Are you reading the right books?
I love when Mark Twain said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”. In this post I’ll modify it a little to fit.
It’s not the amount of books in your education, it’s the amount of education in your books.
You can read all the outdated, irrelevant, false or nonsense books in the world and they won’t help you. You can read fiction books all day long, and you won’t get any closer to growing as a person. (I’m not against fiction books, they have their place as an entertainment and relaxing tool).
For us, we want to focus on growing (and loving it). Select your books carefully and you are halfway there. Leave high quality books lying around and peek through them every once in a while. Start adding little ideas into your life and sharing them with people around you. Make these ideas a part of your psyche and you will benefit from them.
I didn’t want this post to be about book recommendations, because I can never know the best books for you or your personal journey. However it’s important to know how to find good books for yourself, and this is a pretty good guide.
Find people who have achieved what you want to achieve and are a clear picture of what success looks like to you. If you want to be healthy, this might be youtube fitness expert Brandon Carter, or even more famous Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you want to get rich, try investor Warren Buffet, Bill Gates or other self made wealthy people.
Then look at what books they recommend. This is a great start for finding out some amazing books to read. Brandon Carter for example, has many videos on his channel recommending books. He calls them “Books that make you stronger”. Arnold also has his biography “Total Recall”, and his “Encyclopaedia of Bodybuilding”. You can find Bill Gates’ reading list on his site, and in several interviews Warren Buffet mentions his favourites.
Don’t listen to reviews on amazon (all the time). Often times people don’t know what they are taking about. Instead only listen to trusted resources. A favourite book of mine “Bold” has a testimonial from President Bill Clinton on the back, and from the chairman of google.
Although “Bold” has mostly 5 star reviews on amazon (deservedly so), there are still people that think badly of it, with one two star review saying it’s “superficial, repetitive and boring”. Like I said, don’t listen to the reviews on amazon, they are mostly people who don’t know what they are talking about.
A new book arrived in the post “The Promise Of A Pencil”, which I haven’t read yet, has a quote from Sir Richard Branson on the front cover.
This is the best way to find incredible books. See who recommends them, and if you trust them, then the book is worth at least a skim through, if not a full read, re-read and implementation into your life.
When looking for good books, always look for the best. If you want to put on a bit of muscle or tone up your body, go to Arnold Shwartznegger. If you want to make a little extra money, learn from Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. When you learn from the best, you will learn the real fundamentals, without any fluff or nonsense.
Another great type of book is biographies. Sam Walton’s “Made in America”, Ghandi’s biography, Jeff Bezos (founder of amazon) “The Everything Store”, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Total Recall” and so many others. Think about the great people you want to emulate and see if they have biographies. I love Elon Musks book, Steve Jobs and a less known gem, Jerry Weintraub’s “When I stop Talking you’ll know I’m dead”.
Start doing some research yourself, and don’t look at the books at the top of the charts. To find the real gems you might have to dig a little deeper. Find the people you respect and admire, and start there. If you find a book you love, find that authors favourite books. The best books and the best people are all intertwined in an incredible web, and if you find something good, you are in the right direction. Keep moving forward and adding more books to your bookshelf.
One last important thing i’ll close with, is learning to read faster. If you can skim through a book within 5 minutes, taking in the essence of what the book will cover, you can see pretty quickly if it’s something special. This will help you cut out the clutter much quicker than the average person who reads through a whole book before making a decision.