The Decision To Read A Book A Week
As someone who has always loved books, I always find time to read. In 2020, I bought a TV due to the lockdown and watched a bunch of really great movies. By the time September rolled around, I felt a little disgusted by the waste of time. While I had been entertained, I hadn’t learned much and I decided to make reading a priority.
Why Reading Is Important
Reading is one of the most rewarding and enriching activities a person can undertake. Reading has countless benefits, from gaining knowledge and improving vocabulary to reducing stress and enhancing empathy. Reading can help you improve your vocabulary, knowledge on a particular subject, and critical thinking skills. Reading can help you see things from different perspectives and understand different cultures. Reading can also inspire you to make positive changes in your life and your world.
Reading On The Regular
Reading regularly can have numerous benefits on your mental health and well-being. Reading can improve your memory and focus, which can be helpful in both personal and professional settings. Reading can also improve your creativity and imagination, allowing you to visualize different worlds and characters. This can lead to more innovative thinking and problem-solving in your daily life. Here are some of the benefits I encountered in more detail.
- Mental stimulation: Reading keeps your mind active, improving your cognitive abilities and reducing the risk of cognitive decline. It's like a workout for your brain.
- Vocabulary expansion: The more you read, the more words you'll be exposed to, and the more your vocabulary will expand. This can be especially beneficial for those learning a new language or improving their writing skills.
- Knowledge acquisition: Reading books, whether fiction or non-fiction, allows you to learn about new topics and ideas. It's a great way to expand your knowledge and understanding of the world around you.
- Stress reduction: Reading can be a great way to relax and unwind, reducing stress and improving overall well-being.
- Empathy and social skills: Reading books, especially those with well-developed characters, can help improve your ability to empathize with others and develop social skills.
Why Reading Weekly Is Better
Reading a book a week is an achievable goal for most people, and it can help you experience the benefits of reading in a more concentrated and sustained way. Here are some of the benefits of reading a book a week:
- Consistency: Reading a book a week can help you establish a consistent reading habit, which can be beneficial for your overall well-being and cognitive abilities.
- Variety: Reading a book a week allows you to explore a wide range of topics and genres, from fiction to non-fiction, which can be enriching and satisfying. I stay away from non-fiction but I'm sure there will be a time I will pick a fiction book, got any recommendations?
- Improved focus: By committing to reading a book a week, you'll be training your mind to focus and concentrate for longer periods of time, which can be beneficial in all areas of your life.
- Goal achievement: Setting a goal to read a book a week can help you feel accomplished and motivated, which can be beneficial for your overall well-being.
- Intellectual growth: Reading a book a week can help you expand your knowledge, improve your vocabulary, and develop critical thinking skills, all of which can benefit your intellectual growth and development.
How to Make Time for Reading
One of the biggest obstacles to reading regularly is finding the time to do so. However, with some planning and dedication, anyone can make time for reading. Here are some tips for making reading a part of your daily routine:
- Set aside a specific time each day for reading, such as before bed or during your lunch break.
- Make reading a priority by setting a goal for how many books you want to read in a year.
- Find books that interest you and that you look forward to reading. This is difficult to do sometimes, I set aside an hour a month to plan my reading for the next month.
- Keep a book with you at all times, so you can read whenever you have downtime, such as waiting in line or on public transportation. I read physical books, e-books and listen to audiobooks so no matter the setting, I can have something to read.
- Reduce screen time and replace it with reading time.
Books That Will Change Your Life
While everyone's taste in books is different, some books are universally loved and can profoundly impact your life. Here are some of my top book recommendations that will change your life:
Atomic Habits: James Clear
This self-help book is a guide to building good habits and breaking bad ones. The book teaches the importance of small incremental changes and creating systems that make it easy to achieve your goals.
The Power Of Now: Eckhart Tolle
This spiritual book teaches the importance of living in the present moment and letting go of worries about the past and future. The book introduces the importance of mindfulness and meditation.
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People: Stephen Covey
This self-help book is a guide to developing good habits and achieving success in both personal and professional life. In addition, the book teaches the importance of personal responsibility and effective communication.
Books For Self-Development
Reading can also be a great way to improve your personal and professional skills. Here are some book recommendations for personal and professional development:
How To Win Friends & Influence People: Dale Carnegie
This self-help book is a guide to building strong relationships and effective communication. The book teaches the importance of empathy and understanding others' perspectives.
The Lean Startup: Eric Ries
This business book is a guide to building a successful startup. The book teaches the importance of testing and iterating on ideas, and creating a culture of continuous improvement.
Getting Things Done: David Allen
Absolutely changed my life when I read this years ago. This self-help book is a guide to increasing productivity and reducing stress. The book teaches the importance of prioritizing tasks and breaking them down into manageable steps.
Books I Read Q123
I don't think anyone really cares about the same stuff I do. My go-to topics are food and how it affects our health and what's happening with the evolution of food with gene-editing, longevity/aging/biohacking, anything color related whether it's the science behind the colors or origins or psychology, books about the law of attraction/happiness/positive vibes and how I can make my world a more wonderful place and always anything money or math related. I like quantum and metaphysics as well, but there are not a lot of books out there about those topics. Here's a list of the books I read Q123. 16 weeks of reading and a little blurb about them.
Your Brain Is Always Listening: Tame the Hidden Dragons That Control Your Happiness, Habits & Hang-Ups: Daniel Amen
Helps to identify the negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that can control our lives and provide practical strategies to tame them. Exploring how past traumas and negative experiences can create dragons that continue to influence our thoughts and behaviors and emphasizes the importance of building positive relationships and engaging in activities that bring us joy and fulfillment. I wasn't a big fan of this book.
The Power Of Colors: The Path To Self Healing & Personal Transformation Through Native American Ancient Wisdom: Noah Goldhirsh
The Power of Colors is a fascinating book that explores the use of colors for self-healing and personal transformation through the wisdom of Native American culture. The author provides a comprehensive guide to using colors to balance energy, improve mental clarity and promote emotional well-being. I really liked creating the color wheel. As someone who uses color theory and color psychology in every day life, the concept of color healing made so much sense.
Metabolical: The Lure & Lies Of Processed Food, Nutrition & Modern Medicine: Robert Lustig
Great book! Metabolical is a thought-provoking book that explores the lies and lures of processed food, nutrition, and modern medicine. The book, written by pediatric endocrinologist Robert H Lustig, delves into the science behind the obesity epidemic and offers a blueprint for reclaiming our health. He comprehensively analyzes the harmful effects of processed foods on our health and offers practical solutions to improve our diet and overall well-being. This is a topic near and dear to my heart so I was familiar with a lot of the information but Lustig put everything together so well and I really appreciated his insight from an endocrine perspective. Definitely recommend.
The End of the World Is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization: Peter Zeihan
Oh my god, skip this book. While it is a thought-provoking book that delves deep into the potential collapse of global economic systems and is information. The author explores the various factors that could lead to such a collapse, offers a roadmap for navigating the uncertain future, and is depressing and overwhelming. I'm glad I read it, I wouldn't recommend it.
Making Numbers Count: The Art & Science Of Communicating Numbers: Chip Heath
Wow! This book teaches how to present numbers in a clear and compelling way. The book covers techniques and strategies for effectively communicating numerical data, making it accessible and engaging for all audiences. If you are ever in a position to do presentations internally or to potential new clients, this is a fantastic book. I loved it but I'm also a numbers geek so YMMV.
Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind & Win The War Within: David Goggins
Following the success of Can't Hurt Me, Goggins is at it again. This self-help book aims to help readers overcome self-doubt and achieve their goals. The author emphasizes the importance of mental fortitude and provides practical advice on cultivating it. Not as moving as Can't Hurt Me but still worth a read.
Decoding Greatness: How The Best In The World Reverse Engineer Success: Ron Friedman
This book provides a framework for reverse engineering success by analyzing the habits and strategies of top performers in various fields. The author offers practical insights into identifying and replicating the key elements of success and provides actionable strategies for improving creativity, productivity and innovation.
The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self: Michael Easter
Yes! You must read this book. The author argues that our modern lives are too comfortable and that this negatively impacts our mental and physical health. He advocates for embracing discomfort as a way to rediscover our natural resilience and improve our well-being, offering practical strategies for stepping out of our comfort zones and embracing new challenges. Great book. I read it twice.
Neurofitness: A Brain Surgeon's Secrets To Boost Performance & Unleash Creativity: Dr Rahul Jandial
Written by a brain surgeon, Neurofitness aims to help readers boost their cognitive abilities and unleash their creativity through specific exercises and lifestyle changes. It provides insights into the functioning of the brain and practical tips to improve focus, memory, and overall brain health. I really liked this one.
Nine Nasty Words: English In The Gutter: Then, Now & Forever: John McWhorter
As a writer and editor, I appreciated this book and how it examines the history and cultural significance of nine taboo words in the English language, from fuck to racial slurs. The author provides a thought-provoking analysis of how these words have evolved and impacted society, language and culture. If you're an English nerd, it's worth a read.
This Book Will Blow Your Mind: Journeys At The Extremes Of Science: New Scientist
This book did not blow my mind and was a poor choice for me. It's from the editors of New Scientist magazine and showcases the most fascinating and mind-bending discoveries of the scientific world. From black holes to quantum mechanics, readers are taken on an exhilarating journey through the latest breakthroughs in science. I couldn't wait to finish this book. Not for me.
How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals: William Lidwell
Although I care alot about color, this book wasn't that interesting as there wasn't any new information for me. This book explores the science behind how colors can impact our emotions, behaviors and overall well-being. The author provides practical insights into how to use color effectively in various settings, from home decor to marketing and offers tips for using color to enhance mood and improve productivity.
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout & Thrive With The New Science Of Success: Brad Stulberg
I liked this one and thought it was helpful. The book explores how to achieve sustainable success through the principles of purpose, rest, and focus. It draws on the latest neuroscience, psychology and sports science research to provide practical tips and insights for achieving peak performance.
Healthy As Fuck: The Habits You Need To Get Lean, Stay Healthy & Kick Ass At Life: Oonagh Duncan
Great title, mediocre book. The author presents a no-nonsense approach to health and wellness. It emphasizes habits, rather than diets, as the key to achieving sustainable fitness and happiness. I don't recommend this one.
Never Enough: A Navy SEAL Commander On Living A Life Of Excellence, Agility & Meaning: Mike Hayes
I enjoyed this one a lot and really liked his mindset of services to others. Former Navy SEAL Commander Mike Hayes shares his insights on achieving success and fulfillment in life. Drawing on his experiences in the military and as a security consultant, he offers practical strategies for developing the agility, resilience and sense of purpose needed to overcome life's challenges and achieve one's goals. It's worth the read, especially if you're in any type of leadership role.
Young Forever: The Secrets To Living Your Longest, Healthiest Life: Dr Mark Hyman
This book is kind of a combination of Blue Zones and Metabolical. It's worth a read if you're interested in longevity and health. The book reveals habits of centenarians and lifestyle choices and explores the science behind aging and longevity. It provides practical tips and actionable advice for readers who want to improve their healthspan and live a vibrant life for as long as possible.
Tips For Staying Motivated To Read
While reading is an enjoyable activity, it can still be challenging to stay motivated to read regularly. Here are some tips for staying motivated to read:
- Find a reading buddy or join a book club to stay accountable and discuss books with others. Good luck with this because I have had many conversations talking to people about reading but trying to get a group to agree on a book and a time to meet, has proved difficult so far.
- Keep a log of the books you read and set goals for how many books you want to read in a year.
- Mix up the genres and topics of books you read to keep things interesting.
- Take breaks and don't force yourself to read if you're not in the mood. I read during cardio, during meals and before bed.
- Reward yourself after completing a book or achieving a reading goal. My reward is a new book - haha.
Why You Should Start Reading Today
Reading is an enjoyable and beneficial activity. My real question is, why wouldn't you start reading today? Whether you're interested in personal or professional development or simply want to escape into a different world, there is a book for that. I am a big fan of TikTok and IG Reels and it's great for education and entertainment but also a time suck. It's easy to spend an hour scrolling when you could be reading about a topic you love. Take the time to find books that interest you and make reading a part of your daily routine. You won't regret it.