If a book has been in print for forty years, I can expect it to be in print for another forty years. But, and that is the main difference, if it survives another decade, then it will be expected to be in print another fifty years. This, simply, as a rule, tells you why things that have been around for a long time are not "aging" like persons, but "aging" in reverse. Every year that passes without extinction doubles the additional life expectancy. This is an indicator of some robustness. The robustness of an item is proportional to its life!
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile
The described above Lindy effect instructs us that we should favour old books over new ones. The older the problem, the older the solution should be. Otherwise it wouldn't stick.
A new book is still on its trial and the amateur is not in a position to judge it. It has to be tested.
- C.S. Lewis
I am guilty of falling for the buzz around new books. However, I follow:
- 1.Skim through fast.
- 2.Start anywhere.
- 3.Start conservatively, finish liberally. Start good books, move on if they turn out bad.
- 4.Follow your curiosity. Don't follow "must reads" and "best seller lists".
- 5.Knowing what NOT to read is as important as knowing what to read.
- 6.Read it when you need it. Don't read just-in-case you'll need it. Practice just-in-time reading.
- 7.A book is a menu. Read what you are starving for.
- 8.Opportunity cost: what could I be reading/doing instead of reading this?
- 9.Read as if you were investing. Does it compound my knowledge or am I chasing quick gains (insight porn)?