I had reached a juncture in my reading life that is familiar to those who have been there: in the allotted time left to me on earth, should I read more and more new books, or should I cease with that vain consumption—vain because it is endless—and begin to reread those books that had given me the intensest pleasure in my past.
~ Lydia Davis
How about instead of just adding more new books to our
read pile (and even more to the never-ending
to-read pile), we revisit our list of the books that we've read and in 2020 we not just re-read them, but study them?
“The greatest satisfaction comes from mastering something that is truly difficult.”
~ Abraham Maslow
All of us are readers in this group, and we had to go through a lot of content to find the one that’s valuable. We can think of that as a process of getting the signal from the noise.
Even though we read a lot of books (and we may be looking into techniques to increase that number), we are not oblivious to the fact that there are just too many books and not enough time. Moreover so, we realize that after a certain amount of books that we've read in a certain category, the new ones are just not yielding the same ROI (I being the ever so slightly limited time). Most of them feel like they’re rehashing the ideas and are just geared toward the ‘current’ generation.
Consider for a moment that we read 60 books per year (A lot, right? Well, here's the math behind reading 30 in a year). What if, in 2020, instead of just adding new books to the read pile, we set a goal only to read 30 (half of that, so adjust your math accordingly, please). But with a twist.
What if we revisit all the books that we’ve read in our career so far and commit to not only re-reading them in 2020, but actually studying them? So that we won’t just know ‘oh, yeah, I read that somewhere in the XYZ book,’ but instead we’ll have the actual book in RAM if you will (with UPS, of course). Sure, I’d reserve a slot for 10 new ones just in case 🙂
I’d love to hear what you think about the idea presented above 🙏. And also, I’d like to learn what were the
signal vs. noise books in your career so far? To not make this into some long list, let’s cap it at five books.
OK, OK, thought I’d get away with it 😎, here’s my entry:
- Leadership and self-deception
- Time management made simple
- How to win friends and influence people
- Think and grow rich
- Little prince
One thing is definite: our time. Let’s use it as effectively as possible by reading the books that bring the biggest bang for the buck.