The last two years I’ve talked about my favorite books of the year on Twitter (here’s 2018 and 2019). In 2020, I’ll begin by noting that I came to an important realization this year about reading itself. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the incentives and culture of academia, and began to understand at some point that a lot of social science books should be no longer than an article, but are extended to 200-300 pages often by repeating the same ideas in different words. I always sort of new this, but never admitted to myself how much time I was wasting with books that did not need to be read in their entirety.
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