"What kinds of books should you read? Older ones, not newer, ones that have withstand the test of time." - Naval Ravikant


There is so much knowledge out there, it's hard to know where to start in your quest for self-education. 

I think Naval's advice above is a useful heuristic for choosing which books to read.

It feels like there is always a popular new book that people are talking about. However, will it still be discussed 50 or 100 years from now?

The truth is that most books are ephemeral. They might tap into a trend or cultural zeitgeist, but they likely won't withstand the test of time.

That's why Naval recommends books like The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, or Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. These influential works have proven their worth and held up over the years.

However, he doesn't exclusively read older books. Naval suggests modern works like Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. He also peruses tweets and blog posts from intelligent individuals all around the world.

And I think this is a good approach to have. In your pursuit of knowledge, it's good to have a balance between both old and new material. If you only cling to one or the other, then you're likely limiting your perspective. However, if you have to choose, timeless material is more likely to benefit you in the long run. 

It's good to have a respect for past works, while still following contemporary ideas. This way you can have one foot in both worlds, giving you a broader perspective of historical wisdom mixed with modern breakthroughs.