Are you excited to dive deeper into the THRILL of great books? In Part 1 of “How to Make Time to Read,” we talked about the power of believing books can help us solve our problems and improve our lives. We also discussed how we need and deserve the time to invest in our own education. If you missed last week’s episode, click the link below to listen in!
Today we’re jumping into the logistics of how to make space in our lives for our new knowledge gained from reading–so there is actually somewhere to put all the ideas that come to us. (Routines and projects will support us here!)
We recommend you listen to the audio, but if you’d prefer to skim, here are the basic points….
- Keep a list of books to read (Evernote is where I keep mine!)
- Make it a habit to read daily—audio books, a hard copy book kept with you/several books placed in strategic spots…. You can also just take a book outside, sit on the couch with a book after dinner (instead of TV!), keep books near your bed, take one in the bathtub, or relax with a good book on the porch in good weather (even 10 pages or 2 minutes at a time—and you don’t have to read the whole thing).
- Utilize free book services. Amazon Prime has free books available through Kindle…SO many good ones. The Overdrive/Libby app most likely connects with your library card and provides eBooks and audiobooks you can check out virtually for a couple of weeks at a time. There are free books on audiobooks.com, and the Gutenberg project has tons of free books from the Creative Commons.
- Order must-read books as soon as you hear about them—or put them in your Amazon Cart as “save for later” items.
- Establish a reading routine
- Update your “To Read” list
- Put the books you plan to read that month on your Current Projects List
- Set up a Knowledge Binder or an EverNote Notebook to hold all the best ideas. I screen shot key spots in audio books or take photos of favorite passages in books and record my biggest takeaways.
[15:32] How to Decide What to Read
I know that sometimes when you’re at the library, you just don’t know where to start in choosing a good book because there are so many options! Typically, I ask myself, “Where is it I want to grow right now? Where am I struggling or where would I like to be better? Do I want to be a better leader, family member, etc.?” Then I use those answers and select books from those topics.
Occasionally, before diving in and committing to a book, I’ll listen to a podcast/video featuring that author to get a feel for who they are and what message they’re sharing.
Recently, I read an interesting article by Nick Wignall called “Smart People Should Read Fewer Books and Listen to More Podcasts.” (Linked at the end of this post…)
He divides books into 3 categories, and I thought his list was really insightful. I’m quoting him here:
- Bad Books. This is at least 90% of all books out there. Fortunately, these are pretty easy to spot and avoid. It’s the next category that gets us into trouble…
- Pretty good books. This is at least 90% of the remaining 10% of books out there. They’ve got some good ideas and interesting points, but those few morsels aren’t really worth the 2-5 hours of time and energy it takes most of us to read the entire book.
- Great books. This is the 1%, maybe even the 0.1%. This is the precious few books that are not only filled to the brim with genuine wisdom and insight, but the books for whom reading them is itself a beneficial act and always time well-spent.
Interesting way to think about books and reading, don’t you think? Here is one of my FAVORITE quotes about finding the best books:
Emerson said: ‘There are 850,000 volumes in the Imperial Library at Paris. If a man were to read industriously from dawn to dark for sixty years, he would die in the first alcove. Would that some charitable soul, after losing a great deal of time among false books and alighting upon a few true ones, which made him happy and wise, would name those which have been bridges or ships to carry him safely over dark morasses and barren oceans, into the heart of sacred cities, into palaces and temples.’The Harvard Classics Reading Guide
Given the fact that are SO many books out there–most of them not worth the time to read, if you have an amazing book you think our community would love, please email the link or title to books (at) LearnDoBecome (dot) com. So many of my favorite books have come from your suggestions!
The point of all this talk about books is this: I want you to live amazing lives. We each have a unique purpose, and I believe that this LearnDoBecome community can have an incredible impact on the world. (Books can play a huge part in that!)
As we learn and use our voices for good, we can truly HAVE an impact. Thank you for being here, thank you for caring, and thank you for the good that you bring to the world. Have an amazing day, and we’ll see you again soon at LearnDoBecome!
Ways to access books:
- Project Gutenberg
- Free Books from Kindle by Amazon
- OverDrive.com and Libby App by OverDrive
Nick Wignall’s article: “Smart People Should Read Fewer Books and Listen to More Podcasts”
Books mentioned in the podcast:
- What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 by Tina Seelig
- The Prosperity Paradox by Clayton Christensen, Efosa Ojomo, and Karen Dillon
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think and Do by Jennifer Eberhardt
- Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson
- The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier
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