So many books, so little time.


I confess, I spend too much money. Most of it on books. Every week I budget myself £40 of spending money. Every week I choose the most important books to read right now, many more are sitting in my virtual amazon shopping basket.

The books I own on various subjects vary wildly:

  • Personal development.
  • Sales, selling, copywriting, and marketing.
  • Understanding people, influence, team building.
  • Business and Entrepreneurship.
  • Investing and trading.
  • Dieting, training, and nutrition.
  • Language learning (Chinese and Korean).
  • A large portion dedicated to software development and programming.
  • not to mention a whole bunch of digital books from O’Reilly on my computer.

I wonder how many of them I have actually finished reading. Often you find that the main parts of what the book is trying to tell you is proposed in the first half of the book. Rarely, do I ever get to the very very end. Some of the books are still in new condition. If I were to map out statistically how much of each book I have read it would probably look like a gaussian distribution.

The problem I have is that I have too many books, and too little time to absorb them all, even after reading books on how to read books – speed reading, inspectional/synoptic and such.

It’s time I should confess, I love learning, I love books. Each book I own becomes a reference book. Whenever an idea hits me, and I need to review something I’ve read before I’m comforted in the knowledge that the book I need is a few feet away.

All books that I have read are extensively highlighted and annotated. Books that contains important information I would try to memorize – including techniques on increasing memory i.e. MOAVAMeaningfulness, Organisation, Attention, Visualisation, … what was the last ‘A’ again? (Scurries over to the book on memory to look it up) … and Association (I also just found a ruler hidden in the pages).

The point is, when you read a book, or even just skimmed the pages, they become a part of your “Exocortex” (see Pragmatic Thinking and Learning). A body of knowledge that isn’t … well a part of your body. It’s an external resource. Like an external hard-drive, or CD’s if you still use those for back ups. Your operating system goes on your internal drive, along with important or essential information to function efficiently, and then everything else goes into a form of external storage. But I digress.

So many books, so many unfinished, and so little time to read. Much of my day gets taken up by other tasks, very little is left to just sit and read. And reading technical books on programming and engineerring requires the reader to exert some form of mental energy to read, comprehend, and remember the information given.

Maybe the idea of being able to read all the books in your collection is just a dream, maybe not having read every book you own from cover to cover is ok. Maybe I’m a hopeless book addict…

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