The Secret to Reading One Book a Month It's Easier Than You May Think
As 2017 nears, I want to share some ideas with you about creating a development plan for the new year. In this article, I will share the secret to reading one book a month.
Some people read a book a week or even a book a day. If you are a leader and wanting to grow, I encourage you to read more than one book a month. If you are not reading at least one book a month, I think you are doing a disservice to yourself and your team. When I talk to leaders about self development, I often encounter those who simply do not read or maybe read one or two books per year. Usually my first goal is to encourage them to read one book per month because I think it is easily attainable, and my hope is that this reading will add so much value to them that they will want to read more.
A few weeks ago I was speaking to my team and told them that if they read five or six pages a day—every day—they will finish a book a month. That’s because most books are about 150 to 180 pages (6 times 30 equals 180). I did not know who really took my suggestion to heart until a member of our team mentioned a few days ago, “Dr. W, I have some good news to share with you. I have been reading my five pages a day as you recommended. I’ve been reading it on my thinking chair.”
I was very happy and impressed to hear that, and wondered for a few seconds what that chair may look like. I have often read about people who do intentional thinking that like to designate a chair specifically for their thinking time. As I was imagining how this chair may look, he continued, “…yeah, my thinking chair, the toilet.”
Surprised and a little shocked, I laughed. But then I thought to myself, Well, if that’s the only way to get your six pages a day read, so be it!
What is the secret?
So what is the secret to reading one book per month? Read daily. Don’t skip a day. Read six pages. If one day you want to read more, that’s okay, but every day read at least six pages. Now you may ask, “Well, what if a book has 300 pages?” Then you can read it in two months, or read 10 pages a day. You decide, just be consistent.
Of course, I recommend books you can learn from. As a matter of fact, I recommend that you extract nuggets that you can think on or apply to your life from each book you read .
How do I select a book?
Do you have a list of books to begin on January 1st? What topics should you read? Ideally, select books in the areas in which you’d like to grow. Ask yourself a simple question: What areas of my life would I like to improve? If you are a parent and a spouse, these are two areas in which I hope you would like to grow. Pick another three areas. Here are some ideas: leadership, teamwork, relationships, and emotions. Always be on the hunt for fresh reading material, and keep a list of books you would like to read. Ask others what they are reading and add to your list. If you are watching an interview on TV and someone recommends a book, stop and write it down.
Why should I read?
Finally, and maybe most importantly, there is the question of why read in the first place. I read because I want to improve myself. I want to improve myself because I want to make a greater impact on others. Typically, I don’t read for entertainment. Although, I enjoy the act of reading. It is a journey of discovery. I was reading a book tonight called It’s Not About the Coffee by Howard Behar, a Starbucks executive. I read this statement, “We are in the people business serving coffee, not the coffee business serving people.” I have read that before, or heard it. But tonight as I read it, I stopped. I asked myself the same question about the organization I lead. If you give thought to this statement it can be life changing for your organization. I will lift this statement, and reread it and share it with others for the next few weeks. I pray it will make a positive difference in my life and leadership.
Reading in 2017
I hope your reading habits are sanitary. But regardless, I hope you are reading. Make 2017 the best year yet by making reading an agent of change and growth. It’s more than a disciplined exercise of using your yellow highlighter and pen, being inspired in the moment, then closing the cover. Reading becomes a catalyst for change and growth when we diligently apply what we are learning.
For Further Reading: