You Are What You Read


This is your brain on books. Most of the time.

In a piece titled “Tell Me What You Read, And I’ll Tell You Who You Are.” Zat Rana (@Zat_Rana) explains how the books we read shape our thoughts. As he puts it:

You are what you read. The information that you input into your mind informs your thinking patterns, and it influences your output in the form of the decisions you make, the work you produce, and the interactions you have.

This is of course not a news flash — to most of us. But Mr. Rana is specifically concerned with our reading habits and what it is we’re taking in on a daily basis. Consider the following:

In the last 10 years, the number of books published per year has doubled.

10 times more data will be produced in 2020 than was produced in 2013.

We live in age of information overload, and the ability to distinguish value from noise is going to become an increasingly critical quality.

The effects of reading aren’t always obvious, and as a result, many of us don’t always pay attention to what our brain is processing, and we just go along in whatever distraction the world guides us. That’s not the way ahead.

I’ve espoused the utility — and joy! — of reading recreationally more times than I can remember, but as Zat Rana concludes in a succinct manner:

At the end of the day, one of [the] most important skills in your life is how you think. It affects everything from what you produce to how you see the world. It’s on you to improve that by consuming input of value.

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