Books have changed my life.
That’s how I started this journey of self-improvement and living a purpose-driven life.
As a college kid, like most of the other college kids, I was broke. I didn’t have $500 to invest in any coaching programs or online courses. But I could definitely afford $5-$10 every month to invest in books.
Books are cheap and resourceful. Arguably, they give you the best ROI (return on investment). A single $5 book can change your life.
Books had helped me when I was feeling lost. Books supported me when I had panic attacks. In fact, books have been such an entertaining source for me too.
If you utilize them correctly, books can change your life. Here are certain ways to do so —
Pick Action Steps Before You Pick Other Books
Even if you’re reading a philosophy book, there could be a checklist you can note.
Unless there are clear action steps from any book you’re reading, how would they change your life?
For the last few years, I have been reading books with this intention. I have no problem leaving a book unfinished, or reading multiples books at a time, as long as I can pull out some action steps from the pages.
You can slow down your reading too. I tried doing it. Unless I get an action step from one book, that I can try and test that on myself, I won’t start another book.
Reading a Single Book Multiple Times
I was impressed when I got to know how Ryan Holiday has read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius over 100 times.
Since then, I have tried rereading my favorite books multiple times too. Or I’d buy a book of the same theme from a different author, or a different book from the same author.
There are literally so many possibilities of revisiting a single lesson multiple times.
Here are 4 books I recently read that I wish to reread again soon —
- Open Awareness Open Mind by Yeshe Rabgye
- Mind Full to Mindful by Om Swami
- No Mud, No Lotus by Thich Nhat Hanh
- The Universe has your back by Gabrielle Bernstein
Value the Wisdom in the Pages, Instead of the Pages Itself
I use books. I value the information and wisdom in the pages, not the pages itself.I write on them. It feels like having a conversation with the author in real-time.
A lot of people treat their books with delicacy and care. I don’t judge them. But I really like writing and taking notes in the book while I am reading.
I usually don’t care about the color of the pens I am using. In fact, when I am rereading a book I try to use a different colored pen so I’d highlight something important I must have missed while reading the book for the first time.
Try Audiobooks, and It’s Okay if You Don’t Like It
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s okay.
I used to listen to Grant Cardone’s 10X Rule while working out in the gym. For once, Grant’s voice and aura are quite motivating. I picked up his other book “Be Obsessed or Be Average” after this. I had fun with this routine for some time.
On the recommendation of Anangsha Alammyan, I tried “The Dutch House” audiobook, when I wanted to try something different for better sleep. It’s narrated by Tom Hanks and his voice is so soothing. I used to turn it on while going to sleep, and yes, I had a lot of good sleepy nights.
It’s trending. And obviously, like other trends, you may or may not like it.
But have you at least given it a try?
Ebooks: Piracy, or No Piracy — That’s the Question
There’s a variety of websites available to download pirated ebooks.
I’ll be honest, I have used pirated ebooks. When I was in college (and broke) I used to read and learn from pirated ebooks. I used to drop a review on amazon, follow the author — and do whatever I can to support the author apart from paying money.
As soon as I started earning, I started spending a lot on physical books — both paperbacks and hardcovers.
But even now I do use pirated books sometimes, to get a taste of the book before buying — or to pass the time before I receive the paperback I’d have ordered.
I bought a kindle and tried using it for a few months. It didn’t work out for me. I gifted it to my sister and I think she’s not using it much either.
But try ebooks, a lot of people love reading ebooks. Maybe you’d be one of them.
The Most Important Part
You do you. Try the trends if you want to, or stick to your comfort. That’s the most important part.
Things trend for a reason, and to upgrade yourself, its advisable to try them out.
Detach yourself from the copy, value the wisdom in the book. Read a single book multiple times. Read different authors on a single topic, and a single author for multiple genres. Read multiple books at a time.
Track and record what works for you. Keep an open mind and you’d be surprised how much a book can change you.