A Suggested Reading Newsletter?

June 9, 2009 — 73 Comments

I’ve been getting a few emails about what happened to the “What I’m Reading” posts since I haven’t done one in a while. The format just wasn’t working for me and I felt like it wasn’t the best way to do it. I also tried messing around with Amazon reviews but I couldn’t get into it.

What would you guys think of a reading newsletter? I’m still fleshing the idea out in my head but I think it could work as an email sent out every one or two weeks with a list of interesting books I’ve been reading and short reviews. I try to make connections between books or ideas or at the very least use one book to turn me on to another one. This could be a much better way to do that.

I’d like to know if this something people would subscribe to. I have all these really cool, obscure books that I’ve discovered over the last six months that I want to recommend and talk about but a blog is just not the right way to do it. People should be able to email me back and we could talk about them and we can work through the books together. Or if you’re already doing this with someone else, send it to me because I’d like to sign up myself.

Ryan Holiday

I'm a strategist for bestselling authors and billion dollar brands like American Apparel, Tucker Max and Robert Greene. My work has been used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube and Google and has been written about in AdAge, the New York Times, Gawker and Fast Company.

73 responses to A Suggested Reading Newsletter?

  1. I would subscribe, it shows to me about other books I might be interested in reading, instead of waiting for a couple of authors to publish another book.

  2. J. D. Hoffmann June 9, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I would definetly subscribe. Mostly because i trust in your judgement concerning literature.

  3. I’d subscribe as well.

  4. I’m not sure if you’ve seen this or not, but good reads(http://www.goodreads.com/) seems to be similar to what you’re thinking about.

  5. I’d be in, Ryan. Always looking for new interesting, off-the-beaten-trail books!

  6. This is a great idea – I’d subscribe

    Summarize works every one to two weeks and then every other month choose a book that you felt was the most important from that period. From that point the subscribers can read it and a discussion can ensue on why the book is important and how it can be applied to every day life or how it’s important in general.

    or something like that – anyway, good idea.

  7. This is a great idea – I’d subscribe

    Summarize works every one to two weeks and then every other month choose a book that you felt was the most important from that period. From that point the subscribers can read it and a discussion can ensue on why the book is important and how it can be applied to every day life or how it’s important in general.

    or something like that – anyway, good idea.

  8. I’d subscribe as well. Some of the most important concepts that influence my perspective were found from the recommended books here. I hope you start this up!

    Another idea, (although I can see how it could end up disastrously bad) is to let readers have the opportunity to suggest books with a brief synopsis and reason why the book is important. Even if you didn’t have time the read the book it would add another bit of value adding content to the emails and an exchange of ideas.

  9. I will subscribe. I really like goodreads.com. I suggest doing something on there.

  10. would be great!

  11. I would subscribe.

  12. I’ve been using goodreads.com to review or record thoughts on the books I read. It works well enough for my purposes.

    Would definitely signup for whatever you’re planning, regardless of what form it takes.

  13. I would be in

  14. I would find some way to still keep a master list, separated by subject. While it’s good to see what you’re reading at the moment and why, most people don’t want to read all of the same subjects as you do, haven’t read enough books in the particular subject to be reading the specific ones you are, or just don’t read as much as you do (and so can’t keep up with your recommendations). A master list would solve all of those problems.

    If you can, it’d also be useful to see how you found the specific books (or just write a few articles on the subject). I think that is a larger issue for most – how to find good, reputable books on a subject to truly deepen one’s understanding of the subject.

    Hope that helps.

  15. I’d prefer just having that stuff on the blog… but I’d subscribe if it was the only option

  16. Sounds like a good idea.

  17. Dude, your choice in books is excellent. I do miss those posts, and actually liked them so much I emulated the format on my blog.

    I think that discussion with like minded people would be a great option, but email really is not an effective format to do that in.

  18. Absolutely, I’d subscribe in a heartbeat.

  19. I would definitely subscribe. While we’re on the topic, have you read The Holographic Universe? My friends have been talking about it a lot lately and I was wondering if you had read it/what your thoughts on it are.

  20. I would definitely be interested in something like that. If there was some kind of group discussion and work through of them like back in the day of the old RMMB book club I think it might really have some potential. Sounds kind of very vaguely familiar to that ‘education’ email I sent you not that long ago. However I am not sure email is going to be the right format for you unless you keep it strictly a one way thing.

  21. Good idea, I’d subscribe.

  22. i would subscribe for sure

  23. Would most definitely subscribe. Looking forward to it should it come into fruition.

  24. Goodreads.com has been working pretty good for me, but i’m not sure if that would work for what you’re trying to do.

  25. Hey Ryan,

    I’ve only been dropping in on your blog for a month or so, but it’s nice to come across someone with similar, reinforcing insights. I’d be interested in a book dialogue and the goodreads seems like a good service if you can get a quality group together… Anybody know if it let’s you select a book from a particular person’s shelf, Ryan’s “masterlist” in this case, and see reviews by others within the group who may also have the book reviewed?

  26. I’d subscribe as well.

  27. Count me in, Ryan.

  28. What about doing it through the RMMB? I enjoyed the Book Club threads, and I’m sure an email list would be cool too, but if there’s a discussion, I don’t want my inbox filled with a million messages.

  29. I’d definitely subscribe. But like Sam suggested, I think goodreads.com would be useful. I emailed you a couple of times before about it but you didn’t say anything back. It’s a social networking site for readers. The obvious problem is that people would need to sign up for an account and friend you instead of just giving you their email. But if someone reads your blogs and is interested in a mailing list about books you’ve been reading, I don’t think they’d mind being on goodreads.com either. Ben Corman has one, and while he doesn’t update too much it’s kind of cool to see what he’s reading and what he thinks about it.

  30. Why do you need our email addresses when you can just start an alternate blog that people could subscribe to?

    I enjoy your posts on reading, but I will not subscribe.

  31. This is a good idea. I’ve based a lot of my reading list off your suggestions. I would definitely subscribe.

  32. Very interested

  33. I would definitely subscribe as well.

  34. I love this idea. Definitely a potential subscriber.

  35. I know the book club on the RMMB kind of died, but I would love to see that type of thing.

  36. AvengingAngels June 9, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    I’d subscribe. Although I’d prefer it if you simply posted the issues here. That way I can get it on my rss aggregator without clogging my inbox.

  37. Hey dude! Long time reader and hell yes, subscribe me.

  38. Sign me up. Finally read Meditations the other day, thanks for recommending that.

  39. Ryan, please do it.

  40. Why not have a list of books, but with a focus on one major book that gets its own thread on the RMMB every couple of weeks? The old book club threads there were really useful.

  41. I look forward to subscribing if you decide to go ahead.

  42. I really didn’t start seriously getting into reading (with the exception of reading as a kid, required reading, and maybe 5 classics) until I found your website. Anyway, my point is that, at least in my experience, you have been incredibly influential in that regard, and should continue doing it because I doubt I’m the only one. The effects of that are immeasurable, and there’s no telling if I would have made it there otherwise. I probably don’t show enough support around here, because I don’t want to sound like a faggot, but I am a fan and keep up the good work.

  43. I’d prefer to see this kind of thing on the blog.

    Why couldn’t you just designate this comments section for book commentary?

    I’m a lot more likely to read something in Google Reader than a newsletter. When I go to gmail, it’s to find out what I need to do for a job or school. When I go to Reader, it’s because I have time to think about other people’s ideas.

    So I end up with alot of unread newsletters, but I hit all my RSS feeds eventually.

  44. That’s an awesome idea. I would definately subscribe.

  45. Ryan, I originally found your blog and subscribed to its feed because of the book reviews.

    In recent months I’ve been enjoying your delicious feed for similar reasons, although in less depth.

    Bring the reviews back, I don’t care what format you use.

  46. I`m interested as well.

  47. I would subscribe, but I think a forum would work better–maybe you could get a subforum on TMMB for books. Something that better facilitates discussion; the movie forum on TMMB works pretty well that way, although perhaps that’s because more people watch the same movies than read the same book.

  48. Yeah, where do I sign up?

  49. Long time reader here, and when I started reading your site, I would dig through your archives specifically for your “What I’m Reading” posts. But over time you completely won me over with your writing, opinions and especially with your well rounded view.

    I agree with the format you proposed. Sign me up.

  50. I would subscribe fo’ sho’. I am reading Fight Club, I had seen the movie ages ago. The book is interesting. Did you read “The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”? Excellent read.


  51. Yeah, I would love to subscribe to it. Great idea

  52. I think it’s a great idea. I’ve been going through your reading posts and have found some gold. I would subscribe in whatever form works best for you


  53. Count me in!

  54. Great idea – you might want to think about whether to allow talking back, so to speak.

    There probably is value in hearing your thoughts – given your excessive reading and ‘track-record’ on recommonding excellent works – and there may even be more value to a sort of crowd-sourced general discussion on the value of a given book.

    What makes my head spin though, is the signal vs. noise-ratio within such a discussion.

  55. There aren’t many book recommendations out there that come from a Stoic viewpoint. I’d sign up for the letter in a heartbeat.

  56. I would definitely sign up. It is a very good idea.

  57. Yes, Please!

  58. Looks like you’ve got enough replies already, but chalk up another one

  59. The “What I’m Reading” posts are some of my favorites–I would sign up for this.

  60. I would also be interested.

  61. I would also recommend goodreads.com, the only problem is that its another website you have to sign up for and become a member of. I would subscribe to a email list though.

  62. I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now and have never commented before. Just wanted to let you know that I think this is a good idea and would subscribe in a heartbeat.

  63. YES! I would definitely subscribe

  64. sounds good to me

  65. I would subscribe.

  66. I would subscribe. And I think an e-mail list is the way to go. You’d get much better feedback from one-on-one interactions than you’d get from blog comments, I think.

  67. oount me in too

  68. I’d definitly suscribe too

  69. Connor Pritchard October 20, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I would subscribe. My life wouldn’t be the same without Seth Godin, Tim Ferris, and Ryan Holiday’s reading suggestions. Keep them coming.

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