Now some non-American readers of this blog might be inclined to scoff and say “hah, stupid Americans” but I don’t buy into that because I suspect that that statistic is similar across the Western world.
I understand why many educated people don't read. I get it and just like Bill Clinton "I feel your pain". We have a huge amount of information and data pushed at us on a daily basis. Add to that our long working hours, commutes, school runs, getting the kids to ballet and football practice and just the regular day-to-day stresses of life. We are hard pressed not only to find the time to read but also to have the mental energy to read when we do have the time to read. If you get my drift?
Ever since a certain English teacher in high school got me into it, I have been an avid reader. Just like exercising helps you lose weight and avoid heart disease, reading is exercise for the mind. It isn’t always easy to pick up a book, just like it isn’t easy to lace up the running shoes after a hard day at work. But tell me this, when have you ever gone out running or doing aerobics or any kind of physical exercise and come home afterwards feeling like it wasn’t worth the effort? Probably never is the answer. It’s the same with reading, it keeps your little grey cells tickityboo and in good shape (as does eating fish).
If you enjoy this blog (and based on the traffic the blog gets I know a very large amount of people all over the world do) then you should know that none of the content would be possible without reading a rather large amount of books. Sure I comment on current affairs, but the unique angles and perspective that so many of you enjoy couldn’t be produced without reading books and not just one genre. Obviously I am skewed towards the finance related books, but I also read fiction as well and often I’ll be sitting on the train reading a book and all of a sudden an idea comes from something completely unrelated to finance.
So what is the point of this rant? You’ll have noticed that I have started writing a few book reviews. Since I spend such a large time reading books I thought it only a prudent use of my limited resources to write about the stuff I read. The chances are that if I got something out of a book and you enjoy this blog, then you might get something out of that book too. Great minds think alike and all that.
One thing I do want to make very clear: The NSA will stop snooping on you before this blog becomes a review site. Let me repeat: This blog will not become a review site.
In the interest of full disclosure and so that you are aware, I have signed up for Amazon associates in the US, so if you are a reader in the US and you click to any of the books I have linked on this site and choose to purchase one, I get a whopping tiny percentage of next to nothing. No I do not have a master plan to make this blog a business and despite the rather large traffic that I do get to this site, this will not pay the rent. What I am hoping is that it will pay for the upkeep of this site and when I do get around to travelling a bit and meeting some of you face to face (which is my intention), I can buy you a pint or two with the proceeds.
So if you are a US based reader of this blog and any of the books I do recommend tickle your fancy, I would very much appreciate if you buy those books via a link in this site. I think that’s a fair request. If on the other hand anyone begrudges me this, then what you can do is to go to Amazon directly and find the books there and Amazon will collect every single cent. I’m fine either way, the main thing is that every now and then you pick up a book and read it... at least once a year. Don’t be part of the 80%.