I was asked a while back by a good friend and fellow chiropractor, Dr. Angie Meyer, to write a blog post all about my reads for 2013. I put together a goal for myself this year to read one book a month. And then inspired by my friend and other fellow chiropractor, Dr. Karen Osburn, decided that my BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) would be 20 books this year. I’m on #13 as we speak and I still have five months to go so I might just eclipse that BHAG I set out for myself.
I have always loved to read. I used to devour books as a kid. The works of Aesop, Dr. Seuss, Judy Blume, Lynne Reid Banks, Enid Blyton, Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl (up until a few years ago I referred to him as Ronald Dahl, my apologies), Washington Irving, Norton Juster, Ann Martin, and C.S. Lewis (amongst others) occupied my days and nights.
As I grew older I took to a variety of topics. In high school, I compared and contrasted the novels of Margaret Atwood. I wrote a paper on the love letters between Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. I poured over the works of Shakespeare. I loved to get lost in the words.
Once I entered college, my reading became focused on text books. While not as exciting, it was necessary to digest books on anatomy, physiology, nutrition, biomechanics, neuroanatomy, and a whole bunch of topics ending with -pathology. To counteract the minutia of class after class of text after text, I took inspiration from Dr. Palmer’s Green books (I haven’t read them all…and not sure if I ever will but I read from them every once in a while) and Dr. Fred Barge as well as non-chiropractic but just as inspirational books from such authors don Miguel Ruiz, Richard Bach and others.
When our kids arrived, I found I just didn’t
have the time make the time to read as much as I used to. The new year changed that and with the awesomeness of an accountability group (thanks Karen & Amy), I’m sticking to my goals of getting back to one of my passions. So, here is my (ever-expanding) list of books, some of which I had already read but wanted to re-read.
1. The Six Pillars of Self Esteem
2. The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People
3. The Four Agreements
4. The Last Lecture
5. Good to Great
6. Wheat Belly
7. The Paleo Solution
8. Steve Jobs
9. Killing Sacred Cows
10. The Charge
11. The Greatness Guide
12. The Leader Who Had No Title
13. Think & Grow Rich
14. The Happiness Project
16. Breaking the Habit of Yourself
17. Jonathon Livingston Seagull
18. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
19. The Now Habit
…..and if time permits
21. Disciplined Dreaming
22. On Writing Well
23. It’s Not About the Coffee
24. Long Walk to Freedom
Something I found that has helped is that I created a Wish List on Amazon. If I learn of a book that I want to read, I add it to my book list. Right now I have 64 books on it with so many more I’m sure to add. Once I get close to the end of a book and I have none on my night stand waiting to read, I place an order or go to Chapters. It gives me so much satisfaction to have them arrive in the mail or sit neatly on the passenger seat of my car.
One of the curious things I have found is that people are very skeptical about my desire to read so many books. The number of times I’ve been told: “Oh good for you but I would never have time for that!” is innumerable. But here’s the thing. It’s totally possible if you do the following:
1. Prioritize reading in your life.
2. Choose books that truly interest you.
3. Choose a time of day that you can get alone (even if it’s – gasp – 5AM). I usually spend 30-40 minutes in the morning and then 20-30 minutes at night.
It’s not rocket science. And the more I read, the more efficient I become at getting through books. Some books drone on and I find I put them down in favour of others but I do want to get through the twenty books by December so starting one but not finishing it doesn’t count. And certainly there are days where I just don’t feel like reading. So, I don’t. But I can often carve out an hour where I plunge through a few chapters and I get caught up.
So, thanks for asking, Angie! And for everyone else, enjoy!