Required Reading

Required Reading

Chris Murphy · 31 August, 2021

Asked about the key to his success, Warren Buffett gestured towards a pile of nearby books and observed:

Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.

Reading is low barrier to entry. All… Most of us can do it, but – as Buffet points out – not many do. If you want to progress more, read more. Every book you read gives you another perspective on the world, a lens though which to look.

The more books you read, the more lenses you acquire, the better equipped you become for seeing the answers to problems.

Build a Library

You don’t have to buy book to read books. Join a library and use that library’s inter-library loan scheme to borrow the books you want. Of course, if you can afford to buy books, consider building a library. Own a book and you can add marginalia, notes in the margins. Soon your books will act as the foundations on which you build an empire of the mind.

Mark O’Connell explores marginalia in The Marginal Obsession with Marginalia published by The New Yorker.

As you build your library, open out the aperture and look beyond your specialism. Everything is grist to the mill. As an example, I am a designer, so – naturally – I have a lot of books on design (graphic design, interaction design, product design…), but I also have books from other disciplines, as follows:

  • Music
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Critical Theory

Accelerate Your Learning

There are very few true shortcuts in life, but book summaries are one. A good summary, unquestionably, save you time. If you’d like to get access to my summaries, join The School of Design and they’re included as a membership bonus.

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Example: A Technique for Producing Ideas
Example: A Technique for Producing Ideas
Garry Kasparov · Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins
Garry Kasparov · Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins