A Life Defined by Books
Though I mentioned it in the section On Reading and Excuses, the notion of a life defined by books is extremely important to our self-education and cannot be reiterated enough.
In Ryan Holiday’s Conspiracy, the two protagonists of the story—Peter Thiel and Nick Denton—are enemies on a deep, deep level. Despite the palpable enmity between the two, and their many differences and similarities, one thing ties the two together. They both live lives defined by books.
Their lives are reflected in the books they read and the content they consume. Books are the source of their wisdom and the inspiration for their endeavors. In the homes of these two moguls, you will find countless books upon countless shelves. It’s the same for most of the most successful people in the world. You find a myriad of references to books constantly in their speech and their lives—books that taught them how to lead, sell, manage, create… books that taught them everything.
Living a life defined by books goes further than just reading for fifteen minutes a day. It’s a constant endeavor. Addicted cigarette smokers are defined by the fact that they always have a cigarette in their hands—we will be defined by the fact that we always have a book in our hands. That’s something to be proud of.