Because this is a slightly longer blog than normal – here’s a short summary about what’s included.
I put this together to inspire you to build your library, consistently read books and educate yourself. The sole purpose of reading is to advance your self-education and continue to improve yourself. For example, I make sure that I read for 30 minutes a day, and I think it’s one of the best habits I have, and that’s why I’m sharing it with you here.
This topic heavily influenced by Jim Rohn (1930 – 2009), and I listen to him almost everyday. I’ve said it before, he’s a very wise man and some of the most successful people have learned from and implemented his practices and lessons of life. If you don’t already have some of his books or audio I highly recommed you make that your first task…directly after reading my blog of course!
I hope you find some value here. As always, thanks for reading.
I’ve always been good at collecting things. From graphic novels to guitar magazines, from Lego Technics to Corgi cars, from Baseball and Ice Hockey cards to UK and EU Stamps! I just love to collect things that I find interesting and important. If you are anything like me you’ll get annoyed when you’re missing a part of your collection…you just want to have the complete collection and have it sitting on your shelf…it’s a great feeling when it’s complete!! You’re probably a collector too, if so I’m sure you can relate. Btw, it’s cool to collect stuff, it’s a little nerdy, but it’s cool in my book.
As I’ve grown I’ve slipped away from the collections of my childhood into collecting books and building a library, which, I’d like to admit, still includes comic books and guitar magazines!
In the last year I’ve really concentrated on finding the best books in the subjects that I want to study, which include marketing, business development and living a better life/philosophy.
Where To Start Reading
In a previous blog, I wrote about becoming an expert, and one of the first things the list advised us to do is read the top 10 books in our industry, or we could read the top 20 or 50 if we wanted to. I think one of the toughest things to do is find out what the top 10 or 50 books actually are; you don’t want to waste your time reading the mediocre books or the trash. I’m sure you’d rather skip past that stuff and head straight to the good stuff…the books that’ll really make a difference to what you do. So where’s the best place to start?
Perhaps one way to find a good place to start is to speak to those who inspire you, or whom you view as a mentor or a leader in your particular field or industry. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to give you a reading list, here are the books I recommend. One other option is a Google search! Have a think about other ways to get the correct recommendations.
Balancing Your Library
Getting balance into your library is very important. As an example, it’s like going to the gym and only working on your upper body…you’ll end up all out of proportion – big arms and chest, but skinny spindly legs! You need to get a balance across the major subjects in order to have a balanced education.
Jim Rohn really stresses how important a library is to your future wealth and well-being, and also that of your friends and family. Here are the major subjects to think about in order to strike the balance: –
- Philosophy & Attitude
- Sales & Marketing
- Finance & Accounting
- Leadership & Management
- …think about what else would you add in here?
Studying the Books
As you’re most likely aware, there’s a major difference between reading the books and studying the books. If you want to get the most out of them you have to study them. Here’s a tip: For each book I’ve got a ‘one-use’ bookmark that I can write on (to take note of recommended books in the text), along with a sharp pencil. I write notes all over the pages, underline and circle key words, phrases, and sentences. At the end of each section or chapter I write down everything I remember along with any ideas that have come to mind. Doing these little things makes it easy for me to flick back through and pick out the main parts and nuggets from the book. Perhaps you do something similar or you have your own technique? I would be interested to find out what you do when studying books. My advice would be to not be afraid to write on the pages and mess the book up a little, just get stuck in!
Don’t give your books away!
It doesn’t matter if you rip the pages out or write and draw all over them, because you aren’t going to give them away or sell them, are you? My advice would be to never give anyone a book from your library. There have been too many times that I have let someone borrow a book that contains all my notes… and it’s never returned! So bloody frustrating! It is especially annoying when the book isn’t at h and for you to grab when you need it for reference. Here’s my advice for those whom express an interest in what you’re reading: –
- Either buy them the book as a gift, OR
- Get them to buy it for themselves – they’ll be more inclined to read it if they buy it.
Remember, these books are your investment in your library, your education, your future and your family’s future.
Planing Your Reading
A Daily Habit
Try to build in a habit of reading for 30 minutes per day. Just for benchmarking purposes, I can get through about 20 pages in 30 minutes and I’m not particularly slow or fast. Therefore, a book of around 250 pages takes me about 2 weeks. I also try to get in an additional 20 minutes before bed, which is usually a positive thinking book, and typically a repeat read which doesn’t require too much thinking, but keeps my brain ticking over while I’m sleeping.
Perhaps you think that’s slow progress but I take pride in the ability to get through a book in 2 weeks; I read it from cover to cover and, at the end, I know exactly what I got from the book and I can apply the concepts almost immediately.
This is what works for me, you just have to find what works for you. Just try something until you find your flow.
Thinking about what book is next
Make sure you’ve got a book lined up for after you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading, and one for after that too. This will encourage you to keep the habit going, and through planning you can make sure you’re getting the right balance into your reading.
I know a lot of people who fly through books…sometimes 2 a week! OK, they might be speed readers but I still struggle to figure out how they’d get the most out of it. 30 minutes per day over 2 weeks gives me time to synthesise the material and figure out how it applies to what I do. Again, you just have to find what works for you. I’m a bit of a thinker…so it suits me to take in small sections at a time.
Whatever your technique is, it is important that you actually take something from the books you are reading and apply the ideas and concepts, otherwise what’s the point? There’s no point in just being inspired, you have to be educated, you have to take action and you should be implementing your lessons.
Book Lists & Recommendations
Here’s a great list – the top 25 books for success published on the Success.com blog. I’ve read some of the books on the list and I’m sure you have too. This looks to me like a fantastic place to start building your library…these are the success classics!
Why not pick a book from the list and buy it from Amazon today? Just do it…what’s £10 or £12 invested in your education? It’s certainly not a barrier.
Here are the top 5 Books that are continually recommended by super successful people: –
- Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
- How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
- Awaken The Giant Within – Anthony Robbins
- Who Moved My Cheese – Spencer Johnson
- The Yes! Attitude – Jeffrey Gitomer
If you were going to do any reading at all you should really read these 5.
Have fun building your library and have a great time learning and educating yourself! Invest the money in your self-education and start building your library today. Remember, you’ve got to put something in before you get anything out!
Have you got any Recommendations?
If you could recommend a book to me, something that has had an impact on your life, that would be greatly appreciated! I’d like to find out what books are important to you.
Thanks and all the best!
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