It is very rare that I disagree with Morgan Housel — I identify with his ideas about well-being, learning, and money. But this time, I have to.
A few days ago, he wrote (my emphasis):
“A book you’re not into after 10 minutes of attention has little chance of a happy ending. Slam it shut and move on. You’re not a failure if you quit a book after three pages.”
According to Housel (I haven't been able to verify the quote), Charlie Munger once said:
“Most books I don’t read past the first chapter. I’m not burdened by bad books.”
Admittedly, Housel is in good company: other very smart intellectuals that I like and follow seem to agree with this strategy. Tyler Cowen said (NB: seventeen years ago):
“I start ten or so books for every one I finish. I don't mind disliking a book, and I never regret having picked it up and started it. I am ruthless in my discards.”
Naval Ravikant says:
“I feel no obligation whatsoever to finish the book. If at some point I decide the book is boring […] I just delete it. […] Don’t feel the obligation to finish any book. Don’t treat it like a linear tome or treatise that has to be read in order and the way the author intended beginning to end.”
Well, I disagree with them all!