

  3. robert

    Why would it be better to read only one book on a subject; maximum information extraction? I suppose for a subject like history, esp if controversial, multiple perspectives is useful but maybe you’re right if the subject is technical one etc.

  4. Anonymous

    I was considering to email you and ask for a free copy of your Vim book, but then I’ve read this blog post :-)


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