Why “Read More Books” is Always My New Year’s Resolution

Jan 5 2018

by Katie Weinberger

The Southern Coterie blog: "Benefits of Reading: 6 Reasons Why I Strive to Read More" by Katie Weinberger (photo: Danielle Hulsey for Bulldog Illustrated)
What’s in your stack? (photo: Danielle Hulsey for Bulldawg Illustrated)

It’s that time of year again! New Year’s Resolutions. While I don’t make many resolutions for the new year—I try not to overhaul my life all at once—there is one thing that is always on my list: Read more books. While I enjoy a good story, there are benefits of reading that go beyond the story itself.

This year, I aim to read a book a week. I’m a natural reader and have always been one, so it’s not difficult for me to set a goal of reading and stick with it. However, I understand that not everyone has the thirst for reading like I do. But I do think that even if you’re not a self-proclaimed bibliophile, it’s still important for every creative to set aside time to read. It doesn’t have to be a super ambitious book-a-week goal like mine. The key here is “more”—just read more, whatever that may mean to you.  Here’s why:

6 Benefits of Reading

Reading trains your brain to think in story.

And marketing your brand is mostly about telling a story. The more you read, the easier it will be for you to recognize the components of storytelling.

It’s a great way to learn for your business.

The business books I read in 2017 include:

Reading gives you whitespace.

I didn’t read all business books this year. In fact, I read mostly fiction and a select handful of memoirs. Reading gives me escape, the whitespace I need to press the reset button on my thinking, especially after a day of running a business and running a household. I find that the busier that I get, the more I need my 20 minutes of reading each night just to reset my brain. Some of my favorite fiction from last year:

Memoirs: You HAVE to read Hourglass by Dani Shapiro. So good. I also enjoyed Insomniac City by Bill Hayes.

I’m a good role model when I read. 

I don’t read on a kindle or on my phone or iPad. I read books. Real books. I have a 7-year-old son and I want to encourage him to read, so what’s better than being a role model for him? And he needs the transparency that a real book allows. The more he sees me reading, the more likely he is to reach for a book himself.

Good readers make for good writers.

If you do a lot of copy writing for your business like I do, it pays to read. Just as reading trains your brain to think in story, reading helps your writing – especially in regards to cadence, vocabulary and sentence structure. In fact, I find that my writing suffers when I take long breaks from reading.

Reading builds community.

I love to talk about books with other people and to share the books that I’ve read. And I crave suggestions and am curious as to what everyone else is reading. I had a friend over on New Year’s Eve and she’s currently reading Simon Sinek’s Start With Why and raved about it. I’m putting it on my list!

 

In 2017, I read 39 books and this year I’ll need to read more to reach my book-a-week goal. I have Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan on my list for fiction along with Tom Hank’s book of short stories, Uncommon Type. For my business reads, I have Essentialism by Greg McKeown and the aforementioned Simon Sinek book on my nightstand.

So, I need your suggestions to fill out my 52 book goal this year. What book did you read this year that you’d like to share? Business-related, personal growth, fiction, memoir? I can’t wait to see what everyone recommends. Happy reading!

4 COMMENTS

Katie Weinberger View More Blog Posts from this Author

Katie Weinberger is the marketing and creative half of the husband-and-wife duo behind King Bean Coffee Roasters. As a lifelong reader and writer, she aims to read a book a week and writes regularly on her personal site, writingdownadream.com . She lives in Charleston, SC with her husband, son, cat, and dog. On the weekends you can find her paddleboarding upriver to the sandbar with her son and pup.

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4 responses on “Why “Read More Books” is Always My New Year’s Resolution

  1. Dominique Paye

    Katie, I am adding your suggestions to my list! I also loved Dani Shapiro’s “Hourglass”, as well as “Chasing Slow” from Erin Loechner (a 2017 Summit Retreat speaker!)

    Two of my all-time favorite memoirs are Katharine Graham’s “Personal History” and Rosamond Bernier’s “Some of My Lives”. Both worth reading multiple times. I am (ambitiously) about to start “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer”. Sheryl Sandberg’s “Option B” is also in queue on my nightstand as well as “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande (business category).

    I just purchased “The Authentics: A Lush Dive into the Substance of Style”by Melanie Acevedo and Dara Caponigro and can’t wait to dive into this beautiful tome.

    For fiction, I am trying to go through my bookcase and read all of those I never got around to, like “The Magus” by John Fowles and Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”. Let me know as the year goes on which books end up being your favorites! xo

  2. Amanda Drew

    I want to pick up a new habit now that my son is old enough that I don’t have to be paying attention to him all the time. One of the things that you suggest that I really like is that the more your kid sees you reading a book, the more likely they are to read. Personally, I really like that. I’ll have to find a book to read, maybe some historical fiction.

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