Over the last five years I’ve rediscovered my love of reading. Looking back, books have always been important to me. When I was playing tennis (and had hopes as a young person of one day being a professional) I devoured books about tennis. I read about technique, strategy, all the greats…
And then when I became an entrepreneur in college, I started reading about other people that had started businesses. I read about business strategy, about how to sell, how to build a team and culture…anything that I thought would make me a better entrepreneur.
But sometime around five years ago I realized that time I was spending watching TV could be swapped to reading books. Now, I barely watch “TV”, sticking mostly to a few core shows like Game of Thrones. Instead, I prefer to read.
Over the last three years I’ve listed what I’ve been reading on this blog, both to share with people in the hopes they’d share back what they’re reading, but also to help me keep track of what I’m reading (when you read multiple books at a time, some digital, some audio, and some physical, it can be easy to lose track.)
This year, I’ve already read almost 40 books. Last year I read 36, and in 2015 I read 33. My goal next year will be to read one book a week.
Today, I read for three main reasons:
I think one of the best ways to learn is to read books. When you really dive into a topic (vs just skimming a headline which is what I do most of the time with my phone) it helps you to learn, which I believe your brain needs. If you stop learning and forcing your brain to learn new stuff, it has to atrophy. Right?
Becoming a better writer
Since I’m writing a book (process update), and so many great authors say the best thing you can do to become a better writer is to read, I figured I needed to dive in deep. I’ve found that now I will highlight phrases or techniques that I like in books I’m reading.
Time to think / mediation
A friend of mine recently asked what I do to meditate, and my first reaction was that I don’t do anything. I generally don’t carry a lot of stress around with me, so I think I don’t need meditation…but I realize this is almost definitely wrong. Meditation can help a person in many ways and I’m sure it would help me. But, while reading this past weekend, I realized that I do get into a bit of a meditative state when reading a book. My mind quiets and often times I’ll stop reading and just think.
Do you read? If so, why and what?