What I learned from reading 200 books in 15 months

April 14, 2019
krauserpua

I have been on something of a reading binge, having read 136 books in 2018 (and reviewing each and every one of them) and then another 54 books so far in 2019 [1]. I’m averaging better than three books a week and I’ve hoovered up a lot of content. Perhaps it’s a good time to reflect. Here are some observations in no particular order.

1. Abundance allows risk taking

A man who reads only a handful of books a year will be extremely discriminating in what he tries. This will bias him towards authors or topics he’s already familiar with and, depending upon his goals, he may choose 100% entertainment or 100% education. When I was burning through three books a week I felt like the downside of picking a bad book was minimal. No matter how boring it got, so long as I stayed the course for two days I’d be on to the next book. This is not unlike the abundance mentality a player has with girls: if this girl isn’t working out, you can walk away and find another. This freedom to experiment enabled me to try discover different authors and topics, many of which I grew to like.

2. Ideas need time to sink in

On a couple of occasions I read three books in one day [2]. I encountered a bizarre time distortion effect whereupon I’d sink into the world of a book and its characters, only to shut the book and then promptly disappear into the next world. At the end of the day, those first two books felt like weeks in my past. A negative side-effect of fast reading is my brain didn’t have sufficient time to let ideas percolate, test them against my existing world view, and tease out all their implications. Much of that learning comes while lying in the bath, or sitting on a bus, or out walking. Often, I’d be deep into the next book by then, so the prior books wasn’t fully explored before having been pushed out of my awareness by the next.

3. Reading can be insatiable

I soon realised the addictive qualities of mass reading. My attention span lengthened enormously so I’d think nothing of sitting in a chair for six hours straight. Books were answering questions, exploring topics, and introducing imaginary worlds. I’d find myself immersed and not wishing to do anything else. Often lines or phrases would trigger compelling questions that I’d mull over for minutes at a time. It was all so interesting that as soon as I finished one book I’d have a chocolate box selection of interesting titles to try next. I was almost resentful that by choosing one book, I’d have to decline the others, and thus I wanted to race to the end of the current book to minimise the missed opportunities. That made it quite compulsive behaviour for me.

4. Movies and TV are shit

“The book is better than the movie” is true in 99% of cases. The human brain can process words and ideas far faster than physical action and the human voice can articulate them. Thus an hour of reading time packs in far more than an hour of televisual time. Added to that, books are generally far longer than movies and TV shows – the only exception being a premium cable series. These latter shows have the time to develop complex plots and introduce mood-setting redundancy. In a movie, there’s the famous dictum that if you show a gun on the mantelpiece in the first act, it must be fired by the third act. Nothing can be introduced without being relevant. After a while this gets tiresome and predictable. Books can hide foreshadowing better and even create wild goose chases to misdirect you.

Aaron Sorkin made the observation that stories belong in different media. If the focus is physical action, it’s a movie. If the focus is dialogue, it’s a play. If it’s internal thoughts and emotion, it’s a book. This makes books more immersive by nature, as they are a medium for pulling you into the character’s minds rather than observing them from the outside. Lastly, movies and TV are shit because they are pozzed and designed by committee. Books can touch subjects in ways that ((executives)) don’t allow in movies and TV.

5. Writers are good at different parts of writing

As a writer, I’m constantly attempting to improve my own literary ability. One dividing line I often see between writers is between writers of good stories, and writers of good prose. For example, War & Peace has beautiful sentence construction. Judged on a sentence-by-sentence basis its really very impressive. But it’s boring as fuck. It’s just not a good story [3]. In contrast, pulp magazine adventure writers in the early 1920s were often the opposite in that the stories whipped along in compelling and imaginative fashion but the sentences were as painfully crude as music played out of key.

Some writers are fantastic at snappy dialogue, some set a scene well, some tease out human emotion from the strangest places, some set you thinking about how to live the Good Life. Some are competent at everything and special at nothing. Reading lots of books allowed me to see the differences in stark contrast.

6. I like dusting off old gems

I’ve got an aversion to reading modern books and popular books. Generally, I don’t like the pozz, the dumbed-down style, and the pretension. I’d rather read the books by the men who created civilisation than the Jews men who try to destroy it. The wonder of books is they transport you into the writer’s world, and thus reading, for example, Edgar Wallace’s Sanders Of The River stories gives you window into colonial Africa from the viewpoint of a Victorian Englishman. You simply can’t get that on TV or movies. Recently I experimented with picking up dusty paperbacks from a second-hand store, selecting for authors and genres I rarely favour. I also try old stuff on Kindle. Lots of it is fascinating. It feels like you’re the only person to read the book in over fifty years.

7. Committing to finish what I start

I’ve had a rule that if I start a book, I must finish it. I’ve only broken that rule one time, on Ernest Becker’s Denial Of Death [4]. A dozen times I’d start a book and be shaking my head thinking “oh fuck, I’ve picked a bad one” but in each case by the end I was glad I read it. Most recently, I finished Martin Butler’s The Corporeal Fantasy. It’s mostly his blog posts and podcast transcripts hastily edited into book format (it really shows), conveying his personal philosophical system based on Spinoza, Schopenhauer, and Kant. For the first thirty pages I thought he was just a rambling old fruitcake [5] but I persevered and by the end I was extremely glad I’d read it because a sentence here, a turn of phrase there, and even entire paragraphs set me off thinking about philosophical issues in directions I’d never before considered. Had I been more judgemental, I’d have deleted it from my Kindle early and missed out. Committing to finish what I start ensures I encounter scenarios, ideas, and styles I might otherwise filter out.

8. Projects get ambitious

Most people who’ve heard of Alexandre Dumas and want to try him will read The Count Of Monte Cristo. If you’re such a man, I heartily recommend it. Those who get a little more ambitious might read his trilogy of which The Three Musketeers is volume one. More ambitious still, you’ll read all FIVE books of that series. I was more ambitious still – I decided to read all of his multi-volume series, namely: The D’Artagnan Romances, The Valois Saga, The Saint-Hermaine Trilogy, The Marie Antoinette Saga. That’s a total of 17 books, most just as long as The Three Musketeers, itself a big book (so far I’ve read 12).

I read his Joseph Balsamo volume 1 halfway through before realising I had a bad translation, so I bought the better translation and read that same half again – on the same day.

When you read a lot, a 200-page paperback seems like nothing. Just a warm-up. I’ve found myself drawn ever stronger towards epic books and multi-part series. I want the greater journey, and greater complexity that demands ample word-count to achieve.

9. You learn things you didn’t expect to

Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Egypt and then, when the British Navy sank his fleet near Alexandria, he deserted his troops and snuck back into France incognito in order to carry out a coup d’etat. I have now read about those events from three different perspectives: Dumas gave the French nationalist version in his The Companions of Jehu. Dennis Wheatley gave the British espionage perspective in his The Sultan’s Daughter. Then I also read the Time Life History Of The World academic summary version. I’ve also ordered a bodice-ripping women’s romance novel covering the events to see how they approach the material.

I never expected I’d learn so much about the conditions of St Petersburg during the Bolshevik Revolution, but I’ve now read two memoirs on it: one from a British spy, and one from an anarchist Jew. My knowledge of the courts of the kings of France is epic, thanks to Dumas and Wheatley, and I know lots of the Bottom World side of that period thanks to Casanova. It’s enlightening.

I may add more thoughts in another post, should they occur to me.

If you still just want to chase skirt and increase your notch count, remember all my best books are on Amazon now, in full colour, and Daygame Overkill is still the best infield instructional video product.

[1] Readers who have read some mathematics books will know 136+54=190 rather than 200. Those who have read some rhetoric books know that a catchy but inaccurate title sells more copies than a clunky but accurate one.
[2] It was raining.
[3] It’s hugely deficient in intention-plus-obstacle. It meanders without purpose.
[4] It’s horrendously insipid NYC Jewish psychoanalytical claptrap. Imagine watching Woody Allen movies on loop into perpetuity.
[5] Maybe he is, you be the judge. He certainly misunderstands Trump and Brexit.

10 Comments

  1. Apologies that the first comment is a little bit off topic, but this is based on what I have learnt in part from reading your posts relating to frauds so it kinda links in…

    Just seen this video making outlandish claims… 30+ lays in 21 days… looks like a lot of LJBF girls playing up to the camera by day and P4P by night. He’s done a vid with Deepak too… [I don’t even need to see it. 30+ in 21 days isn’t happening without P4P. Anyone care to look into the detail? K.]

  2. As a guy that has watched you walk your path for a long time (and devoured a lot of your content), it has been very interesting to watch you reshape yourself over the last year/two.

    Your Player’s Journey talk was excellent. And from where I sit, you look very healthy (psychologically) and like a man that moving someplace meaningful. I’d place a strong bet on whatever you choose to do next… even without knowing what it will be.

    Your voice sounds certain. It’s very inspiring.

    Taking this back to game:

    > A man who reads only a handful of books a year will be extremely discriminating in what he tries.
    > This is not unlike the abundance mentality a player has with girls: if this girl isn’t working out, you can walk away and find another

    I’m mostly with you here… but for me, this is freedom not to give a fuck about YHT, and to sample anything that works for me based on timing or my relative options.

    If I were to only date a few girls a year… my ego would need those girls to be amazing. I’ve dated at least 20+ girls this year alone (100+ last year, for certain)… so I can feel free to explore and sample.

    Successful players WILL get more YHT. But they will also get some “less than YHT,” and they might really enjoy a lot of that as well. Beautiful moments in subtle packaging.

    >> This freedom to experiment enabled me to try discover different authors and topics, many of which I grew to like.

    Exactly.

    Excellent post, man. We know you are mostly post-game, but you’re excited. And it’s a brilliant example for men of game to watch you shed your skin and “become” again.

  3. @daysofgame

    Are you a faggot or just a fan sir? [Give it a rest. K.]

  4. Interesting post Krauser. Are you currently working on a novel? I write non fiction for fun (when I get the rare chance these days) so if you want to compare notes on techniques or ways to generate ideas and so on drop me a line.

    Have you got any advise for remembering all the material in all these books you read? Looking at my bookshelf I cant remember half of what was in a lot of the books Ive read)

  5. Read Pablo Escobar’s book u won’t finish that in a day

  6. Congratulations on obtaining the value and geographical freedom. I know you’ve had it for 10 years now but it must feel like a super power. It’s like fine dining all over the world while us twenty-somethings eat junk food at our local high street. Perils of getting into Game young 😦

    I really enjoyed your accumulation post from 2012. It appears London is perfect for a man to build his value but absolutely abysmal for a rewarding relationship with a high value woman (unless your privileged). I’m seriously contemplating moving to the continent for a year and finding a hot girlfriend. But how do you do that without sacrificing your career potential and value building as a young man? I refuse to shackle up with a local, overbearing 7. Especially if you’ve already tasted the sweet nectar of a nubile European 8.

    It’s like Game taught me how to get a High Value woman but I’m limited by geography and finance. Fuck why am I cursed with ambition?! [I lucked into my income. K.]

    • By continent are you specifically referring to FSU? What stops you from continuing your career in e.g. Paris, Madrid, Vienna, etc?

      • Unless PinkP is in a profession which is location specific for instance a British lawyer who only knows English Law, or already has a large fixed based business in the UK already, there is no reason to stay in the UK for commercial reasons. Real pay (salaries adjusted for cost of living) in almost all industries are very poor. I have friends in careers which are deemed high status but their lifestyle doesn’t match, with them living in overpriced 2 up and 2 down box houses and buying GMO in Tescos. Business opportunities are limited due to a hollowing out of British industry, risk averse banking system and a host of other reasons. I suggest you don’t get hung up on what you may have been inculcated to do or have already fallen into.

        Try to think broader. If possible try doing something on your own rather than working a job unless you can get some training to do your business later on. Even if you fail its ok, get back up and try something else. Much like game a few ‘failures’ along the way is part of the process. Everything can’t work out. Once you realise this the fear about making the jump recedes.

        GL)

      • I appreciate your helpfulness Zatara but I don’t think it’s responsible advice to tell someone who’s building a career to bin it and become self employed (much harder than having a job) to live a richer life abroad. If I never wanted a family then hell yeah but I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot and likely be a poor provider for my future children. I know it’s PUA heresy that you might one day want to settle down. I’m at a watershed and I’m certain there are tens of other Daygamers in my shoes. It’s not just finances but a full time job brings stability, routine and human contact that being self employed probably does not.

        Now If you’ll excuse me I have a date this evening with an overbearing local 7 that I’d already intimated. Sighs.

  7. “Recently I experimented with picking up dusty paperbacks from a second-hand store, selecting for authors and genres I rarely favour. I also try old stuff on Kindle. ”

    Been doing this myself the past few months. Planning on digitizing them when I’m finished. Do you catalogue them anywhere?

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