So this thread should be closed.
Some IMs are stronger than some GMs, they just never get the necessary norms for some reason or another. I recall that Kramnik was once a 2650 rated FM.... he went straight to GM and was never an IM. I also played a 15 yo FM who was over 2500 ...
"they just never get the necessary norms for some reason or another"
This line was the most sensible line in this thread till now.
Between those reasons could be: wrong training methods, wrong (or lack) of a mentor, personal issues, economical reasons...
American kids suffer from a an inflated sense of competency. I used to think American children had large egos and were purposely putting themselves on a pedestal, but I realize that many young people in America are genuinely incompetent and are inable to measure their skill level or performance accurately. I believe we have lowered our standards to far. I am sure that this along with child obesity are the two largest National Security threats facing the US in the next decade.
Also, that guy CharlyAz was correct in his estimations of genius, I did not read all of his posts but I imagine he must have read some actual science. People like to put much more weight on genetics because it absolves them of the responsiblity of their actions.
I notice the OP has given up on chess.com, I wonder if he or she still plays chess.
Reading books will increase your knowledge of chess ideas. Instead of restricting your chess, it will open new doors allowing you broaden your horizon. Not reading will result in restricting your chess and staleness in your play.
This subject has really stretched out but an interesting question if you have a response against reading books? I feel any kind of reading is good for the brain, just like chess is at any level!
I agree, and it is more about focusing on what is important than how you get there. If you really intend to do something you will immerse yourself in it and that includes reading.
Plus, like many people have said, reading will help you learn from the mistakes of others before you.
If the chess book does not cost over $100 and and others have also had success reading it then i say i give it the green light and vote Pros.