On reading (more)

Charlie Munger wrote that, “in my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none. Zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads — how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.”

Herbert Hoover, arguably one of the most accomplished and impressive men in American history, read three to four hours every night. “At times it seems to me that I would exhaust all the books on earth,” he said. “But the supply still holds out.”

I love reading and don’t think that I read nearly enough. The backlog on my shelves and in my Amazon cart has gotten to the point where I would need to read one book per week for ~18 months to clear it. I currently average one book every three weeks.

I’d like to get to Hoover’s three to four hours every day. At that pace, averaging one book per week should be easy enough, even when accounting for the larger biographies that I like most.

Reading seems to be one of those activities with obvious returns that few people optimize for. I’m fairly confident that, among other things, reading more would provide me with more and better ideas for how to manage my career, business, and investments.

The disconnect between what I know to be good and true and what I do is very interesting to me. Keith Rabois proposed on a recent podcast episode that we all basically know what it takes to be successful (and healthy), we just don’t do it. I think that’s right, and reading more is a clear case in point.