The ultimate tests of being rich and smart

John Waters
I was listening to an episode of the excellent Radio 4 series A Good Read recently, featuring Kathy Burke and Tom Allen.

Allen chose a book by the film director John Waters – Role Models – and during the ensuing discussion mentioned the following quote, which for me hits the nail on the head.

“Being rich is not about how much money you have or how many homes you own; it’s the freedom to buy any book you want without looking at the price and wondering if you can afford it.”

I’ve found myself buying and reading books more voraciously this year than ever before – partly because I want to keep learning and I’d prefer to get a book over a new item of clothing or some other less useful thing.

This quote from Charlie Munger – Warren Buffett’s right-hand man – is also a mantra I take to heart.

“I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and boy does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.”

So do yourself a favour and go and buy a book and start reading today.

The real definition of ‘travel’

Travel stuff

CC image via flickr: Iain Croll


Travel used to be considered exotic and only something hugely-adventurous people would do. In 1968, Simon Raven wrote “Travel: A Moral Primer” for The Spectator.

In it, he detailed the true definition of travel in the ‘then’ modern age, especially for students. Although very much of its time, some of the advice still rings true almost 50 years on.

“Travel is when you assess your money and resources and then set out, alone or with chosen friends, to make an unhurried journey to a distant goal… leaving only a post restante address [if that], and giving no date for your return.”

Raven goes on to list 7 important maxims to ensure your travel is as ‘real’ as possible. They are frightfully dated, but this one is particularly good and one I wish we could all live by in 2017.

“Courtesy requires that your parents should be told you are actually going, but you should imply it is a brief, safe trip… Keep your real route and destination strictly to yourself.”

Bored of your book? Stop reading

Nostromo by Joseph ConradIn this month’s Reading List email from Ryan Holiday, he wrote a sentence that I wholeheartedly agree with, but rarely hear people admit to.

I was disappointed in and couldn’t finish Go Set A Watchman

It’s not so much Go Set A Watchman that I’m happy about, more that he’s admitted to not finishing a book.

For a long time, I felt really bad about not being able to complete a book. I remember giving up Joseph Conrad’s Nostromo after about 75 pages, because absolutely nothing had happened and I was bored (I’m a huge fan of Conrad’s other work).
Continue reading