Suppose that you know in advance that you will be stranded on a desert island for the rest of your life, or at least for an extended period. Suppose, too, that you have time to prepare for the experience. There are certainly practical and helpful articles that you would be sure to take with you. You will also be allowed ten books.
Which ones would you select?
This imagined situation seems unreal. But is it so really? I don't think so.
Right now, there are over 33 million titles on Amazon. And that's just books. There are nearly 30,000 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every hour alone.
There is more uploaded to the internet in a week than you could consume in your entire life. We have moved from an age of information scarcity to one of abundance.
We are all, to some extent, persons marooned on a desert island. We all face the same challenge that we would face if we were there—the challenge of finding the resources within ourselves to live a good human life.
Luckily, you don't have to consume every book or piece of information out there. You only need to foster an intuition for spotting bullcrap.
Read some of the greatest works of time. Literature from Mark Twain, Jane Austin, Dostoevsky, and non-fiction from writers such as Cal Newport, James Clear, and Adam Grant, as well as any other one of the countless places you can find quality information out there. As you read more and more you will learn to distinguish the signal from noise.
I will leave you with a quote from Seneca:
“You should be extending your stay among writers whose genius is unquestionable, deriving constant nourishment from them if you wish to gain anything from your reading that will find a lasting place in your mind.” - Seneca
If your struggling to find things to read check out The Journey Page on my website. It’s a comprehensive recount of the best books, articles, podcasts, and videos I have ever consumed summarized in 4-5 sentences. You can use it to find the best information to read on your Reading Island.