One of my goals every year is to read a certain number of books. Definitely I attend seminars during the year, and I am listening to audio books on a daily basis for my personal development, but reading books is my favorite ritual. I developed it the last years and its one of the sacred moments, which I get connected with myself to recharge my batteries.
Many people ask me questions about my reading habits, so I decided to write this article to give some answers to those that are interested to invest in themselves. Besides, this is an opportunity for me to clear some things about myself and become better in the process.
Do you always read new books? The majority of the books I read are books I’ve never read before, but I also read books I’ve read in the past, the ones I feel I need in that period of my life.
Are you a speed-reader? I read fast and I use some speed reading techniques, but I don’t consider myself a speed-reader yet.
Do you have a certain time of the day to read? Yes, I’m reading 30’-60’ in the morning and 30’-60’ in the evening. In addition, I always carry a book with me and whenever I have time I read, between appointments etc.
Do you finish one book and then you start the next one? Not necessarily. Usually I read 3-4 books simultaneously (the same period), and depending on my mood I pick the one I feel better to read at that specific moment. Most of the times these books are on different subjects, ie biographies, financial, personal growth, etc.
What books do you read? I love biographies and especially autobiographies, personal growth books (self-help section), spiritual, financial, sports. I rarely read novels, and literature.
What do you advice if the beginning of a book is not interesting? Either have some patience and keep reading until you find something of value to you, or stop reading it and try it again some other time.
How do you pick books? I always read books recommended by people I admire and respect, mostly my mentors. I also get recommendations from the authors of the books I read. I have a list on my phone with (i) name of the book and (ii) person recommended it. I always buy the ones I feel I need at that time.
How can you influence your closest people to read personal development books?“When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” If someone is not ready you cannot help him/her. The only thing you can do is to inspire him/her with your results and your example, by applying what you read.
How do you get the gist out of each book? I use a highlighter for the main points and/or pencil, and I also have a notebook writing notes during, or after, I finish the book. I go back to these notes from time to time.
How do you develop the discipline to read? First of all you have to recognize the benefits of reading, the reason why you should read. Then you just do it. Start with 10 pages a day, or 15’ a day and just do it. It’s a habit, just like the brushing of your teeth.
Do you comprehend everything that you read? Consciously not at all. My subconscious though gets it and the knowledge comes out in my daily life, and especially when I speak in seminars.
Do you apply everything that you read? No.
"Don't judge a book by its cover." Do you agree or disagree? Cover has nothing to do with the quality of the book.
Thoughts or secrets to share about implementation of the things you learn from different books? As my mentor Jim Rohn taught me, read all the books you can read, but make sure what you do is the product of your own conclusion.
My Top 10 Books in 2016
The Bible - New Testament
Against All Odds by Chuck Norris
Bear Bryant on Leadership by Pat Williams
Money Master the Game by Anthony Robbins
The Art of the Deal by Donald J. Trump
The Last Season by Phil Jackson
Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson
Self Leadership and the One Minute Manager
Life is Tremendous by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones
Guide to Investing Gold & Silver by Michael Maloney
My Top 10 Books of All Time
Total Recall - Arnold Schwarzenegger
All You Can Do is All You Can Do - Art Williams
Think & Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill
The Richest Man in Babylon - George Clayson
Leading an Inspired Life - Jim Rohn
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership - John C. Maxwell
The Greatest Salesman in the World - Og Mandino
As a Man Thinketh - James Allen
The Slight Edge - Jeff Olson
Pushing Up People - Art Williams
Book reading has changed my life tremendously. I came across knowledge I never knew existed and opened for me doors I never imagined possible. I gradually realized that whatever we need as humans in order to be happy has been written, and more importantly there are principles, which others followed and succeeded in different areas of life. Reading books is one of the most important investments you can do for you and your family.
"If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him." Benjamin Franklin
Nakis N. Theocharides
High Performance Coach