A Resolution of Sorts: Becoming Well Read
As well as sharing, giving, and recommending books!
As, I have gotten older, I believe the mass-produced book is one of the best technologies the world has ever seen. Of course, when I say that to children they scrunch their noises up thinking ‘Better than my tablet? She’s a crazy old lady!’
But it’s true. Like Seth Godin saying in his blog: The last-minute, just-in-time, change-things gift solution: books.
“It took 500 years to figure out how to make something this magical, this permanent, this heartfelt… and get it delivered to you in time for the holidays, for just a few bucks.”
How many of you owe a small or life-altering attitude shift or inspiration to a book that, thanks to Amazon shows up in two-days or less for a few dollars OR you can get from the public library for FREE?! (Thank you, Andrew Carnegie!)
Well Read: An Intention
This year it was my intention to act on a compliment I’ve heard uttered about few people but when it is shared with me that a person is “well read” as an introduction, I make it a point to ask what they read and discuss why it matters to them.
As an introvert, I love to read and find that connecting with people over books they read is an easy way for me to find common ground and launches an incredible opportunity for idea and insight sharing.
And thus became my goal to be “well read”. This is my ideal this compliment because it means (for me) that a well-read person collects ideas, insights, and knowledge. The beauty of reading books is that you can combine those, new-to-us perspectives and knowledge with your own life experiences, travels, trials, and successes and develop wisdom!
The Gift of Wisdom
So in this holiday season or at anytime of year, share, recommend, or buy and give a book to someone. Sure, not everyone likes the same books but the beauty of that is a book is easy and ok to ‘regift’. I’ve passed on books that weren’t my favorite genre to someone else that would enjoy it more. I love the idea of sparking someone’s interest and creativity with a thought-provoking book.
And no, books need not be nonfiction to improve our wisdom. I learned this year after reading a beautiful gothic novel that I had a limiting belief regarding my own ability to read. I have always believed that I am a slow reader and would only read 5-6 books a year due to this belief. I sat down on vacation and read 361 pages in 4 days. I enjoyed every word, my vocabulary expanded and I shattered the belief that I am a ‘slow reader’ or that ‘I have to read slowly to truly comprehend what I was taking in.’
A Personal Goal Exceeded
I am not a resolutions kind of person, I think they are a big arbitrary and have too much pressure around them but I did set a goal on January 1, 2016 to read 12 books, one a month, I felt like this was a stretch goal. That I would have to work pretty hard to get 12 books in this year. Guess how many I actually read? 23. Twenty-Three! I enjoyed every word too!
I even read one book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho in 5 hours one evening! Another thing I had never done before!
Here’s the list of books I read, listened to and enjoyed this year, as well as a list of books that I started but didn’t finish. (Because I think it’s fine to pick up a book and set it down, it’s the only way to get to the books that will provoke insights, ideas, and joy.) This is my gift to you: check out these my 2016 Book List; these books were massively helpful to me this year.
Is Reading Worth Your Time?
This all depends on your value system but if you value knowledge, wisdom, change, transformative ideas, education, creativity, relaxation, stress-relief, self-improvement, humor, imagination, and growth or just about anything that makes our lives better, taking the time to read a book (or listening too), no matter the subject, the genre or the level of difficulty can bring incredible change and joy to your life.
“I try to read about a book a week on average. Even when my schedule is out of control, I carve out time for reading”
Hmmm, sounds like a ‘well read’ man.
Why Do You Read…?
And what are your favorite books? What are the books that brought you joy in a time of pain? Transformation in a time of stuckness? I’d love your recommendation for new books to read this year.
Because yes, I plan to read simply one more book than I did last year. If I don’t reach that goal, it won’t matter because I will have gained infinitely more from reading/listening to one book than none at all.
Cheers to 2017 Resolutions, Intentions, and Goals!