During the last 3 to 4 years I have gradually become addicted to book reading. This must be one of the two or three most important lifestyle changes I have done in the past 5 years (quitting smoking and consistent jogging sessions are some of the others).
I usually prefer non-fiction books and I have consumed any book that has fallen into my hands, in areas like Economics, Business, Psychology, Game Theory, Computer Science/Engineering and many many more. I am also particularly interested in the biographies of people that I draw inspiration from; these are often biased (especially auto-biographies, by definition) but still, they provide excellent insight on the subject's personality and experiences, unfiltered by the subjectivity of journalists' reports.
After the last page of every book I read, I get a feeling similar to the runner's high, not because I finished a reading marathon but because I have understood the world just a little bit more. Not too long ago, I actually argued that reading fiction is a waste of time, enjoyable but not really useful. After all, anyone with a wild fantasy (or, often, abundance in drugs) can write a long, crazy story, why should I spend my time with what a writer's sparking neurons imprinted on paper?
Fortunately, I am always very open to change my point of view, both by discussion and by constant self-reevaluation of my ideas. I have since discovered that many fiction narratives are works of fine art, with a lyricism and taste that cannot be ignored. In addition, fiction literature seems to be the ideal way to keep a balance between my typical raw, often dark realism and the best parts of human nature. After all, we should all strive to be experience, not cynical.
With these thoughts in mind, I have started George Orwell's 1984. I have not completed it yet, but I have already been really drawn into the story and I'm really surprised with how many similarities this book's fictional, dystopic future has with today's world. I plan to post a review, chapter by chapter, as soon as I finish it.
After this exercise, I will do the same thing for every non-fiction book I read; having an easy to review summary of distilled ideas from books I read is something I have been thinking of quite a few months now.