Embarking on a new Entrepreneurial journey has reminded me of how much I don’t know. I spent the past few months living in my local public library reading everything that I can put my hands on. I’ve been taking out four and five books at a time. You know you are spending a lot of time at the library when the librarians start welcoming you back each day like I’m Norm from the sitcom Cheers. If you are too young to know the reference watch the video.
Anyway, reading is where it’s at! I’m convinced of this and I want to make a simple case for expanding your value to your family, your company or business, and society at large, by diving into a good book on a regular basis. Whether Fiction or not a good book can tell a story that will resonate with your Soul. Reading good stories has the effect of allowing you to tell good stories. Whenever I do a training in the leadership, communication, project management, or recruitment and retention space I remind everyone of the power of a story. People don’t care about facts and figures but they will remember the stories you tell and how those stories made them feel.
What I’m Reading now
Whenever I speak around the country I’m always asked what books I’ve read or am reading and what has moved me to action. I have so many but the last five books I’ve read as of the writing of this blog post include, Originals by Adam Grant, Cult of Personality by Annie Murphey Paul, Man Up by Bedros Keuilian, The Storyteller’s Secret by Carmine Gallo, and Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl.
Read before you Die!
Below are two “Must Read,” lists of books. In the future I will create a page on my site that includes a running tally of what I’m reading and what is moving me from a literature standpoint. I encourage you to bookmark that page once I create it.
Here is a great list of 100 books from the folks over at Goodreads, the largest book recommendation site on the web. So many good books and so little time.
Here is another. Most of the titles are the same but there are a few differences.
In case you were wondering the U.S. is #7 on this list and I would encourage you to take a look for yourself to see who is Number 1!
So you might be thinking wow, that’s a lot of books. How will I ever get through that especially given the lack of reading that takes place here in the U.S. Actually, Pew Research has some fascinating Statistics on this subject from April 2018.
In a new study by Pew Research, Americans are actually reading, they’re just doing it in different ways than the traditional hardcover or paperback format. According to the research, Americans read a mean average of 12 books per year, and the typical (median) American has read four books in the past 12 months.Pew Research Study
I also ran across a great infographic on the Reading habits of nations around the world.
A Whole New World
Reading opens up the doors and windows of possibility in your mind. The more you read, the more options you have. I am finding that out more now than ever before.
I can remember watching my Grandparents sit down in the living room at night by the fire with a good book in their hands. My Grandfather graduated from College but my Grandmother only finished High School, but their reading habits created a greater sense of understanding and the ability to process ideas and discuss any topic.
My Grandfather went one step further with his reading habits as they served him well as a journalist for the Pittsburgh Courier and then as the first Black Network Newscaster at ABC News in New York.
I recognize that a lot of you reading this article already read a considerable amount as it is. If you need a bit more inspiration, then check out this podcast – Big Question with Cal Fussman – that I listened to this morning while on the treadmill that spoke of the importance of reading, and how to develop winning reading habits.
It was a great episode featuring Naismith Hall of Fame Basketball Coach George Raveling and some fantastic stories that I had never heard before about the March on Washington and ways to use the book that you are reading as a journal for note-taking. George’s inspiring take on reading is well worth a listen.
I love reading a good book, but only recently did I fully recognize the power that books can hold over your future.
I saw this quote the other day while I was, where else, the library…
“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” – Mark Twain
If that is not a punch in the gut, I don’t know what is.
Grab a good book and read it. When done, go pick up another one and read that. After that keep going. You can do it!
Please share what you are reading that is making a difference in your life in the comments below.
Subscribe to our email list for more articles like this.