Reading books: quality over quantity

Out of the 11 books in my this year’s read­ing list, I already read five books in the last few years and some just the last year:

  1. What I learned by los­ing a mil­lion dol­lars.
  2. The Psy­chol­o­gy of Mon­ey.
  3. Atom­ic Habits.
  4. Style: the basics of clar­i­ty and grace.
  5. The Cus­tomer Ser­vice Sur­vival Kit.

I am going to re-read them all this year.

The year-end lists of books read by some peo­ple I fol­low are real­ly long! And I only read a hand­ful of books for the past two years (2019 and 2020). While I am cool with the amount of read­ing I do, I must admit, at some cor­ner of my mind I had the nag­ging feel­ing of hav­ing to read more. Nev­er­the­less, when I made a ten­ta­tive list of eleven books to read in 2021, I includ­ed the above five books that I already read in the years past.

I felt val­i­dat­ed last week when I read the blog post of my ex-col­league and an excel­lent human Jere­mey, titled On Re-Read­ing and The Book Quan­ti­ty Trap. I par­tic­u­lar­ly liked this quote in Jere­mey’s post:

A good book gets bet­ter at the sec­ond read­ing. A great book at the third. Any book not worth reread­ing isn’t worth read­ing.


That val­i­dat­ed my thoughts on read­ing and re-read­ing a few, but good books. And today’s med­i­ta­tion of The Dai­ly Sto­ic empha­sized the same point.

What if, when it came to your read­ing and learn­ing, you pri­or­i­tized qual­i­ty over quan­ti­ty?

What if you read the few great books deeply instead of briefly skim­ming all the new books? Your shelves might be emp­ti­er, but your brain and life would be bet­ter.

May 20th page of The Dai­ly Sto­ic

Here’s to read­ing and re-read­ing a few but what I believe are great books!


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