Reading books to completion is just one way..
Naval was raised by a single mother in New York, a woman who ingeniously used the local library as a makeshift daycare center. The neighborhood was rough and challenging, but the library provided a haven of learning and exploration. School was followed by afternoons and evenings cocooned in this sanctuary of knowledge, where Naval devoured everything from magazines to maps, pictographs to books. This early immersion in literature freed him from the vanity metric of reading for the sake of completion, as he realized the significance of reading to quench his intellectual curiosity.
While many showcase their reading prowess on social media platforms, Naval sees this as a mere signalling act, a show-off thing. Instead, he advocates for revisiting the best hundred books, absorbing their wisdom, rather than rushing through a sea of literature. He is acutely aware of the finite capacity of the human brain to store and process information. He believes that an overload of advice merely cancels itself out, reducing its value to zero.
His reading is no longer dictated by the aim to complete books, it is instead driven by an insatiable intellectual curiosity. His interests are diverse, ranging from the seemingly nonsensical to the profound realms of history, fiction, science, philosophy, and predominantly, sci-fi. His reading strategy is not linear; he flips through books, hunting for ideas that spark intrigue. Upon finding something of particular interest, he delves deeper, reflecting on it, researching it, and only moving on when he has quenched his curiosity.
In the age of electronic books, Naval simultaneously navigates through 50-70 books on his Kindle or iBooks. This practice, he believes, is a countermeasure to the information overload of the modern era. Rather than lamenting the shorter attention spans, Naval sees this as a testament to his ability to multitask, to swiftly sift through threads of information across multiple platforms.
The digital age has transformed the world into a Library of Alexandria for Naval, enabling quick and comprehensive research. He no longer quantifies his reading in terms of books completed, dismissing the metric as irrelevant. His focus is on understanding concepts, absorbing the knowledge that books offer, rather than merely getting through them.
- Naval was raised by a single mom in New York who used the local library as a daycare center due to the tough neighborhood.
- After school, Naval would go straight to the library and stay there until his mother picked him up late at night. This led to him reading everything available in the library.
- Naval got over the idea of reading a large number of books or reading a book to completion as a vanity metric. He views people showcasing their pile of books on social media as a show-off thing.
- He would rather read the best hundred books over and over again until he absorbs them rather than read all the books.
- He believes the brain has finite information in a finite space and that getting too much advice cancels to zero. He is aware there's a lot of nonsense in books out there.
- Naval no longer reads to complete books but to satisfy his genuine intellectual curiosity. His interests span from nonsense to history, fiction, science, and sci-fi, with a current focus on sci-fi, philosophy, and science.
- When reading, he looks for ideas and things he doesn't understand. When he finds something really interesting, he reflects on it, researches it, and then moves on when he's bored.
- Thanks to electronic books, he has 50-70 books open at any time on his Kindle or iBooks, bouncing around between them.
- He views the bombardment of information in modern society as a defense mechanism that has led to lower attention spans. He chooses to view this as a positive, as he can multitask well and dig really fast into interesting threads.
- He likens his ability to quickly research an interesting thread through social networks, the web, libraries, and books to having the library of Alexandria at his disposal.
- Naval no longer tracks or cares about the number of books he's read. His focus is on understanding concepts.