In 1887, Srinivasa Ramanujan was born into poverty in a small village in Southern India. At 16, a friend gave him an old math textbook containing 6,000 theorems. The book stimulated his mind. He became obsessed with understanding and inventing new solutions.


Ramanujan’s work caught the attention of Cambridge University. After moving there, Ramanujan made ground-breaking discoveries in number theory and infinite series.


A single book helped a poor boy in India become one of history’s greatest mathematicians. You have millions of books at your fingertips. What will you do with this gift?


In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time—none, zero.

-Charlie Munger


Importance of reading

Here are brilliant benefits:


Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

-Richard Steele


How to start today


Read what you love until you love to read.

-Naval Ravikant


Personal notes

Over the past 20 years, I’ve read 1–2 books per week.


Here are my all-time favorites:


When you read, you can absorb the entire life of another person in a few days.

-James Altucher


Musacchio S. (2016, April 8). Ramanujan: The man who knew infinity. CNRS News.


Importance of reading

Peng P et al. (2018). A meta-analysis on the relation between reading and working memory. Psychol Bull. 144(1): 48–76.


Mol SE, Bus AG. (2011). To read or not to read: a meta-analysis of print exposure from infancy to early adulthood. Psychol Bull. 137(2): 267–296.


Graham S et al. (2018). Reading for writing: A meta-analysis of the impact of reading interventions on writing. Review Educational Research. 88(2): 243–284.


Cunningham AE, Stanovich KE. (1993). Where does knowledge come from? Specific associations between print exposure and information acquisition. Journal Educational Psychology. 85(2): 211–229.


Cunningham AE, Stanovich KE. (2001). What reading does for the mind. Journal Direct Instruction. 1(2): 137–149.


How to start today

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020, June 25). American time use survey summary [Press release].


Perrin A. (2019, September 25). One-in-five Americans now listen to audiobooks. Pew Research Center.


Personal notes

Nakanishi T. (2015). A meta-analysis of extensive reading research. TESOL Quarterly. 49(1): 6–37.


Bus AG, van IJzendoorn MH, Pellegrini AD. (1995). Joint book reading makes for success in learning to read: A meta-analysis on intergenerational transmission of literacy. Review Educational Research. 65(1): 1–21.

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