There are quake books: books that change your view of the world.
Ryan Holiday mentions it in a blog post:
My reading was much different when I was younger. I would more likely intensively engage with some important book totally full of new ideas. Hayek. Parfit. Plato. And so on. There just aren’t books like that left for me anymore. So I read many more, to learn bits, but haven’t in years experienced a “view quake.” That is sad, to me at least, but I don’t know how to avoid how that has turned out. So enjoy your best reading years while you can!
I don’t read nearly as much as Ryan Holiday, so there are plenty of quake books left for me to uncover.
A couple that come to mind: Getting Things Done for helping me understand the importance of next actions before starting my career, How to Win Friends and Influence People for teaching me not to try to change minds of friends who argue for sport, Moneyball so that I could understand why people always mention Moneyball.
Here’s what Tyler Cowen has to say about quake reading:
Maybe Rene Girard was the last “view quake” author I read. On the upside, greater context means that many more books are interesting than was the case before.
Which, of course reminds me of Luke Burgis’s Wanting, which is an approachable overview of Girard’s mimetic theory. (Check my notes out here.)
And the best quake book that also happens to involve Quake: Masters of Doom.
ANYWAY, the reason I mention all that is that I want to write a post about quake podcast episodes. There are probably a few podcast episodes that changed my perspective or actually got me to take action on something.
One that comes to mind: one of the Naval interviews, either on Joe Rogan or Tim Ferriss’s or The Knowledge Project, but it’s where he talks about just jumping between books, doing lots of skimming. I started doing this and it was both good and bad for me. Mostly that I started buying a ton of books and reading more broadly but at the same time somewhat sabotaging my ability to actually focus on any single book while reading.
Okay yah so this is the pre-post where I share that idea and I’ll follow up (someday) with an actual list of 5-7 podcast episodes. (Another that comes to mind: Bill Simmons’s ESPN.com 20th anniversary episode where he just talks through his career progression that grew as the the internet grew.)