I have always loved reading. I still remember a contest we had the summer after 3rd grade – the school gave us a list of hundreds of books, and whoever read the most during the break got a prize. Two weeks into summer, my mom had to force me to get out of the house and get some fresh air. By the end of the summer, I had read over 200 books (although I do admit, I cherry-picked a lot of the simple ones with lots of pictures). The funny thing is – I don’t remember if I won the contest – but I will always remember those books.
I still read, but not with the same spirit or purpose. Last year, I came across an article on the Zapier blog about reading 50 books in a year. It got me thinking about that summer after 3rd grade. If I wanted to be better about reading, maybe all I needed was a challenge like this to allow my competitive spirit to drive me.
So that’s my challenge – read 50 books in 2017.
Most of the books I read these days are non-fiction. My bookshelf is filled with titles on business, entrepreneurship, decision-making, and behavioral economics. I used to read a lot of biographies and history. Only occasionally do I read fiction – although I did finish all the Game of Thrones books last year. Some of my favorite books include Freakonomics, The E-Myth, and The Tipping Point.
But more than just getting through 50 books in 2017, I want to learn something from them. My typical pattern is to read a book, get inspired by some idea or two, then forget everything within a week. So in addition to reading these books, I am going to take notes. Interesting ideas, inspiring quotes or thought-provoking stats or studies will all go in my notebook. Maybe I’ll never look at these notes again, but if I take the time to write things down, I am better at retaining them. And since my “notebook” exists in Evernote, if I ever want to go back to re-visit anything, it will be as easy as popping open my computer.
For the more interesting titles, I also plan on writing reviews to include on this blog. Not everything I read will be worth sharing (one of the first books on my list is called “How to Review a Tax Return”). But by putting my thoughts about each book on “paper”, I hope the lessons stay with me longer. And maybe I can even inspire other people to read some good books.
I would love for anyone who is reading this to join me. One of the reasons I am writing this post is to keep myself accountable for this 50 book goal. So share with me your goals and keep me updated on how you are doing. And I will do the same thing here.