On the importance of reading

I’m slow reader as well. I guess that’s why I start so many books and rarely read any to the end. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’m the slowest reader in the world. Also I don’t have much time to read. I should probably use getabstract instead of reading whole books :slight_smile:

Anyway feel free to do summaries of your books. I love that, probably because I kind of hate the “filler” text that some author tend to write to make publisher happy (1 Page real content, 10 pages fluff…)

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I’m also a slow reader and the amount of content that you guys link here, all the books, makes me so anxious about missing out on all the knowledge. And of course, all this stuff about Warren Buffett reading 100 books a day. I have an IT job, which means me reading code or emails for the whole day. Then I read this forum, read the news on the Internet, I have enough of reading, can’t be bothered to fit in such a time-intensive activity as reading a book.

Audiobooks are also not a solution. The only time when I could theoretically listen to audiobooks is at work, but that’s simply not gonna work. I need to focus, I can’t have any distractions.

So in order not to turn into a complete ignorant, I watch short 10-minute YouTube videos on various science and political topics.

You might be interested in one of my 1000 projects: A better Youtube (or video in general) organisational site.
Like a decent index of the video they have, some kind of organisation unlike the mess it is now.
It’s years that I’m planning it and I started building a concept site/tool for classical music (since on this field, youtube is very messy)

I need 50hours-days…


Heh. Don’t we all.

For those lacking the time to read, you might be interested in learning how to speed read. While it takes some practice to become “fluent” without tiring oneself, the rewards are great and makes it easy to tackle more books in a limited amount of available time. Speed reading alone won’t make you read more books, but is another tool you can use to read more if you so wish.

Also, somewhat of a Mustachian tip/hack: I have switched to an e-reader many years ago and haven’t looked back. Between the free online repositories such as Gutenberg Project (more than 57’000 free books), the 15’000’000 texts available for free from the Internet Archive and their nearly 750’000 ebooks that you can borrow for free, there is plenty to go around. Also, more and more public libraries are joining some kind of ebooks borrowing system, so you can borrow online without going to the library. Finally, ereaders have a lot of neat tricks to help with reading speed, such as adapting margins (narrow margins makes it easier to speed read), lines spacing, characters size, …

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So, a new club, then? After the Reader’s Digest, let’s make a Watcher’s Digest? :smile:

This - or we need to get better at cutting useless crap from our lives and get better at using our time/energy/attention more efficiently to achieve our goals. I seriously think that it’s matter of setting right priorities, attention, time optimization and discipline. We’re doing too much useless stuff, too many stuff in the same time, too much context switching between stuff and we give up too easily on hard problems. I’m not different in this matter - I constantly struggle with improving myself in this field.

I’m mostly reading in the evening (I have to switch to early morning though) and on my commute - it used to be 2h, now it’s 1h since my company’s office was moved to Zurich (which made me sad). The trick is to find the time for reading. I think it boils down to two factors: discipline and time optimization. By first I mean really making the reading a priority in your life, and by second I mean cutting the time waste wherever it’s possible. I kinda suck at both (far from being like @Julianek), but recently I started incrementally improving my reading habit step by step.

I think this is helpful, but it will never replace the power of reading as a brain-muscle trainer and knowledge-acquiring machine.

Does this really work? I mean don’t you need to focus for a moment to process the stuff that you read?

There’s libgen.io as well, which is a Russian-un-copyrighted repository of e-books. It’s awesome.


What I found really helpful are animated summaries in youtube. You can find an animated sumaray in youtube for almost every book. (At least I found one for every book I looked for) And if the summary relly grasps you, then you could think of buying the book.

+1 :smile:

I have the “privilege” to have a two hour commute every day. There I can do some reading and some listening of interesting stuff.

I’ve heard about that and also watched some videos about how to start. Though, I have the feeling that it’s not my eyes that are too slow. It’s my brain that needs the time in order to understand the content. Even in the speed I’m reading today I sometimes need to read some sentences twice in order to fully understand them.

Do you have experience with speed reading? Do you believe speed reading would help even in my case?

You have to train your brain to remove the “fluff” and only keep the essential in what you “see” before you “read” it.

For example, in the above sentence, you would only read:

train brain remove fluff keep essential before read

It’s still perfectly understandable and you have the core of the content, reading only 8 words instead of 23, or only about a third of the content. As such, speed reading is not really enjoyable for novels, but works well for self-help, technical, financial, … books.


not think makes sense. hard read. all words important. otherwise cavemen talk.

now me only write like this. you save time.


OK, perfectly was maybe too strong a word :wink: But I’m sure you understood what I meant.

Me too! (2h train, 30min walk). Great, isn’t it?

I use it a lot, ideed awesome!

I do speed-watching, on Youtube (x2 speed). Depending on the type of video. Perfect when it’s just a guy talking medium-slowly… Watch a 30min video in just 15min! Then I also use J and L keyboard keys to do a quick back/forward move when needed…

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I only watch youtube videos on the TV with chromecast. Btw I cannot grasp how some people watch netflix on a laptop. Seems just so illogical to me. Putting a huge TV a few meters away is a blessing for the eyes.

Regarding commute, I know you’re joking guys, all the studies say that over 30 min of commute has a terrible effect on stress levels and health. Regardless of how much you can read in that time. I wake up at 7 and by 17 I already have 8 hours of work and 1 hour of bike behind me, and all the evening to watch youtube and tv series :stuck_out_tongue:

Topic split to keep the forum readable :wink:


This is my daily ride… :sunglasses: I wouldn’t exacly qualify it as particularly stressful an unhealthy… :smile:


400 times a year with a crying kid on the other seat, no thanks :stuck_out_tongue:

I get it that you have nice views outside but I’m sure you know them all too well and you could definitely do something more meaningful or fun in that time.

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Sure! I’m just trying to tell myself it could be worse… :joy:

I consider TV & Internet & Phone killer to most productive habits (including reading). From these two, Internet & Phone have some productive employment (we just tend to unproductively abuse them), but I consider TV completely useless and I haven’t been using it since high school.

My commute was along the coastline of Lake Zurich in an emptish train, so it was ok. I actually enjoyed these moments of silence with my book, because at home with a small baby it’s hard to find time for this.

Exactly the same goes with me. Except 2 kids now…

I think TV as a device is useful. It provides entertainment, I watch movies, TV series and YouTube. It’s just my hobby. However, I don’t watch TV as a medium, TV channels.

I’m sorry but your argument is falling apart. I thought you are happy to have a baby. And I’m sure your wife is happy to have you around for 2 extra hours. And if you want a time off from the kid, then I’m sure you can close the door or sit in front of the house with the book.

You’re advertising your commute as a magical time away from your family where you could read a book and you’re telling me that without an excuse of commuting you couldn’t explain your wife that you need some alone time? :stuck_out_tongue: