Albert Einstein said “Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”
I am currently reading The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss and he recommends that you don’t read the newspaper or CNN, and limit reading of trade magazines and other non-fiction. It got me thinking. Do I read too much? What value do I get from what I read? Ferriss says that too many people spend hours reading but can not tell you much about what they just read. He makes the excellent point that information that you don’t implement is useless information.
I advise that when you read, you write down as many thoughts and takeaways as you can. This puts your brain into a more active mode and helps you focus on gathering useful nuggets of information or insight that you can use in the future. It is also good to exercise your creative muscles on a blog where you can write about whatever provokes your thinking. I agree with Einstien. Ultimately you can’t just absorb the thoughts of others, you must be able to think for yourself.