I made an interesting observations while my 24 hour train journey from home to Bangalore. I have failed to complete a book if it is written by an someone whose book I have already read. Or in other words, I find it very difficult to read a second book by an author whose I have already read. The trend started with JRR Tolkien when I read “The Hobbit”. I find it so interesting that I decided to read the trilogy and bought it. Well size of the book can one of the reasons but I have read fatter books and it certainly was not the reason. Another reason can be the well adapted movie by Peter Jackson. Despite being one of my most favorite movies and the central character “Aragorn” being my role model, I was never able to complete the book. And then, this second-book-failure continued with other authors like Gabriel Marquez, Jim Roger, Benjamin Graham, Peter Lynch, Naseem Taleb, Chetan Bhagat, Ayn Rand and James Collins. I read “Hundred years of solitude” by Marquez and was quite impressed by the way he writes and unfolds the story but then I failed to complete “Love in time of cholera”. This does not mean that the second book was worse than the first one. Had the random events led me to read “Love in…” first, I might have missed the first one. Random events bring me to the book by Naseem Taleb who cast a big change in my way of thinking by his book “Fooled by randomness” but again no matter how good he is in influencing, he wasnt able to influence me to complete “The black swan” which I am still struggling to finish. Similarly, Jim rogers sounded very cool while reading “The investment biker” but I found him repetitive while reading ” Hot Commodities”. However I managed to complete half of it and then lent it to my brother in a hope that he will get me my ROI on that book.
Benjamin Graham helped me become a investor in the stock market by his book “The intelligent investor” and I almost read it twice. But then found “Security Analysis” so boring and add to that the big drain on the pocket it caused. “One up the wall street” by Peter Lynch was the second book I read on investments and immediately bough “Beating the street” but again I havent even completed the first chapter of this book and do not plan to do so ever.
Chetan Bhagat writes book which can be completed in a day. “Five point someone” was one such book which took no time but even after three years “One night at call center” sits idle in my rack. I am not even sure if I still have it or given it to someone. Next in line is James Collins. However here I know the reason why was not able to complete “Good to great” after completing “Built to Last”. The book by Naseem Taleb made such a difference that I threw both the books in dustbin (well.. not literally. Actually gifted them to someone).
The last one in the list is Ayn Rand whose “Fountainhead” I immensely enjoyed and have read it twice or may be thrice but found it extremely difficult to read “Atlas Shrugged”. However in this case, I somehow managed to complete the book atleast but not quite enjoyed it.
And I just finished reading Roger Lowenstein’s “When Genius Failed” which chronicles the fall of LTCM in a very beautiful way. And I am panning to buy his book “Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist”. Lets see if he can break the trend!!