The “reading more books” fallacy

There is a current tendency of bragging about how many books one did read. We start shouting out our number. The higher, the better.

We see this in social media and the press too. “How this CEO reads a book a week”, “Reading 2 books a month is the secret…”, and plenty of articles we stumble upon each day.

People started binding the number of books someone read with intellectual, expertise, and sometimes, intelligence. Advices on reading more books is now everywhere. Some argue it’s best to listen to audio books at x2 speed. Others talk about “consuming” books. And on the top of the list, people offering expensive courses on how to read at 2x speed, or plus. All this to maximize the number of books you can read. And to make you feel more intelligent/intellectual/whatever.


Books were never a metric you need to maximize. They are here to help you navigate, benefit from the experience of others, or travel to another world in order to live a story – in case of fiction books -.

Reading books, the way social media and the press is marketing it, will not make you wiser, intelligent, nor expert. Books are here as guidelines. You need to get information from them, adjust to your case, and apply them in the real world. And this takes time. You can’t do all of this while reading a book every week.

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