David Perell

David Perell quotes on reading

"The Writing Guy". He tweet about business, online learning, and Internet writing.

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Books let you download somebody’s brain for the price of a sandwich


Every discipline has a book that everybody references, but nobody reads: Physics: The Feynman Lectures Philosophy: Godel, Escher, Bach Sociology: Das Kapital English: Infinite Jest Media: Understanding Media Investing: The Intelligent Investor Economics: The Wealth of Nations


People think that if they consume enough information, they'll eventually know enough to write well, but nobody has ever eaten their way to becoming a Michelin Star chef. You have to actually cook.


A simple formula for writing hooks: "Get 3 yes's in 30 seconds". Readers should nod their head yes to the headline, subheading, and first sentence. If they've made it to the third sentence, they're ready for an interesting and compelling story.


Great writers write so clearly that you forget you’re reading


How to take notes: - Read on Kindle - Highlight everything interesting - Export highlights to Evernote - Bold the best ideas - Delete the fluff Extra points if you type up a summary. Just like that, all your best ideas will be saved in your pocket forever. Easy and efficient.


One of the biggest flaws of our school system is that the majority of students hate reading by the time they graduate


Book clubs are a cheat code. Every time I do one, I remember the book 5x better. It takes 20 hours to read a book, but only 2 extra hours to talk about it with friends. Better friendships. Faster learning.


Books: A lifetime of wisdom for ten bucks and 20 hours of your time


There are two ways to have brilliant ideas: 1) The hard way: Try to come up with all the ideas yourself. 2) The easy way: Read books. Most problems can be solved with focused attention and a book. Books are a cheat code. Do the easy thing. Read books.


To improve your writing, binge-read your favorite writers and shamelessly copy their style


Writing a lot won’t make you a better writer. If it did everybody who answers 100 emails per day would write like Hemmingway. If you want to improve your writing, listen to critical feedback, read great books, and spend a lot of time *re-writing* your sentences.


One way to measure the quality of a book: the number of thoughts you’ve never had before.


My nights are sacred. Since I started working, I’ve reserved 2-3 nights per week for reading, learning, and thinking. It’s my time without distraction — to explore the wonderful world of ideas. This habit has absolutely changed my life. The benefits keep compounding.


The best essays are so good that they could’ve been a book.


My 5 Rules for Networking: 1. Smile 2. Laugh 3. Built friendships, not contacts. 4. Help the other person before you ask them to help you. 5. When in doubt, stay home. Most networking is a waste of time. Read, write and share your ideas online instead.


Make your reading time more productive by writing long notes in your own words while you read.


People brag about how many books they’ve read. Better to brag about how many books you’ve summarized.


Assume you don’t have free will. You are 100% programmed by your environment. If it’s true, you are what you consume. You become what you read. You act just like your friends. Might be a useful idea, even if it isn’t 100% true. Better inputs. Better outputs.


If you want to write but don’t know where to start, write summaries. Summarize books, speeches, documentaries, academic papers, scientific journal articles. The best summaries rise to the top of Google and besides, summaries are the best way to learn. Start writing.


There’s no anxiety quite like the anxiety of walking into a giant library and confronting how little you know.


I wish every productive person wrote a book-length guide to how they live, work, and think.


Easy reading is hard writing


The books of the future will be a bundle. Authors won't just sell books. They'll sell supplemental videos, podcasts, and live Q&A sessions too. You won't just read the ideas. You'll watch and listen to them too.


A paradox of writing: Clear writing looks so effortless that the reader thinks the author wrote it all in one draft


The best place to find book recommendations is the bibliography of your favorite book.


Once reading becomes mandatory, it stops being fun


Treat your craft like an athlete treats their sport. Here's how I improve my writing: ∙ Work with a writing coach ~3x per month. ∙ Read many books and very few articles. ∙ Write for 90 minutes per day. ∙ Mirror my favorite writers. ∙ An editor reviews everything I publish.


We remember physical books better than Kindle ones because memory is spacial. Instead of storing every idea in our head, we outsource memory to our environment. That’s why smart students study for exams in the same place they take the test.


I’m reading fewer books, fewer articles, and falling down Wikipedia rabbit holes every night. Start with a big subject like “The Galápagos Islands.” Then, follow the hyperlinks. 99% of people would be better off reading 10x more Wikipedia, and less of almost everything else.


Many people try to race through books like they’re collecting mushrooms in a game of Mario Kart. But it’s better to read slowly. Obsess over your favorite writers. Read their best books twice. In general: Read more of the best, and less of the rest.


If you want to write but don’t know where to start, summarize an important book. Write 5,000 words. Make it the go-to book summary for the entire Internet.


A rule for good writing. Don’t use consultant words: Empower, synergy, disruptive, deliverable, innovative. Readers don’t want to feel like they’re reading a pitch deck. They want to have fun learning, as if they’re talking to an interesting friend at a bar.


Leaked emails will teach you more about business than most business books


Easy way to build an online following: 1) Read lots of academic papers. 2) Summarize them. Academic papers are so hard to read. But the best ones are loaded with wisdom and surprising research. By publishing summaries, you‘ll learn fast and attract an intelligent audience.


Three thoughts on marketing: 1) Marketing is increasingly important. 2) Technology changes, but the basic principles stay the same. Read old marketing books. 3) People under-estimate the power of repetition. The more you hear something, the more likely you are to believe it.


Everyone’s trying to read faster. I’m trying to read slower. Nothing better than being so inspired by a book that you have to put it down. That’s what reading is all about. Read slower, not faster.


Looking for book recommendations? Here's are my two favorite strategies: 1) Find your favorite book, open the bibliography, and read the most-cited books. 2) Look for books that always come up in conversation with smart people, but are impossible to find in book stores.


Audiobooks should be WAY better. Ideas: 1) The readers should speak with more passion and enthusiasm. 2) Write two versions of the book. One to read, one to listen to. 3) Add background noises to color-up the story.


The biggest mistake new Internet writers is writing about what they think other people want to read instead of following their obsessions


If you’re looking for reading recommendations, open up your favorite book and look at the bibliography. Here’s why: If a source influenced your favorite author, you will probably like it too.


The best way to understand the genius behind your favorite book is to write a summary of it


One of my favorite sources of new ideas is books that used to be popular, but nobody reads them anymore


People with well-written essays on their personal websites are the kinds of people you generally want to hire


Read essays, not articles


Easy way to improve reading retention: read books with friends. Reading a book takes 10-20 hours. Add 2-3 hours for in-person discussion and your reading retention will skyrocket. Plus... it’s fun. Book clubs or 1-on-1 conversation. They both work. Strong recommend.


The first step to educating yourself is overcoming the intellectual PTSD you picked up reading all the boring books in school


Building a kick-ass note-taking system will help your writing more than reading 100 books about grammar.


My crazy beliefs about writing: 1. Writing fast is just as important as writing well. 2. Good writing isn’t about good syntax or grammar. Having interesting ideas is much more important. 3. If you can’t write, don’t read a writing book. Build a note-taking system first.


If you want to think originally, read outside your industry. • Avoid industry podcasts. • Put down the industry magazine. • Skip the top-recommended books. Borrow from other industries, so you can bring a fresh perspective to your work.

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