Recently I received a text from a friend asking for a book recommendation.
At the beginning of the year I set a goal of getting through 120 books. Although that is a lot of books, what you need to know is that I am dyslexic. Reading one book per month is a challenge. Reading is work so I rarely read for enjoyment. I do love to learn so I read mostly for knowledge.
Still 120 books? What made this goal even remotely possible is the ability to listen to audio books at a faster playback speed and I could listen while driving. I also loaded my iPad with e-books and keep a stack of physical books nearby. Although most of the books I finished were audio books about 15% were print (kindle or bound). The longest book, How Emotions Are Made, was 448 pages. The average page count was 234. Not included in the 120 books are several books I started but could not finish; some were just bad, others boring, and a few I put down because they are difficult to digest and I keep coming back to them because there is value in there.
My interest grew wider this year. My list covered business, leadership, sales, coaching, psychology, philosophy, nature, ecco-therapy, nutrition, health, adventure, autobiographies etc. There were books I couldn’t wait to finish and ones I did not want to end.
So how did I answer the request for a recommendation of what to read. My reply text went like this:
I am one book short of hitting my goal of 120 books this year. I have multiple books in progress and will finish at least one to hit my goal. That said, I am now of the opinion there is very little original thinking out there. I see the same material referenced again and again with no new contribution. Nothing I read dramatically changed my life or my thinking. Although each book may have contributed a micro nudge combining to affect my course. So instead of looking for the next big thing or the perfect book to save your life, I would recommend finding a book you will enjoy sitting with, and one that will sit with you for a long time.
I will continue to add to my column of books finished, but I will not be setting such an ambitious reading goal for 2018. I think I will add some classics to the list this year.