You Read How Many Books?

douggreen
douggreen
May 27 · 3 min read

I’ve accidentally discovered the newest form of competition among the younger high-performing set. They read books. A lot of books.

And they blog, podcast and share those titles.

When I first started listening to some of these folks on podcasts, I have to confess I felt quite inadequate. So I upped my game.

Understand I have always read a lot of books (at least one a week) but many of those aren’t heavy-duty, non-fiction or self-help tomes. They tend towards science fiction and other stories.

But this week, with a growing stack of books on the coffee table in front of me, I had to rethink this. I’d just read a fun book on creativity (Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert) and I wanted to think about it for a bit. I wanted to absorb some of her notes and think about them. But there’s another “creative lifestyle” book sitting there and I’d also finished one just ahead of hers.

He takes a short break to make and start sipping on a cup of coffee (this writer is sometimes fueled with the stuff). I digress…

How can I absorb the last two books and run some experiments, change up a few things and take more creative control if I’m reading yet another book on the subject. It’s like my shopping bags are already filled. Both arms and pockets are full and the only way I can add more is if I dump something from the existing load.

Without taking the time to absorb and practice what excited me about those two books (and I may now have to reread the first one) I’m just paying lip service to having read them.

So what’s the point of all this? It seems to me, having read a book one must acknowledge the time it takes to incorporate those behaviors into your life.

Or, decide there’s little there and move on.

You can decide to be a browser or you can decide to be a change agent.

Browsing is non-threatening. It’s safe and easy. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s a How To Grow Tomato Book or a book on creativity such as Gilbert’s.

What’s hard is taking the lessons, applying them and accepting the outcomes — be they good or bad — as your own.

Or continue to browse, read a great many books and pretend you’re learning something.

That’s Harsh?

You think? Imagine reading two self-help books in a row.

Could you tell me right after reading the second what behaviors from the first you’re going to change?

And how effective do you think you’d be?

So Yes

Color me a skeptic right about now.

Many of these productivity and self-improvement gurus have the patter down, have the background info but really, there’s not a chance in hell they’re really moving forward on a weekly basis using all the stuff they’re talking and writing about.

My Takeaway

Is to relax.

Stay curious.

Find your own pace and remember that creating a life is about you making choices, not what the gurus are promoting for flavor of the week.

Keep moving forward.

douggreen

Written by

douggreen

Former nurseryman, now writer and curious about what’s over the next hill and how to get there in either my Triumph Spitfire or sailboat.