I dive into a book and it breathes life into me. I’m a vampire who sucks the words out of the author until I have absorbed his or her life.
Now I have lived my life and the author’s life.
I live more and more lives. I absorb them and become them, even for a moment, but that moment turns into a memory, turns into knowledge, turns into tools I can use to make my life better.
Here are reasons I read:
– To be inspired. Sometimes I forget that the key to life is to revolve your days and moments around MEANING. That meaning is the fuel of myth and story. Meaning creates The Hero. Meaning is the call to action that drives the hero from a normal person to one who surpasses all his prior abilities and achieves immortality.
– To learn facts. I never argue with people. Most people learn their opinions from their culture, from their parents or friends, from the location they grew up in. I like to learn facts from books. If I want to understand the effect of tariffs on the economy, I read the history of economies. If I want to understand how my favorite comedians succeeded against all odds, I read their biographies. If I want to learn about the effect sugar has on the body I read books about sugar. If I want to learn what radiation leaves a black hole when even gravity can’t leave a black hole I read books about physics.
– To get better at something I love. If I love chess, I read books about chess. If I love investing, I read books about the best investors and the best investment strategies. If I love psychology I read books by the best psychologists.
– To get smarter. After EVERY single book I read in the below list, I felt as if my intelligence was higher, if even for a day.
– To be a better person. What is the role of habits in success? What are the common qualities of people who are happier than others? How have my favorite authors dealt with sorrow and loss and fear?
I want to close a book at the end and immediately want to re-read it. I want to close a book at the end and say, “I am a better person because I have read this book.”
Not “better” than anyone else. Better than the person I was yesterday.
This post makes me want to go out and read every book on the planet.
I also loved this bit between James Altucher and Derek Sivers:
Derek: In one of your books, you said something like, “Pick a subject that you would read a hundred books on that subject.”
James: Yeah. So I say, “Go into the bookstore, which section will you read the entire section of? And then that’s what your — that can help you find out what you’re interested in.”
Derek: So have you actually read a hundred books on a single subject?
James: Oh, yeah.
James: I’ve read like a thousand books on a single subject.
Derek: Come on, no exaggeration? Really, a thousand books?
James: Yeah. Like for instance, I love games. So I’ll read – I’ve read at least a thousand books on chess, for instance.
Derek: A thousand? You’re not exaggerating? You’re not going to look back, ‘Okay. Well, it’s actually 180, but it felt like a thousand?’ It was really a thousand?
James: No, no, no. Ever since I was 18; I’m 48 now. I read you know, a hundred books a year on chess, maybe more.
Derek: Wow! All right. Well, I will just leave my jaw over there on the ground and I’ll try to keep talking.