What I Learned Reading 200 Books đź“š

Written by Azat Mardan

I’m not a huge fan of reading. In fact, I don’t like reading. But I love getting better, finding out something new and useful.

You can talk only to few interesting people in-person. The limit is in time, location or just that they won’t talk with you. Books are a transferable information. Good info can change career, life, relationships… everything!

So three years ago I start reading and logging books I read or listened to in a spreadsheet. Also, I was writing number of page or hours along with brief book summaries. I reached 200 with this breakdown:

  • 2014: 33 books
  • 2015: 67 books with 26 audio and 41 digital or print
  • 2016: 101 books with 75 audio and 26 in digital or print

Just the audio books for 2016 amount to over 400 hours of content. That’s 50 days of 8-hour listening per day. Almost all of the books were non-fiction. So here’s what I learned:

  • Books are not created equal: So books are junk or should be 50 not 350 pages because they don’t have than much substance. Most modern non-fiction books are junk.
  • Listening on 1.5x and speed reading rocks.
  • I really don’t like printed books. Kindle is a way to go!
  • Successful people have different rules, habits, approaches which often contradict other successful people. Thus, don’t listen to their advices. It’s not what brought them success. (Icons and Idiots by Bob Lutz).
  • History and biographies (especially auto biographies) tend to be the better books.
  • Eat my frogs first to get things done.
  • Black Swans can be good and bad. To benefit from good black swans, you have to take risk and action.
  • Writing books is more fun than reading books. I should write a non-technical book next.
  • Monopoly is good if you are the monopoly (Zero to One)
  • Wheat, bread, and GMO are evil. I knew it before but it’s good to be reminded.
  • Why steak houses make you eat in darkness (Mindless Eating).
  • Less is more (The Paradox of Choice).

That’s more or less all. It’s extremely hard to summarize books. The way they work, is that they take you on a journey and influence your subconscious. In the end you might have new ideas or perspective without realizing it’s from a book.

Bonus! My top 5 list:

  1. Antifragile
  2. Deep Work
  3. The Next 100 Years
  4. Made in America
  5. Grain Brain