One Habit To Transform Your Life: Read One Book Per Week

Apologies for the cliché title, but if I made a list of things that I personally find transformative… learning, and especially reading, would be towards the top. It’s a true game-changer.

I have always been a voracious reader. In fact I remember how often I would get called a nerd in school by other kids for reading, or yelled at by teachers when I would get bored, stop listening, and pull out a book in class.

I mean if you’re not going to teach me I might as well teach myself right?

No! Bad student! (Read: soulless mind-slave). Yay for social pressures to stop doing positive things! 🙂

Nevertheless, I still read a ton to this day. I have found the simple act of grabbing a good book when you want to learn about a topic or acquire a skill is transformative. And I use that word without exaggeration.

Isn’t it amazing to think that knowledge on almost any topic is just a book away?

For any topic you could ever want to learn about, there is someone who has studied the topic for decades and condensed all of it into a few hundred pages.

Simply put… it’s really freaking cool when you think about it.

Recently a couple friends of mine started the habit of reading 1 book per week, or 50 books in a year. This wasn’t a long way from what I was already doing, so I decided to jump on that bandwagon!

Here’s my current reading list that I am building out for this year:

Titles

The Power of Vulnerability

Play: How it shapes the brain and opens imagination

59 Seconds

80/20 Sales and Marketing

Breakthrough Rapid Reading

Influence (audiobook)

Personal Development for Smart People

Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant

Ask

Never Eat Alone

Content Machine

Charisma on Command

Little Red Book of Selling + The Secrets of Consulting

Cashvertising

Get Slightly Famous

The One Thing

This Book Will Teach You How to Write Better

Problogger: 6 Figure Blog

The Ultimate Sales Machine

Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers

Brain Rules

Profit First

The Psychology of Selling

Bold: How to Go Big

Losing My Virginity

Execution IS the Strategy: How Leaders Achieve Maximum Results in Minimum Time

The Power of Forgetting: Six Essential Skills to Clear Out Brain Clutter and Become the Sharpest, Smartest You

Fooled by Randomness

Book Yourself Solid Illustrated: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling

Antifragile

Are You Fully Charged?: The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

Speak to Win: How to Present with Power in Any Situation

The 48 Laws of Power

The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

The Gifts of Imperfection

Daring Greatly

Do More Great Work

I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t)

(I actually have a full list of books I want to read that is several hundred titles long)

In just a few months, it’s exciting that I will have learned a ton about…

  • Work-life balance
  • Psychology
  • Relationships
  • Marketing
  • Brand-building
  • Influence and charisma
  • Networking
  • Finance
  • Productivity/efficiency

In fact (geek out moment here) I often find myself getting overly excited about books…

“Oh! I can learn more about evolutionary psychology with this book! And how to read facial expressions with this one…Oh cool and I always wanted to learn a bit more about a Buddhist monk’s view on quantum entanglement!” (real examples)

And then I proceed to buy dozens of books that I will never have the time to read.

This is one of the reasons why I think it will be helpful to be more intentional about this goal. I tend to read random books at random times, but this way I will be able to track how much I read, and WHAT I am actually reading.

I’ve created the above list based on which books (out of the list several hundred long) best relate to my current goals.

“What gets measured gets managed.” – Peter Drucker

Great strategies to maximize this goal:

  1. Read 30 minutes every morning and evening (AWESOME way to start and end the day and automatically knocks out 1 book per week)
  2. Listen to audiobooks at 1.5x speed (or 2x if you can handle it) – Thanks Kurt for this suggestion.
  3. Create an Evernote notebook called “Book Notes” and create one note for each book to jot down ideas and realizations.
  4. Make sure to take action on at least 1 thing from every book that you read – it’s not just what you know but what you DO with what you know! (The Evernote tip makes this a lot easier)

 

 One final thought:

I have a weird fear I will run out of things to read/learn some day. The thought is that yes you can learn the basics of everything in a book, and most intermediate level topics, but if you want to learn about advanced particle physics or something, the list of available topics is quite a bit smaller.

Then you have to start picking up textbooks to read. And that just sucks…

What are YOU reading this year?

If you DON’T have a reading list, what is something that you can drop to find an extra 30 minutes per day to automatically have the time to read dozens of books this year

– – –

Not only am I trying to read every day, but I’m trying to *write* every day as well! Check out my newest habit here: How to Create New Habits (And Watch Me Create One Live!)

A really nice Huffington Post article on How to Read a Book a Week

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