Reading has no rules

The Knowledge Project is a podcast by Shane Parrish, curator of Farnam Street Blog. In this episode, Shane interviews Naval Ravikant, CEO of Angel List and investor in too many startups to name them. It's about 2 hours long. It's a great conversation between two great minds. I like to listen on Overcast, the podcasting app. Here's the link to the episode.

What struck me Naval's comments about reading. He says that we should not treat reading like a competition. That a lot of people read too little because they're « stuck with this one book they can't finish ». He argues you should read a lot, all the time, not matter where and how, and not care about finishing or not the books. You can always re-read them, two or three times. Otherwise, reading becomes a burden.

If you ask people if they read, everybody says they read. Everybody says they’re reading a book. They can answer which book they’re reading. The reality is very few people actually read and actually finish books.

I think that’s probably because of all of these societal and personal rules that we’ve put up, like you must finish a book and you must read books that are good for you, and you can’t read junk food books. This is a hot book right now and so on.

The reality is I don’t actually read that much compared to what people think. I probably read one to two hours a day. That puts me in the top .00001%. I think that alone accounts for any material success that I’ve had in my life and any intelligence that I might have. Real people don’t read an hour a day. Real people, I think, read a minute a day or less. Making it an actual habit is the most important thing. 

Full transcript from Farnam Street