When I first started my career, my desire to read books was pretty much non-existent. After I had flipped through the newspapers, read my emails and everything else I was required to read throughout the day, I had no patience left for books. And just like that, I felt way behind schedule. Because reading books is so important, personally and professionally. The more I read, the better I write, the more knowledgable and inspired I feel, and the more information I have to share with others.
In 2015, I decided to start a book club. After I posted a message on Facebook, 30 people showed interest. One month later, 15 of us were meeting to discuss our first book The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker, which was a huge hit amongst our group.
Even though less people showed up the following months, it still worked quite well for me. I was reading more books because I suddenly had deadlines. Plus, discussing books with friends every month was a fulfilling experience. But then I moved to Asia.
I was going through my ‘to-read’ list on Goodreads, a great app to track and rate books and also network with other readers. And I was wondering how I could keep reading as many books as possible without slowing down from everything I set myself to accomplish here. That’s when I gave Audible a try.
Last year, I read, or rather listened to 4 times more books than the previous year. All thanks to Audible. So I recommended it to some of my friends, along with a few audiobook suggestions. And they started consuming more books too. So I am making the same recommendation to you, if you haven’t tried Audible or audiobooks yet. It’s so easy and convenient.
Whether you’re commuting to work, walking your dog, driving to your country house, running on the treadmill or laying in your bed, all you need to do is to open the Audible app, tap play and listen. After you’ve chosen and downloaded the books of course.
And I’m not saying you shouldn’t read any paper books or use other reading apps, but to alternate between these various options. Because some books are meant to be read, and you may not find it as easy to absorb the content of audiobooks, especially at first. But you’ll definitely feel like you’ve learned more by the end of the year.
You can either buy audiobooks individually, or get a membership. With Audible’s Gold Plan, you pay $15/month (CA$18,50) to get one credit for a free book per month. But if you’re just starting, I recommend the hidden Silver Plan. You’ll pay $15 every two months, for six books a year rather than 12. In order to get this plan, go to the customer service section and ask for it via the Audible Live Chat.
This book is about leadership and equality for women and men. I like how Facebook’s COO describes her own experience working at some of the world’s most successful companies, and shares her observations and key learnings. This book changed my perspective on a few things. For example, I realized that my idea of mentorship was wrong, and that it wasn’t as official and formal as I thought. I also like the part where she says that “Women need to shift from thinking ‘I’m not ready to do that’ to thinking ‘I want to do that — and I’ll learn by doing it.’”
If you’re a manager, this book is a must. Pixar Animation Studios’s co-founder takes us into the meetings, postmortems, and Braintrust sessions, where some of the most successful films were made. My favourite quotes are: “Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.” and “If you aren’t experiencing failure, then you are making a far worse mistake: You are being driven by the desire to avoid it.”
Even though a few things don’t add up in this book, I love the essence of it, which is that people are not just successful because of what they are like, but also because of where they are from. Their culture, their family, their generation, and the distinctive experiences of their upbringing all make a huge impact on them. Some of my favourite quotes are: “Achievement is talent plus preparation” and “Success is not a random act. It arises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances and opportunities.”
Bonus: Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley
Have you tried audiobooks? Let me know what you think and what books you enjoyed listening to.
Like 8tiquette on Facebook to continue the conversation and subscribe to 8tiquette’s YouTube channel.