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How and Why to Self Publish and Distribute Your Book

Step 1. Write Book

Step 2. ???

Step 3. Profit

Ditching books

On Mental Models

I used to be the kind of guy who finished every book. Then I grew up and had better things to do with my time. Like read better books if the current one is shit.

Last week, I "finished" two books by throwing them out. I was 70 pages into the first one, when the ratio of new-agey-bullshit to that-one-concept-sounded-good tipped over. I skimmed the chapter list, determined the few interesting sounding ones, skimmed those, and decided to not continue reading. I threw the book in the trash. I then picked up the second book by the same author, skimmed the list of chapters, and threw it away immediately.

The thing is that I dragged these books to another continent in an airplane before finding out they were shit. A little investigation would've saved a lot of space in my suitcase (not that I needed more space).

If the goal is to gather information (vs. entertainment or getting into the mood to do something specific), selective reading is great. For another book, the quality of each chapter dropped considerably. By the time I reached the middle of the book, I started skipping sub-chapters and later even chapters. I got all the good parts, and saved an hour or two.

Interestingly, skipping and skimming is harder on a Kindle. Then again, it always seems like the Kindle books are way more expensive than getting a used dead tree shipped to your house. Would love if the Kindle had most books I want to read, and if they were more reasonably priced. $10 for an eBook when the dead tree is $0.01 plus shipping? That's $7 just for the comfort of not having to have the physical thing lying around.

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