What I Read

People should read more. I read a lot and I still think I should read more. But it is important to have a strategy to prevent wasting unconscionable amounts of time.


I have some basic rules when it comes to reading on the internet. I try to read a lot, as quickly as possible, from a large variety of sources. I try not to spend too much time each day doing it. And I avoid reading “the news” as much as I can. The three sources I keep coming back to, particular to my interests, are:

They are all sort-of high volume link aggregators, and they all have a fairly broad range of stories. None of them are about politics or current events. That's not an accident.

Links that I find very interesting, and want to preserve a record of, if only for myself a few years from now, I preserve at overvale.com/links.


I think everyone should read more academic papers. They’re everywhere on the internet, and often behind the headlines you read in the news. Reading them is often very revealing in a way that reading the news is often not.

Reading papers can be intimidating, but my basic strategy is below. Go step by step and bail at any point you think you’ve got everything you want from a paper.

  1. Read the abstract. This is a summary of what the paper is about, and its findings.
  2. Read the conclusion.
  3. Look over all the figures (charts, graphs, images, etc).
  4. Start reading from the beginning, skim if you want, and read as much of the whole thing as you care to.
  5. Look at the paper’s bibliography and start reading those papers.

You’ll find that you can get the gist of a paper very quickly. For the ones that are only a little interesting you can be done in a minute or two, and the ones you find really interesting you can open up hours (or weeks) of research.

Here is a small collection of my favorite papers (I’ve stretched the definition of a paper somewhat):


Recommended, Fiction:

Recommended, Non-Fiction: