I think a lot about how much and what I read. I am one of the readers Tyler Cowen references in his new book Create Your Own Economy.My primary source of information is the blogosphere. The blogs I read typically have posts including one or more links to other blogs or “hard” news sources. I follow various chains until I either lose interest or run out of time. I read about Tyler’s book on his blog, Marginal Revolution, as well as on Ben Casnocha’s blog. I have not, however, read the book. I read Ben’s excellent essay on the book, but I’m not sure I’ll take the time to read the book itself for a number of reasons. Mainly, I think in some ways it would further distort my informational diet. I already read Tyler’s blog everyday. Would reading his book really be optimal compared to other books by other authors? Probably, if only because it might provide insight (or at least a justification) for my current informational diet.
I would certainly enjoy having a response to the little intellectual dietician inside me who seems to constantly scream, “Eat more vegetables (books) and less sweets (blogs)! Even the nuts and whole grains you purchase (the Economist and the Atlantic) are more healthy than blogs!” I usually reply, “You’re right, but with Madmen, movies, friends, my girlfriend, work, soccer, golf, and socializing I just don’t have time to read more than one or two books per month.” That doesn’t do a great job of shutting him up.
Starting graduate school later this month will temporarily put this debate to rest, in any case.