Starting with “The World Is Flat”, I began reading and then
demanding recommending that close friends read certain key books I’ve come across.
The idea is simple enough, and it differs significantly from a “book club”. In a book club (as I understand it) the group first collectively selecting a book, each person then reads said book, and then the group gets together at some point in the future to discuss it. The idea is quaint, to be sure, but both myself and my friends lack this sort of organization.
My technique is to find the books myself, read them, and if (and only if) the title is overpowering, I will
recommend it to push it down the throats of my small circle of friends.
The idea is that if my selections are of high enough quality, the group that I’ve pushed these books onto will come to believe that their lives will in fact be improved by reading what I offer as worthy. The wrong thing to do, therefore, is to recommend something that’s mostly mundane, as that’s likely to undermine my ability to get them to read future titles.
Oh, and the other concept I’m doing for this project is actually buying the dead tree (non-digital) version of whatever title it is that I’m pushing. I don’t personally partake of them, as most of my book intake comes via audiobook while driving, walking, or working out, but I recognize that others enjoy the time spent with the legacy format.
So the idea is this — I find “must read” books, I consume them in digital format, and then I buy the hard copy and distribute it into the network. The person who gets it first is responsible for nothing except getting it to the next person in the list when they’re finished with it.
That’s the idea anyway.
The next book, by the way, is called “Freakanomics“, and it’s sick beyond all compare (I need to work on my hype language). The main concept with this book is that of economics in the true sense, i.e. using a set of tools to help figure out how things work. It goes about explaining how various things are thought to have happened vs. how they actually did — all supported by very strong arguments and excellent data.
So that’s the gist of it — I find cool stuff and I try my hardest to get my intellectual/geek buddies to read them via whatever means possible (including buying the book and putting it into circulation).
If you guys have any ideas for “must read” titles, do let me know. I am looking for those that are along the lines of “perspective altering”, i.e. books that help one change how they think about a great many things, or, at the very least “big” issues.
Ultimately, I’m in search of the unified theory of everything, and I’m simply gathering input at the moment. Any thoughts, comments, or other ideas are welcome.