To me, information is power.
If I spend $20 on a book, and it has given me even 1 new idea that empowers me, that is the best investment in myself.
Not only that but books stimulate us to action.
A book that doesn’t inspire you to take action in life isn’t really worth it.
I love practical books. Books on practical philosophy (Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Stoicism) and contemporary books by Ryan Holiday, Tim Ferriss are good because they give you real life information, that can empower you.
I prefer the practical over the theoretical.
The reason Cindy and I get along so well: we both believe in empowering information, and this concept of an “open library.” On Cindy’s academic website (cindyanguyen.com) she writes practical book reviews, and links to PDF articles that aren’t accessible to the “general public.”
This is why I also believe in “open source” information. The more open and free information is, the more people you can empower. And the more we empower one another, the more we all win.
I’m a voracious reader. If I’m not writing, I’m always reading. I read on my iPad, phone, or paper books. I download a lot of free ebooks on Project Gutenberg, or the Internet Archive as PDF or .epub.
To me, I love to distill information to make it practical for others. Because I hate how most books are confusing, and the ideas have no practical application in “real life.”
I wrote “Learn From the Masters of Photography” after consuming about $3,000 worth of photography books in my private library. My photo book reviews are a good way to experience the photo books, if you don’t have access to them, or can’t afford them.
Now, if I even have a hunch that a book might be good, I buy it.
Worst case scenario, you wasted $20. Best case scenario: you have received a million dollars worth of value.
On average, I read for around 3 hours a day. Usually hour in the morning, and two hours at night.
Great authors are your friends, who impel you to be more virtuous, courageous, and strong.
Practical reading tips
- If a book bores you, stop reading. The secret I learned from Nassim Taleb: “Get bored with reading a certain book, not the art of reading in general.”
- Read whatever interests you. Disregard whether others consider it “high brow” or “low brow”. I like to look at Gossip Magazines and read Ancient Stoic philosophy. I like to have fun.
- Read fewer blogs: Honestly, bloggers (myself included) all wanna sell something. I wanna sell you HAPTICPRESS books. So read less of my blog, and other blogs. Read more books, and whenever possible, write notes while reading. Come up with ideas from reading, that you can practically apply in life.
To be frank, I still love gear. Gadgets, tools, and the bunch.
But whenever I get an urge to buy a new…something, I just try to buy a book instead.
Invest in yourself, your mind, and your ideas. It is the gift that keeps on giving.
To sum up,
BUY BOOKS, NOT GEAR.
Never stop learning,
STREET NOTES MOBILE EDITION: Street Photography Workshop in Your Phone.
BOOKS by ERIC KIM
Feed your hunger to learn:
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- 100 Lessons From the Masters of Street Photography
- The Art of Photography
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- Street Portrait Manual
- How to Shoot Street Photography
- Street Photography 101
- Street Photography 102
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- Monochrome Manual
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- Letters From a Street Photographer
- Street Photography Aphorisms, Heuristics, and Sayings
FILM NOTES is your opportunity to experience the joy of film photography.
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