A few months ago I stumbled upon this idea of “quake reading” that I’ve been thinking about a lot after reading Ryan Holiday’s blog. Holiday describes an email exchange between himself and Tyler Cowen. Tyler Cowen mentioned:
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 can relate to this idea that the more books I read, the less “new ideas” I come across. But…I also believe that when that starts happening, you have to start reading different books. Books that you wouldn’t normally read, maybe outside your comfort zone, interests or your reading level.
Otherwise new connections won’t be made to have the lightbulb go off or a “view quake.” Perhaps it’s my own naivety, but I don’t believe my best reading years will ever be over unless I stop reading.
In my years of reading, here are some of my “quake reads” that come to mind.
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
- War of Art by Steven Pressfield
- Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
I’ll continue to update this as I discover more.