Member Blogs > Kristian Strom, BooksellerPut Down This Blog and Pick Up a Book

  • Tue, 21 Aug 2012 04:39:34    Permalink

    Many thanks to my big sister Sarah for giving my entire family a copy of this book last Christmas.  Here we are eight months later and I've finally gotten around to devouring it.  It's written by entrepreneur, copywriter and bootstrapper Michael Ellsberg and is entitled The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late.
    The particular passage I'd like to share is from page 174, from an interview with Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress.  Michael is interviewing Matt about the importance of the lifelong process of educating yourself, a common trait among most successful entrepreneurs.  What follows is a bit of advocacy for long-form books and libraries, coming from a surprising and unexpected source.  I have selected the most crucial points in bold:
    "A common quality I see of people who are successful is that they are voracious readers.  The book as a format is underrated in the digital age.  I'm the first one to say blogs are fantastic, obviously.  But they tend to be shorter form.  Longer-form works stretch my mind more.  When you write a book, it consumes you.  What you get when you read that book, then, is someone's entire life for several years or more, distilled into one work.  That's really powerful."
    He continues: "I feel like these things have super-cycles, and I think we're at the nadir of long-form writing.  I think we might have just passed it, and it will rise again.  The e-book revolution puts an entire library into something as small as a paperback.  For me, as I stopped reading books in favor of Internet content, I felt myself getting dumber.  Several years ago, I thought, "Man, I don't think I'm as smart as I used to be."  I just felt a little duller.  So I realized I had to start reading again...
    ...What's holding you back?  It's your time and a few dollars.  Or go to the library if you don't have a few dollars.  And you can have access to the world's greatest wisdom on any topic."
    Well put Matt!  What do you think?  Does reading long-form books versus Internet content and blog posts affect the quality of your life or intellect?  Or is Matt just a pompous ass who can afford enough leisure time to actually read a book?  

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