Sitting in my bedroom on December 30th, 2016, I pondered what goals I should make for 2017 which would help me become the person I want to be in the future. I love reading books, so naturally, a goal to read a bunch of books would be a reasonable goal. I want to push myself to become better and my reading goal will do this. If I become better in the early stages of life, this will only help me in the later stages of my life (the power of compounding for you personal finance people!).
“To have more, you simply have to become more. Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. For things to change, you have to change. For things to get better you have to get better!” – Jim Rohn
“I don’t believe anyone can be “improved” by buying and reading a book. They can only be “improve”, if that is the word, by their own actions.” – Felix Dennis
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Issac Newton
My 2017 Reading Goal
Sitting there, I said to myself, “I know I can read one book a week. This is reasonable and I will be able to do this without too much sweat. Why not try to read multiple books in a week?” 75 books is a nice, round number greater than 52, but not too outrageous. With uncertain times ahead at work (sometimes I will have super busy weeks.), I didn’t want to set a goal I know I’d struggle achieving. 75 seemed to be just right.
By reading 75 books in 2017, I want to acquire a broad base of knowledge, build connections between different ideas in my head, and apply what I’ve learned in the books to grow and improve in my relationships with friends and family. Starting the year, I had about 30 books on my Amazon Wish List. Time will tell how many of these I get to and what I learn from each of the books I read. To paraphrase Felix Dennis’ words from above, it is not enough to only read a book; to improve, one must apply what they have read in the book to improve themselves.
“Unapplied knowledge is no knowledge at all.” – Stephen R. Covey
August 2017 Reading Summary
This post is the eighth of twelve update posts on my goal to read 75 books. In this post, I will list the books I’ve read during the months with links to the book reviews I wrote. In addition, to these book reviews, I will summarize the actions steps I have looked to implement in my life as a result of reading each of the following books. Like I said above, it is not enough to just read if you want to improve.
In August, I read 2 books. Actually, I read 4, but I didn’t do the book reviews for 2 of them (yet). So far in 2017, I have read 32 books. This is a decent start to 2017 and puts me on pace for 48 books read by the end of 2017. I started a business in May, and have been working diligently on that, but am still looking to stay consistent with this goal. I’m very happy about the effort I put in to this goal and have certainly felt a difference in the way I think and communicate with others. I am able to express my thoughts clearly, comprehend and understand other’s points quicker and be able to ask penetrating and thoughtful questions in response to their points. I can’t wait to see where my results will be after 12 months!
One thing I’m noticing, is it isn’t the quantity of books, nor is it the quality that is impacting my improvement – it is the act of putting into action the takeaways and action steps from each book. I’m already thinking ahead to 2018 – in 2018, I think I’ll be better off reading 2-3 a month and looking to fully apply the concepts in those books.
Really, accumulated knowledge is meaningless unless you apply it. I’ve been throwing around two quotes in my head on this topic, and trying to rationalize my failure on this goal. I bite off a little too much, and while I’m seeing success in other areas, I feel that reading should still be a priority…
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abe Lincoln
“The wealthiest place on the planet is the cemetery, because it’s filled with brilliant ideas, potential, all wasted.” – Tony Robbins
Have I sharpened the axe enough? Should I keep learning and accumulating knowledge? I’ll get back to it eventually. Right now, it’s time to get profitable on the blog and the business!
My Book Collection
A few updates ago, Amy, from Life Zemplified, suggested I share pictures of my books that I have since I always refer to them in the conclusion 🙂 My lack of reading definitely doesn’t come from a lack of books! I’ve accumulated these books through borrowing and exchanges with friends, and purchasing on Amazon.
Without further ado, here is my summary of the books I read in August.
The Books I Read in August
There you have it! 8 books in January, 6 books in February, 5 books in March, 6 books in April, 4 books in May, 0 books in June, 1 in July, and 2 in August. As I stated above, this puts my on pace for 48 books in 2017. I actually have finished another 2 as I mentioned above, but haven’t done the book reviews for them! I will reach my goal when I stay consistent and keep up my reading. Currently, I have a stack of over 25+ books on my table (as shown above) and am constantly looking for new books to read. I’m gaining a better perspective on the world, increasing my vocabulary, becoming more confident and becoming more knowledgeable in a variety of areas.
How are you doing on your 2017 goals? Are there any books you think would be interesting for me to read?