Many of us have some free time over the Holidays that we don’t have the rest of the year. There are many great ways to spend this time–with family, reconnecting with friends, volunteering time for service–but one of the best is to do some reading.
My own passion for books was re-ignited yesterday watching my dear friend Charlie “Tremendous” Jones present to the Colorado Speakers Association. Charlie is a legendary speaker (”Don’t worry about how to motivate others. Stay motivated and you’ll be a motivator.”), but he is also the founder of Executive Books (www.executivebooks.com), a company that makes terrific books available to individuals and organizations around the world at amazingly low prices. Charlie believes you and I will be the same five years from now as we are today except for two things: the people we meet and the books we read. I’ve learned from Charlie that while spoken words have great power, the written words in books have lasting power that can create even greater impact in another’s life.
Any time is a good time to read, but since the Holidays are an especially good time to read, here are a few ideas to ponder:
1. Don’t waste time reading a book you aren’t enjoying or learning from. If you get 50 pages into a book and it isn’t a good investment of time, give it up. The price of the book is far less than the value of your time.
2. Consider reading a biography. Pick a person whose life exemplified excellence, and whose focus of endeavor was of interest to you. Some of the most enlightening and inspiration books you can read are biographies.
3. If you’re up for a challenge, pick a book that is challenging to read. We often read books that are easy to read and that allow us to relax, but periodically delve into a book that will stimulate your thinking and test you.
4. Go back to books you’ve benefited from reading and review them. You don’t necessarily have to reread those books, especially if you’ve highlighted key ideas and/or made notes in the margins, but by reviewing, you’ll have your thinking refreshed and what you learned reinforced. Great ideas stand the test of time.
5. Give your favorite book as a gift. Make sure you know the reading preferences of your family and friends before you give a book as a gift, but I’ve found it powerful to be able to tell someone “This was the best book I’ve read this year,” or “This is my favorite novel of all time.” Hopefully they’ll not only enjoy the book if they read it, but it will create common grounds for discussion for you both.
I recently wrote a blog called “Don’t Take Time to Relax.” My point was that the important things usually require that we make time for them (there’s usually no extra time for the taking). One of the few exceptions may well be the little extra time we have at this time of year. Use it well, and make time to read.