Learning something new should be the goal of everyone, every single day. And these days it is easy; with sources such as podcasts, Youtube videos, documentaries on Netflix, and even new platforms like Blinkist; there are ample ways to learn something new.
I however am a huge fan of the very old school book, and I wanted to write up a few thoughts on why I find books valuable.
Now just to be clear I’m talking about physical books, the ones printed on paper, as while it is super convenient to have thousands of books in a tiny Kindle, or to be able to work on other things while listening to an audio book, I don’t think the experience is the same.
The biggest reason I’m a fan of books is that I feel that they help ensure I take the time to truly understand the subject that the book is written on. While a 3-minute YouTube video may give you a good overview of a subject, a 100,000 word book can explore more nuance. I’d also argue that taking the time to read and understand a book falls under the realm of deliberate practice which is important if you every want to get good at anything.
Secondly, a book helps get us away from a screen. As a person who spends a large part of my day looking at a screen at work, I know the importance of taking a break. A book is a good way to continue your education while giving your eyes a rest from the blue LED light.
Now don’t get me wrong. I also spend time every day watching educational videos on YouTube, and I spend a lot of time listening to interesting people talking in podcasts. But I think if you want to truely understand a subject, a book (or many books) can do better than any other medium.
So my only request is that you pick up that book that has been sitting on your shelf, waiting for you to “have a free weekend” and start reading.