Rereading Stuff

Late in life Phillip Roth talked about wanting to do a fresh reread of his favorite books by his favorite writers before he died.

While I don’t expect to be dying anytime soon, and I’m A LOT younger than Roth when he said it (thank you very much), I get it.

I can’t imagine…really enjoying a book and reading it only once.

C.S. Lewis

I’ve  shared fewer new book recommendations lately in my Wednesday Reading Lists because I’m reading and finishing less new stuff and rereading things more.

The word fresh helps explain it, as does knowing more about what I like and don’t like to read about and which books I’ve enjoyed the most.


Twenty years ago I wasn’t in a leadership role and didn’t manage anybody. The sports books and presidential biographies I read were just that, but I’m now going back to the best ones with a fresh perspective and getting new things from them.

The investment and business books I read as a young professional and dad trying to improve my finances were a mix of terrible and excellent and everything in between. I’m rereading the excellent ones because after twenty plus years as an investor I can get more from them. I also have clients and an audience to share the best ideas with even if they aren’t directly relevant to me. 

Whereas before I read a history book for the basic overview, now I have more interest in understanding how those events led to the world today. How did we get from the end of the Civil War to the myth of the Lost Cause to tearing down Confederate statues and renaming army bases if we “won” the Civil War?

And I also know what I don’t want to read about. 

Behavioral finance sounds amazing and is important, but if you’ve read one book you’ve read them all. I’m good. World War I is boring. Moby Dick and Dune, thanks for coming out. I’ll reread something fresh or by an author I know I like.

A good book gets better at the second reading. A great book at the third. Any book not worth rereading isn’t worth reading.

Nassim Taleb

What does this mean for blog readers? I’ll still share book recommendations, but the hurdle will be higher, and I’d like to write more book reviews and summaries to better highlight the books I enjoyed the most that I think will help you.

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