How does Ryan Holiday read?

I love this tweet from October 2020 that Ryan reposted recently.

How I Read:

  • Every day
  • One book at a time
  • Only physical
  • With a pen
  • Going down rabbit holes (find the next book in the current one)
  • Transfer the knowledge to notes afterwards

I know a lot is going on there. And for most people, Ryan’s approach will be overkill as they are content with making time (a few minutes here or there, primarily online stuff, not books) to read every day or every other day. Some also believe that Ryan can afford to do that as he’s living on his terms.

I think that’s an absurd assumption. He’s got a job to do and happens to take reading as seriously as any other aspect of his work. The task allows him to analyse and synthesise information that later becomes books that we all love to devour!

Regardless of our profession, we owe ourselves to read like a professional. Because what we learn from books (and some blogs too) can change and influence the way we live and lead. I’ve been a professional reader for the past two decades and think it’s one of my life’s best investments and habits that I’ve developed.

The commitment might have you wake up an hour or two earlier or in the middle of the workday (I find this hard to do), but it’s worth the time that you’re putting in. There’s so much to learn, assimilate, analyse, synthesise, and apply that you can’t afford to learn.

Harry Truman says, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” If you’re a leader, you owe it to yourself by approaching reading like a true professional — with a pen and notebook in hand. And yes, going down the rabbit holes because that’s how you go deep, study, and master a topic or a subject.

If you’re wondering what to read, you can start with one of Ryan’s recommended books (no affiliation, I admire Ryan’s work) here:

All the best, and if possible, keep me posted (send me an email via the contacts page).

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