Why “Read More Books” is Always My New Year’s Resolution
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:
- The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard
- The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
- Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke
- Recipe for Press by Amy Flurry (a former Southern C alum!)
- Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller.
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:
- The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
- The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve
- Elizabeth Strout’s Anything is Possible
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.
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!
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
I love all these suggestions! Chasing Slow sounds like it’s what I need right now. And memoirs- can’t seem to get enough of them lately! Thank you
I just finished Manhattan Beach. Very good book. You’ll enjoy it!
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.
Love this…as I’m a fellow book worm. Right now I’m reading The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Yesterday I spent the afternoon with The Art of the Monogram, which was lovely!
You got my attention when you said that reading can help you to connect with other people because you will have something to share with them. My sister met a friend who’s living in Ghana. She said that they both share the same love for music, so she wanted to understand their culture and styles in the music industry. I will share your blog with her.
That’s so neat – we love that it resonated with you!
It got me when you said that there is no better way to teach a child the wonders of reading than showing him that the person is reading. Apparently, no one in the house reads books anymore, and it is affecting my young daughter. Since I want her to grow up reading books and feeling the pages, it might be a good idea to get a book and start reading to her. Thank you for the advice.
You got my attention when you said that reading can help you to connect with other people
I like how you mentioned that reading builds community because you can talk about books with other people and tell them about the ones you’ve read. I just moved into a new area where I don’t know anyone, and have been looking for ways that I can connect with others and make friends. I will be sure to try reading more and sharing what I read with others so that maybe I can connect with more people!
It’s great to learn that reading books can help you get an escape from the real world. My wife is wanting to travel the world and she was wondering how she could escape from her life without going on a trip. I’ll be sure to tell her that she should start reading books on travel.