A biweekly bookish newsletter pushing you into extraordinary intellectual rabbit holes that will fuel your curiosity, keep your motivation levels high, and inspire you to commit to continuous growth.
I did something crazy last week. Well, not jump-out-of-an-airplane kind of crazy. Something a bit more tedious. Something a bit more... boring. Similar to doing accounting work.
What did I do?
I've updated all the links on my website. All links related to the books mentioned on my site where when you click, it leads you to another site where you can purchase the book. It might sound simple, but it took me a full 8 hours to complete - probably even more.
Why did I do it?
You see, by default, sites that mention books add a link to Amazon. It's easier. Everyone knows Amazon. The price is right. You can even download the book before it arrives. The checkout process is super simple. Besides, most people are already getting most of their stuff from Amazon and it makes sense for them to buy everything in bulk.
The benefits are clear for us - consumers. Yet, if everyone buys everything from Amazon, especially books, they will, at some point, become a monopoly (well, they already are). And if you've ever played the game with the same name - Monopoly, you know that it sucks when one person holds all the streets. All the railroads. And has a damn hotel on every piece of property on the map.
Similarly, like every other website, I had Amazon links placed on my book-related articles. These weren't affiliated links. I didn't get a commission if you bought a book from one of my links. I simply thought that it's better that way for the person reading. But I no longer hold that belief.
That's why, you'll no longer be redirected to Amazon if you want to obtain a book mentioned on my site. And while my site is extremely insignificant in terms of helping (or not helping) big brands to become bigger. I don't want to contribute in any way.
To be honest, I wanted to do this a long time ago, but I was putting it off. I knew that it will take me hours to make the change. Finally, it's done, and I'm glad I did it.
Now, if click on a link on my site, you'll be redirected directly to Google where, hopefully, a site of a local library will appear. This way, you can support them, instead of the massively expanding global corporation that is trying to dominate every niche online.
Most visitors will find this change minor, and objectively it is. But I think we need to be more aware of where we get our things from. We shouldn't go with the default option. We should consider our choices.
We should ask ourselves something like this before buying: Do I want to support a big corporation that only cares about getting bigger, or do I want to get it from the neighborhood library where I know the owner and I want to help him continue operating?
While we play the game of Monopoly hoping to win, we have the best time at the beginning of the game - when everyone is playing. Not when one of the players obtains every property on the field.
With this, I want to say that it's better to have a lot of people playing in the book-selling business rather than only one person/company who rules the map.
1) Book summaries:
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman: I first read Thinking, Fast and Slow in 2018. Back then, I really hated the book. Well, not really hated, but I found it way too complicated and full of repetitive language that wasn’t practically useful. The problem wasn’t the book. I was. Simply put, I wasn’t ready for what the author was sharing. Three (3!) years after my first reading, I'm sharing my updated summary. Members also get access to an extra workbook based on this great literary work.
Why consider my
membership? Well, my goal is to drive not just action, but to inspire long-term change. By becoming a member you commit to a life of learning and doing.
2) Book finds:
Interesting books I recently added to my reading list (and hopefully will read at some point):
Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less by Leidy Klotz: Instead of adding more to solve a problem, why not subtract? This book offers practical tips on how to simplify your personal and professional life.
The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn by Richard Hamming: The thesis of this book is that a life lived without producing excellent work isn't one worth living. We should, as pointed out by reviewers of the book, work on the most important problems in our domain. This book sounds and looks really promising. I personally love the cover (this one) and can't wait to get my hands on this read.
Interesting words from books and around the web:
Perfunctory (noun): Lack of interest or enthusiasm; Done quickly, without taking care or interest.
Fatalism (noun): The belief that people cannot change the way events will happen and that events, especially bad ones, cannot be avoided.
Tristful (adjective): Deeply yet romantically melancholy; Full of sadness; Sorrowful.
4) Great thinkers:
Born in 1915, Alan Watts was a writer and speaker primarily known for popularizing Eastern spirituality in the West. An advocate for living a slow life. He's quite popular even to this day. His quotes are dominating our social channels and videos where he is preaching are appearing on YouTube all the time.
There are a lot of lessons from his work, but I found the following most useful:
Big Idea: Less action
In a famous interview, Alan Watts was asked, "If we continue as we're going now where do you foresee the United States ending up?" He replied, "Nowhere. There won't be a United States in the year 2000 if we continue the way we are."
His prescription to avoid this cataclysmic prediction?
Less action. Instead of trying to rush things and constantly trying to go somewhere, he mentioned that we should "quiet down". Throughout his books, interviews, lectures, he continuously mentioned that we shouldn't focus on the future all the time. Burden our minds with thoughts about what we should do tomorrow. Rather, slow down and enjoy the current moment. Live the present moment.
"Don't fritter away the moment," he said. "Every moment present moment is a sacred moment. Live it."
Lazy Work, Good Work: "Rockefeller’s job wasn’t to drill wells, load trains, or move barrels. It was to make good decisions. And making decisions requires, more than anything, quiet time alone in your own head to think a problem through."
Single Decisive Reasoning (SDR): "Why are blended reasons so dangerous? Because weak reasons rarely build on each other — but when they're numerous, they appear compelling."
6) Worth knowing:
Hyperbolic discounting is our bias for short-term gains over a long-term future. If the rewards are similar, we'll discount the value of the later reward and focus our attention on the one that arrives sooner. In the modern era, this is often a problem. If we continuously prioritize tasks and things that bring us immediate sensations, we won't create meaningful, long-lasting things. We'll exist only to soothe our current reality.
7) Worth thinking about:
"What you learn from others you can use to follow. What you learn for yourself you can use to lead."
― Richard Hamming
This site is pretty amazing. It's collecting writings from authors and aims to print them on paper after 100 years!
Why 100 years?
Katie Paterson, the creator of this project, planted one thousand Norwegian trees in May 2014. In 2114, the collected texts will be printed on a piece of paper created from trees from this specific forest.
Thanks for reading!
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Ul. Undola 65, Plovdiv Bulgaria
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