2023 was my best reading year in a long while. I made a goal to read 50 books and was able to easily meet it, which has me bumping my goal up to 60 books in the next year.
Some of the favorites of the 50 included: The Screwtape Letters, The Thief, The Steerswoman, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and Four Thousand Weeks. I confidently recommend all of them to everyone.
Reading this many books gave me some insights to my reading preferences that I’m going to carry into 2024.
Firstly, I need to be very careful about picking up pop-sci books. The great majority of them are junk, and spend most of their time focussing on interpersonal drama of scientists and inventors instead of the nuance and creativity of the discoveries. The Perfectionists for instance, would have been a much better book if it had taken the time to explain true novelty and genius of the many inventions instead of focusing various squabbles of the characters. So from now on, I’m only going to pick up a pop-sci book if I’ve heard it recommended by someone I trust.
Secondly, I’m going to spend more time focusing on older books and avoid being swept up in the tide of newness. Humans have been writing for a very long time, there’s no way that the best thing I can be reading at any moment is whatever happened to be published in the last month. This is my big gripe with most of the online reading community. With very few exceptions they concentrate all their energy on the latest releases, and don’t take time to explore older classics. In 2024 I’m going to put most of my time into reading books that have been out for at least a decade and have stood the test of time. Some exceptions will be made here and there, but hopefully not many.
Finally I’m going to read more books with others. I read The Midnight Library with some friends at the end of the year and while the book sucked, having a talking point with some friends was a lot fun. I’ve already purchased several books for my wife and I to read together and will be looking for opportunties to read with friends wherever possible.