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Default 29-09-2018, 01:05 AM

Do you know what no successful person has the habit of doing? Reading the shit books that you read.


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(#42)
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Default 29-09-2018, 02:06 AM

Actually most successful people read in varying measures. Some one hour a day, some one book a week, some 8 books a month. I could sit here and list off a dozen big names who are "readers". Do I know what they read? Not exactly, but let's put it this way it's probably not lord of the fucking rings.

What's wrong with the books I read? They're all business, self-development, psychology and educational books. Again, with the exception of the meaningless bedside shit.

What books do you read? Come on, amaze me.


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Default 29-09-2018, 07:00 AM

What are you talking about?
I didn't say they don't read. I said they don't read the shit books that you read.

What do successful people read?
That's not so difficult to find out nowadays. If you follow successful people's online presence they tend to tell you what they read. Elon Musk, for example, has read a lot of classic sci-fi Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, Philip K Dick, Douglas Adams etc. He's pretty successful. There are even webpages that list the books various successful people talk about having read, e.g. there's a page that lists all the books mentioned on the Joe Rogan podcast ordered by number of mentions. He's pretty successful too.

Furthermore, you wouldn't be considered a "reader" with that list of books. There are readers and then there are readers. If someone only reads self help guides and calls themselves a reader, they'd get laughed out of most intellectual conversation. The same for women who just read romance, Harry Potter and everything by Katie Price, or guys who just read detective novels, books by ex SAS and biographies about gangsters. Technically they are reading but... come on... they don't know anything about the art of literature.

And then there are some books that are more or less considered essential reading, like 1984. Any adult human who doesn't live in a remote African tribe and hasn't read 1984 is failing at life. You can't even be in a conversation about modern politics if you haven't read that book, you don't even know what big brother is, you don't even know what room 101 is, you don't even know what newspeak is, you don't even know what double-think is... and like this you'd be incapable of discussing modern politics. The person you are taking to would keep having to stop and explain those concepts to you, or would just tell you to fuck off and come back when you've read it. Has anybody ever read 1984 and not had it permanently effect their way of thinking about the world?

What's wrong with the books you read?
You don't read books. You read book. They are all basically the exact same book. They are badly written, poorly researched and are full of lies, half truths and fake, psuedo or at best cherry-picked science. They are chewing gum for ears. Furthermore, they are supposed to influence behaviour somehow... but you just read one, then read another, then another. To implement even 10% of what any one of them says would take months. You need to write a plan and check in once a week to see how well you are doing etc. The last book of that kind I read was The 77 laws of success by David Deangelo, on recommendation of Phil. And I wrote the rules down and marked off which ones I already have nailed and which I need to work on and how to go about that and went back to it once a month or so for a while. Now I'm not in that mode at all though.

As for what I generally read. The books that come to mind that I read in the past year or so are...
Fathers and Sons, Ivan Turgenev
What is to be done? / A vital question, Nikolai Chernyshevsky
Notes from the underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
The Bhagavad-Gita, no one knows who wrote it.
12 rules for life, Jordan Peterson
Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
The war of art, Steven Presfield
On writing, Stephen King

Pretty amazing, eh!

Currently reading...
The gulag archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The dhammapada, no one knows who wrote this either.
The Foundation series, Isaac Asimov

I tend to only read one fiction at a time but might be in the middle of a few historical or philosophical texts at once, as now. The gulag archipelago is a historical document and is huge and I've been reading it on and off for months. The dhammapada is a collection of sayings believed to have been uttered by the Buddha, as with much Eastern philosophy you kind of have to read one saying and then sit and think about it for a bit. The Foundation series is science fiction.


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kowalski


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Last edited by kowalski; 29-09-2018 at 11:08 AM.
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Default 12-10-2018, 11:13 PM

Admittedly I'm guilty of reading lots of self-help books that are very much the same just with different titles and wording. I think I'll make a switch from reading these kind of books for a while. I've ten or fifteen biographies of big-shot super rich fuckers I'm a fan of, I think it's time to actually read one.

I downloaded 1984 a minute ago and It's going to be one of the next on the reading list. Although I don't really follow politics much, I'm intrigued by your suggestion that it's enlightening as to how you see or think about the real world.

Whilst reading some gangster story about ten years ago, he talked about a book he read in prison called The Brothers Karamazov by that Fyodor Dostoevsky you mentioned. Apparently it's a real mind-bending motherfucker for some reason. Have you read that one? It's always intrigued me too as to why it's a headfuck, although I have absolutely zero idea what it's about. Just downloaded it there and it's 1000+ pages.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kowalski View Post
Fathers and Sons, Ivan Turgenev
What is to be done? / A vital question, Nikolai Chernyshevsky
Notes from the underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
The Bhagavad-Gita, no one knows who wrote it.
12 rules for life, Jordan Peterson
Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
The war of art, Steven Presfield
On writing, Stephen King


The gulag archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The dhammapada, no one knows who wrote this either.
The Foundation series, Isaac Asimov
I'm gunna pick and choose some or all of these over time and see how my reading experience compares to all the self-development books I've read so far.

I imagine it'll be somewhat different.


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Default 13-10-2018, 07:57 AM

I'm not a recommender of biographies either. Being successful at something doesn't qualify you for anything else. Why'd would a CEO or actor or sports start be able to suddenly write a great book? They wouldn't... unless they got a ghost writer in. Why would they know how they are successful? They wouldn't... unless they were being honest and said "it just happened, I had nothing to do with it" but that would be a short book.

I've read a few books by Dostoyevsky but not The Brothers Karamazov... it's long, but I'm a big fan of Russian literature, so it's on the list. He was a very clever dude and foresaw a lot of what was coming in the 20th century and wrote it into his stories. Everything I've read by him so far has been worth it.


I wouldn't recommend all the books I read in the past year to a random person. I had reasons for reading most of them.

Like the first two Fathers and Sons, and What is to be done. I only read them because I started reading Notes from the underground and didn't understand it without context. Turns out he wrote it in response to What is to be done, which in turn was written in response to Father's and Sons. So I stopped reading Notes from the underground and went back in literary time to get the context (no one else I've spoken to who read Notes from the underground has done this, so they are either Russian, have studied Russian history or are just pretending to understand it). And, honestly, they are awful books. Fathers and Sons is so long winded and in What is to be done the author is angry with you, the reader, and keeps chastising and belittling you... it's weird.

The Buddhist texts I'm reading to see if there is any wisdom there that can help me be slower to aggression. The ear of art and On writing I read because I have been on and off writing fiction over the past year or so.

That leaves:

The Gulag Archipelago - This is a very important document, is crazy long and also a great read. It goes into great historical, philosophical and psychological detail to demonstrate that communism, by design, always leads to the same place.

12 rules for life - Jordan Peterson is always engaging.

Fight Club - It's fun. Exactly like the movie. There's nothing new in the book that you don't already get from the movie.

Snow Crash - Really fun sci-fi. Weak ending. Was his first book, will probably be a movie starring Tom Cruise or some douche soon.

The foundation series - I never really enjoy Issac Asimov books. The ideas are great but he was a fucking terrible author. He relies so heavily on dialogue, in the end the whole thing is a series of longwinded unreslistic conversations. The only stuff by him I've actually enjoyed reading are his short stories, where you just get the cool idea in a story format but condensed into a few pages... Plus, so far in The Foundation Series he is writing checks on plot devices that I seriously doubt he can cash and will probably just leave them as brute danglers he expects the reader to simply accept.

I also read Slaughterhouse 5 recently. That's fucking amazing and set me off into reading Kurt Vonnegut stuff. He's great. Just watched a cool adaptation of his short 2081 that's available on YouTube.


But there are other books everyone should read that are simultaneously great literature, enjoyable, emotionally rich, deeply affecting and that contain concepts that have become a part of the lexicon of modern intellectuals like 1984 or The Catcher in The Rye or Catch 22 and so on.

Reading great works will hardly compare at all to reading self help nonsense.


Peace,

kowalski


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Last edited by kowalski; 13-10-2018 at 08:04 AM.
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dan300 (14-10-2018)
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Default 14-10-2018, 11:54 PM

I've read one of Richard Bransons books but afterwards I found out he was a silver spoon kid, which made me less of a fan. I have biographies by some of my favourite entrepreneurs like Peter Jones and Alan Sugar, so first biography I'll read is Peter cos he's my favourite dragon.

I don't know what you mean by "It just happened, I had nothing to do with it", did they just wake up one day and have a hundred million in the bank by accident, or did they make it happen.. Obviously it's the latter, so why can't they write about how they done it. Of course, that doesn't mean everyone has the ability to do so. Even so, in most cases most will co-write it with an established author regardless.

The only reason I'm going to read The Brothers Karamazov is because of it being a head-fuck. I like the idea that it makes a motherfucker think.

Yesterday I was in a few charity bookstores and bought a bunch of books for about a fiver, within them was The Da Vinci Code, got it for 50p. I bought it because it's a famous book and would be highly recommended by many, have you read it?

I'm not gunna say anything about the fiction book I'm currently reading for fear of spoilers, only that it's great so far. What I am happy to say is I'm enlightened by how I feel. It's the first fiction book I've ever read and already I can see how different it is to the past 5/10 years only reading self-development stuff. Those books are forgettable because it's mostly the same shit worded differently, but in good fiction you actually see the story in your head as you're reading it.

That can only be good for your brain, because you're automatically creating and seeing the story in your minds eye. I think that is fucking amazing and I believe it brings with it the potential to enhance ones creativity and keep your mind sharp.

We watch movies, and they're mostly fictional. So I've actually always been slightly, and unknowingly hypocritical, with my solid stance on not reading fiction books.

Bottom line is, although I'm only starting to read fiction, I'm pretty confident in saying that I've probably been doing myself a disservice by NOT reading it. And I never thought I'd hear myself say that.

I am enlightened.


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kowalski (15-10-2018)
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Default 15-10-2018, 09:45 AM

That's cool, man. I'm glad you are enjoying it.

Everything I've read by Dostoyevsky has been great, he was a genius. I don't doubt The Brothers Karamazov will be good too. It was lower on my list because it is one of his longest works. Though now I feel like I need to read it real soon. As I don't want you to be able to tell me "Dude, what the fuck do you know. You haven't even read The Brothers Karamazov!"

As for success or failure or anything that happens to anyone ever, they didn't make it happen, it just happened. This is the truth.


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kowalski


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Last edited by kowalski; 15-10-2018 at 04:31 PM.
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Default 15-10-2018, 09:33 PM

I've been looking around for a hard copy of TBK because I don't want to read such a long book on my phone. Either way, I doubt I'll be reading it anytime soon.

How do you select what you decide to read? By finding out what the people you follow read etc?


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Default 16-10-2018, 09:37 AM

I try to pick books that I believe I will get more from than just enjoying the story. So, for example, I wouldn't read an airport book-bin crime, romance or adventure novel as generally there is only the story and as enjoyable as it might be it's just not worth the investment that goes into reading a book for me. I would watch a movie of a book like that, no problem as movies are usually under 2 hours and you don't really have to pay attention nor use your imagination. Obviously, the story needs to be good and well written as well.

Often books have been so popular and influencial that their concepts become part of everyday language like with 1984 and Big Brother, or with Catch 22 and catch 22. It is obvious that books this influential do more than just tell a story.

And, sometimes I have read books that are not fun to read just so that I can enter a dialogue with the other. Like The Bible. I read it just so that when in debate with Christians I can point out that I have actually read The Bible but they have not (most haven't)... man, they don't even know the details of what they claim to believe in.

Off the top of my head, books I would recommend to almost anyone...

1984, Animal Farm, Down and Out in Paris and London... Fuck it, let's just say anything by George Orwell.
Anything by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Anything by Kurt Vonnegut.

On the road, Jack Kerouac
Fear and loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S Thompson
Catch 22, Joseph Heller
American Psycho, Brett Easton Ellis
Steppenwolfe, Hermann Hesse
Catcher in the rye, J.D Salinger (This book affected people so much that John Lennon's killer was found calmly reading a copy and had written "This is my statement' in the sleeve, later Salinger went into hiding).
The Stranger, Albert Camus
Lord of the flies, William Golding
The Raw Shark Texts, Steven Hall
A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess

P.S. Every single library in the world will have at least one copy of The Brothers Karamazov... maybe with the exception of libraries in Communist dictator states like the bad Korea.


Peace,

kowalski


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Last edited by kowalski; 16-10-2018 at 09:46 AM.
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