Just the other day, I was reflecting on how much I have learned and grown since graduating from college two years ago. In these two years, I have learned more than I have in my 20ish years in formal academic settings.
This is not to say that I feel traditional schooling was a waste of time (it was awesome for many many reasons).
But I’ve realized that my rate of growth has rapidly accelerated in these past two years. And the prime culprit for this has been my growing obsession with reading books. I’ve always read articles online, but they usually have tended to go in one ear and out the other.
Books = your veggies, your proteins.
Articles = your vitamins, your supplements.
Buzzfeed = dessert, chocolate mousse.
You can’t subsist off just vitamins and candy, you need your meals. Most people initially hate eating their greens, but over time, they grow to love them.
What books provide that articles can’t is repetition and substance. There’s an overarching thesis that allows ideas to sit in the brain long enough to get stored long-term.
When you are well-read, the articles you read have additional value. If you’ve read an assortment of books on behavioral psychology, urban planning, Stoicism, and Edgar Allan Poe, you might pull more “vitamin-like” insights from a single article you read on The New York Times (compared to if you hadn’t read all that stuff).
Here’s an ongoing list of books I’ve read since January 2013. Some were life-changing, others were just decent. All of them have contributed to a profound growth in how I live: books list