I love to read. I’ve loved to read for as long as I can remember.
I love to learn. I’ve only loved to learn during the last decade or so1.

Since I came into a love of learning more recently, I’ve often considered going back to school. I’ve even taken some extra college classes. The thing is, school is a waste of time for me.

In my mind, the only real product of schooling is not knowledge but credentialing2. I am a prime example of that, receiving an engineering degree3 without learning much. At this point in my life, I don’t need more credentials, but I do need more knowledge.

There are countless ways to learn now. iTunes U, Lynda.com, Udemy, and The Great Courses have full courses. People share all sorts of hard-won knowledge on YouTube and elsewhere online. Much of what’s on the internet is free, and most of it is cheap.

But then there are books, my beloved books.

Though we are continually told no one reads anymore, it’s never been easier to find great books to read. I keep my own list of books I have read here on With the Grain, but I hope to soon add a page with my own recommendations, plus a compilation of the other reading lists I’ve found valuable.

For the last year and a half I’ve been reading a lot, but I’m not convinced I’ve been learning a lot. That’s why I’m here. I’m going to document what I’m learning real-time, in addition to going back and consolidating a lot of the knowledge I’ve been accreting less mindfully. In doing so, I’ll talk more about some of the mechanics of this process and I’ll share some good resources I wish I’d know about decades ago.

At least some of you are now saying, “I don’t have time to read,” or “it must be nice,” but I’m going to yell at you about that sometime later. In the meantime, start tonight with a little fiction before bed.

  1. Long after when I was last a full-time student. ↩︎

  2. A fair argument could be made that experience should top this list, but that isn’t the ostensible purpose of school, while knowledge is. ↩︎

  3. A real engineering degree ↩︎