Daily Writing #21: Do you really need to read 50 books a year?

You must have heard somewhere that on average a CEO reads 50 books per year.

Do you think it is true?

I think it might but the real question is do you need to emulate that in your own life.

Is there really a need to consume that much in 365 days. Every book contains a sea of knowledge and ideas that can truly change us but are we able to absorb it effectively if we zoom past them like we are The Flash?

Do you need to read 50 books a year
Photo by Jake Givens on Unsplash

I don’t think so.

The fast-paced society today has led us to believe that we need to be sprinting at 100kmph in every area of our lives. This superfluous need of pace devoids us of real value. It allows us to be fast but at the cost of depth. We become shallow in pursuit of our goals. We begin valuing outcome more than the process. The idea of speed robs us of true understanding.

Here’s what David Perell writes about this in his essay:

This modern reading habit stems from a deep-rooted cultural insecurity. We no longer believe that one idea can be transformative.

Consuming more information does not necessarily make you more competent.

In contrast to the sprint to read every book on Kindle, Charlie Munger once said: “Take a simple idea and take it seriously.”

David Perell

Simple idea can change your life

What wonderful advice?

Take a simple idea and execute it seriously. If we do even one single idea can change our life. I find this true as often when I return to read a book I discover new ideas. I have new epiphanies.

We are not machines. Our brain has a limited capacity to absorb information. When we read fast we simply overwrite old information with the new one. We don’t give ourselves a chance to think deeply about any single idea. The result is that we are never able to formulate an opinion on anything. We don’t have deep knowledge about any topic.

Just think about it.

Next time you read a book. Read less. Think more.

Read a page but truly think about it. Talk to your friends, colleagues about it. Give a chance to assimilate that idea into yourself so that something new comes out of it. You will then be able to recognize new patterns, connect new dots, and develop new perspectives.

Instead of racing past page after page of a book, slow down and enjoy each word. Note down words that you encounter for the first time. See their meanings. Use them in your own articles. This will make you a better writer.

Enjoy the slow lane for once, I bet you will love it.

I write daily here on my blog. There is no limit to the word count. I am not focusing on any topic here. I want to build a daily writing habit. This is Day 21 of the Daily Writing Challenge in 2022.

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