“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
At one point in time I couldn’t think of anything more boring than sitting down and reading a book. I’d stretch as far as reading Donald Duck, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or G.I Joe. Man, who’d wanna spend their time with that when there’s movies, tv and videogames?
In school i’d done all the compulsory (oh god, even the word sounds like a dreary marsh!) reading and nothing really made an impact.
One year the school gave Imre Kertész book “Fateless” (later re-titled Fatelessness) to all high schoolers for free. Thanks, more books to carry home.
On the train ride home I was bored and started reading the book to pass the time. The weirdest thing happened. I cared. It felt important somehow. During the following days I read it on the way to and from school, at times even between lessons.
It could’ve ended there. One book that piqued my interest. I’m done.
Well, a while later a friend and I were talking about a book he’d read called “The Dirt” by Neil Strauss (yes, the same guy who wrote “The Game”). I realized the problem, everything i’d read until then were things I cared little to nothing about. These two books straddled the fence between fact and fiction. They provoked me to feel something and reflect on life and about the choices people make.
Needless to say, i’ve been hooked on books ever since.
Try to find the kind of books you most enjoy. It doesn’t really matter what genre. If they make you think and feel about the world around you it’s good. I think that that’s the essence of the quote: “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”
If we can expose ourselves to many different ideas and have a place where we can contemplate them, we’re set.
Here are some of the great reads (and re-reads) i’ve had this past year!
To Sell Is Human – Daniel H. Pink
Drive – Daniel H. Pink
Talk Like TED – Carmine Gallo
Things A Little Bird Told Me – Biz Stone
Lessons From The Top – Gavin Esler
10% Happier – Dan Harris
Essentialism – Greg McKeown
The Icarus Deception – Seth Godin
Multipliers – Greg McKeown & Liz Wiseman
Lead With A Story – Paul Smith
Mastery – Robert Greene
Pour Your Heart Into It – Howard Schultz
The 4-Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
David & Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell
Steal Like An Artist – Austin Kleon
Show Your Work – Austin Kleon
Just My Type – Simon Garfield
Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson
Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek
Start With Why – Simon Sinek
Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure – Tim Harford
Do The Work – Steven Pressfield
The War Of Art – Steven Pressfield
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey