In the US alone there are more than 600.000 books published every year. That's more than 1600 books every day. In the US alone! And globally there are more than 2mn blog posts published every day.
And it feels like we have to read them all. With all of these reading lists (and reading apps) out there recommending us the newest and most life changing books our reading lists grow bigger and bigger.
By the way these lists only exist because people make a cut on every book you end up buying from one of those lists.
So there will always be more books to read. More blog posts to share. And more things to learn. There's always something we can improve in our lives.
What this personal growth porn basically does is that it turns reading into a competition.
It turns something fun, something educational and something to reflect on into a race. It basically turns reading into work, whereas it should be something we do to get away from work.
It has gotten so absurd that a lot of people don't even read entire books anymore. So they learn how to speed read. Or they buy book summaries online.
If you don't have enough time to read an entire book, you'll probably also not have the time to reflect on it. To me, it looks and feels a lot like binge reading. That's at least what it felt like to me.
So at one point I stopped reading.
I already reduced my content consumption from blogs earlier this year because there's so much crap out there. And I focused on three to four blogs. And gettng closer to the end of the year I've also stopped reading books.
Because at one point you have to use all of the information you consumed into action. Without action, without doing, information is pretty much useless. It will always be just information. And not knowledge.
Knowledge is the result of taking information and putting it into action.
When you put information into action, when you do things, you will either be able to confirm the information you gained, adapt it or reject the information completely. And that's real knowledge.
And that's one of the main reasons why I stopped reading books. Because I realized that all of this information, these lessons learned and getting insights into hundreds of people's lives stopped me from turning information into real knowledge.
It's easy to get lost in all of these amazing stories. And it's a lot easier to live someone else's life instead of living your own life.
But just because it's easy, just because books and content are more accessible, recommended by someone and cheaper than they ever were before doesn't mean that you have to read them all.
The real strength lies in realizing that at one point you know enough to get out there, to start living your own life and to start transforming information into knowledge.
The real strength lies in writing your own story. And in shooting your own movie.
And once you've done that, once you've turned information into knowledge and experienced enough you can go back to reading books. Or blog posts..