If you want to read books to internalize them and not just to have fun (i.e., take smart notes and annotate them), then you will have to read fewer books in a year. If they’re thick books, ten books a year might be too much. Five to seven books is a good number.

Let’s say that you started serious ready by age 30 and by 80 you are too old to read and internalize books. That gives you 50 years of good reading. That’s about 250 to 350 books in a lifetime. That’s less than the great books of Western literature and most probably less than the number of books in your shelf right now!

This is the reason why meta-learning (learning what to learn about) is equally important, if not more important, than learning itself.

If we want to live a life filled with literature and ideas, we need to accept the hard truth that we cannot read everything. Deciding what topics to study, what books to read, and what other resources to consume (and what to leave out) is necessary to budget our limited time of learning on Earth.