It seems in today’s world, there is a cult of reading. That is, the more you read, the better. But is this true?

Reading towards what ends?

Contrary to popular belief, too much reading could be bad for your health. The purpose of life isn’t to sit on your butt all day and read 1 trillion bucks and become as enlightened as possible. Rather, the minimum viable reading seems wisest.

In fact, I feel that 99.9% of modern business published books could just be a really long blog posts. But there is a financial incentive.

What should I read?

It seems that the best books are the classics. Typically speaking, the older, the better.

For myself, reading philosophy seems to be the biggest benefit. And whether to judge a book as good or not, whether it is interesting to you or not. Also the Greek classics like the Iliad is high on my list.

For philosophers, any Greek philosophers that came before Socrates is good. Heraclitus is my man.

As with modern philosophers, Nietzsche and Nasim Taleb.

Reading as a means to stimulate your own thoughts

I believe the best type of reading is the type of reading that helps stimulate your own thoughts. And also I think it is bad to read first thing in the morning or to read last thing at night. Because that crowds out your own thoughts.

Where knowledge and wisdom is overrated

I believe in life, aesthetics and art is more important than knowledge and wisdom. And even the best type of knowledge and wisdom is highly practical, and has to do with ethics and how to interact with other people. But too much reading prevents you from getting the courage for your own thoughts.

For ethics I like reading stoicism, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius. Or watch John Wick or the movie 300 and see how he and the ancient Spartans lived and approached life. Or samurai films by Akira Kurosawa. I also like Ninja Assasin by Rain and 47 ronin.


dark skies over tokyo ERIC KIM

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