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How to read self-help

“…in the day to day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have a life or death importance.”

David Foster Wallace

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Reading in the digital age

Online life makes us into a new kind of reader: Our attention fractures. Online reading is about clicks, and comments, and points. 

The opposite of the traditional reading ex...

Not every emotion can be reduced to an emoji, and not every thought can be conveyed via tweet.

Not every emotion can be reduced to an emoji, and not every thought can be conveyed via tweet.

Cynical Readers

We have become cynical readers – we read in the disjointed, goal-oriented way that online life encourages & we stop exercising our attention. 

We read just as much if not more. We live in a text-gorged society in which the most fleeting thought is a thumb-dash away from posterity. It's how we read that changed.

Success And Buying Too Many Books

Many of us buy lots of books that go unread and causes us guilt, but that’s a habit that many successful people have they believe they are better off for it.

For those who actually put in the...

“I maybe start half the books I get, and I probably finish a third of the books I start. And that works out to finishing 1–2 books per week.” 

“I maybe start half the books I get, and I probably finish a third of the books I start. And that works out to finishing 1–2 books per week.” 

View Books As An Experiment

It costs you money and time, but it may pay for itself by changing your life for the better. It’s an experiment. And the more “smart” experiments you perform, the more likely you are to find a breakthrough experiment that changes everything.

Inherent in being a good experimenter is being OK with the losses. Therefore, remember that every time you purchase a book that turns out to be a dud, you are just one step closer to a book that will change your life.

Junk Knowledge
Most of the stuff we read is junk, with little or no value in a year.
Expiring knowledge is something disposable, which we consume daily.
Timeless or long-term kn...
Long-Term Vs Expiring Knowledge
  • Expiring Knowledge, is better than junk knowledge, as it is not as useless, but has a short shelf life. It catches our attention due to its topical and current nature.
  • Long Term Knowledge is hard to find as it is not that visible and requires a keen eye. Long-Term Knowledge has no expiry date and actually compounds over time.
Quality of Intake

Whether it's the questions startup companies ask in meetings, or the quarterly earnings of a company, short-term, expiring knowledge has very little context if not paired with long-term knowledge.

If you intake more long-term knowledge by reading good books, you can be a better judge of which expiring knowledge to absorb and which to reject.