upward books

Many books I discover promise life-changing content but often fall short.

The pattern is familiar: the preface and first chapter hook you with career or life-enhancing ideas. Then the book loses momentum, padding later chapters with tangents and fluff.

I call them as “non-upward books.”

Their main takeaways fit in an essay, but greed motivates the author to bloat the book with unnecessary filler.

Great books maintain an upward trajectory in learning and engagement, delivering consistent value from start to finish. Non-upward books peak after the first chapter and then plummet.

To manage my reading and invest time in meaningful books, I’ve adopted a strategy of writing pre-reading notes, outlining my expectations and potential gains from the book.

As I progress in the book, I review these notes and assess whether the book delivers on its promises.

Books that meet or exceed my expectations are what I classify as upward books. These books merit rereading and recommendation. Books that fail this test are discarded promptly.

This strategy ensures my reading list contains books that enhance my knowledge and personal growth while providing enjoyable experiences and avoiding disappointment.

Published on January 18, 2024