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Clusters of books

Great books fly in formation

How I Read influenced me a lot to start reading books in clusters. I found a couple of benefits:

Clusters give you an information edge. Reading a single book on a topic will give you an edge over most who don't read. Reading more than one will give you an edge over most of those who read (and don't go much further than one).

Clusters give you a unique world view. A single almost feels like a trap because it gives a single perspective. I see the world through author's eyes. Read 5 books and now you can suddenly compose your own complex view of the topic.

Clusters compound the value of every individual book. A cluster lets you develop a unique set of models of how to think about something. The more models you have, the more you can combine them and create connections and links across pieces of knowledge.

The core practice is to view books as a way to acquire a new mental tool. Choose your topic depending on how important is it for you to know about it, and how little you know about it. Then choose 5 books to read about it and start building that mental models armoury.

As an example here's a past cluster, about the world of venture capital:

  • E-boys by Randall E. Stross

  • The Business of Venture Capital by Mahendra Ramsinghani

  • Venture Deals by Brad Feld

  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel

  • 7 Powers by Hamilton Helmer

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