All the way back in December 2015, and at this point it seems both a long time ago and only yesterday, I set myself a target of reading a book per month. The reason for the target was the feeling that I just wasn’t reading enough. Prior to this the most reading I had done had been during the period studying for my Masters degree, subsequent to which my reading all but stopped. Generally I think I have progressed quite well in working towards this target, and I have certainly made progress on my reading habits prior to 2016.
So far this year my reading has included:
- Black Box Thinking, Matthew Syed, 2015
- The Dark Net, Jamie Bartlett, 2014
- The Glass Cage, Nichola Carr, 2015
- Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, 2011
- The Black Swan, Nassim Taleb, 2007
- Drive, Daniel Pink, 2009
- The Invisible Gorilla, 2010
- Multipliers, Liz Wiseman, 2010
- How We Learn, Benedict Carey, 2014
- Resilience, Andrew Zolli & Ann Marie Healy, 2012
- The Element, Ken Robinson, 2009
- Adapt, Tim Harford, 2011
And my current book Incognito by David Eagleman (2011)
At this point, in the middle of November I have achieved the target I set myself however the crucial factor is not in meeting the target but in improving from where I was just over a year ago and also in learning from the books I have read.
I found the majority of the books read to be interesting to various degrees and have often started a new book based on its mention within a book I have read. I feel I have a broader set of ideas and understanding than I may have prior to setting and embarking on this particular new years resolution.
At this point it may seem that this piece is very much about me congratulating myself for the progress made and the books read however this is far from the case. In reading I have realised how much more there is to know, how many more perspectives there are to every situation, event or concept, how much more I have to read. Reading has been enjoyable and but also enriching.
Using the idea of Umberto Eco’s Anti-library as mentioned by Nassim Taleb in the Black Swan, I have realised that my bookshelf with its books complete with post-it note annotations is not important. What matters is the understanding that there is so much more to read; the list of the books I am yet to read. With every new book I read the list of books yet to read does not decrease, but increases as I add new books to it based on my current reading. I open up new avenues to explore with each book read.
And with that I will go back to reading Incognito. I have already added Herd by Mark Earls, Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely and Nudge by Cass Sunstein to the not yet book list. Feel free to share your recommendations.