When I was ten-years of age my parents moved the family from Manchester, England to Ogmore Vale, Wales. To say it was a culture shock is the under-statement on the century. The Welsh hate the English, and everyone hates somebody different; and here I was a half Chinese Englishman – I decided I needed a plan to conform.
The plan that my ten-year old brain conjured up was to play the class clown. If I defied authority then maybe the rest of the class would admire me and want to be my friend. As it turned out it was a cracking ploy, because from that moment on I was always popular with the other children. The same could not be said for the teachers, however, and I am sure if I gave them a lamp and asked them to rub it they would have wished for the return of corporal punishment so they could give me a good hiding.
I am not proud of my school years in terms of my academia but I am proud of doing what I needed to do to fit in. When I left school and started to earn a pretty penny I fell in love with learning once more. My preferred method of learning was through books and I have always had an insatiable appetite for more paper knowledge.
Recently I found myself in a bit of a predicament. I loved reading that much that I would have a different book for every occasion. I would have one by the toilet for those private moments, one by the right side of my bed, one by the left, one in my travel bag…well you get the picture! I was reading everything and nothing at the same time. I wasn’t getting anything finished and I wasn’t retaining the knowledge properly.
This is why I decided to create the goal of reading 52 books in 52 weeks. It is a very difficult task and one that requires a lot of devotion and discipline but I am so glad that I decided to do it, so glad in fact that I don’t think I will ever stop. I have a particular process when I read and I would like to share it with you, as well as the links to the reviews for every book that I read in the next 12-months.
Finding a Book
We barely have any Amazon rainforest left so the world has a hefty supply of pages to leaf through, so how do I select my books? I have a list system on my Macbook and iphone and on this system is a list called “Books to Buy.” Each week I schedule two hours of blog reading and each time someone suggests an inspirational book I add it to my list. When I am reading my books they are always filled with inspirational book suggestions and again these go on my list. I then buy a few of them each month and select the one I want to read based on the goings on in my life at that very moment.
The schedule to read 52 books in 52 weeks is pretty simple. I have a look at how many pages my book has and divide the total number by seven days. Then each day I schedule enough time to read my required quota of pages. There has been a pattern of around 40 pages per day and this generally takes me one hour to get through them. To improve productivity I always carry the book and my iphone with me wherever I go, so I can always read a few pages when I would otherwise be staring absently into the air.
Retention of Knowledge
When I read I always have two things handy. The first is a yellow highlighter and the second is my iphone or Macbook. I use the highlighter for highlighting sentences or quotes that interest or inspire me. The iphone and Macbook contain a list that I have specifically created to contain the actions that I make while I am reading the book. Let’s use the first book I am reading this year as an example: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.
The book started to delve into the subject matter of Adaptive Unconscious and as it did, my mind started to drag certain memories to the front of my thinking. They were memories where Adaptive Unconscious had played a vital role in my life such as meeting my new girlfriend for the first time. It reminds me to write a blog post about this and so I make a note in the list. Each week when I schedule my goals and actions I look through the book actions and may schedule time to write a blog post about Adaptive Unconscious: Meeting your Girlfriend. I will do some research prior to writing the post which will include re-reading certain parts of the book and this is how I retain the knowledge of the words and meaning that have just shot through my eyes.
If you have any questions on my process for reading then just contact me in the usual way. In the meantime here are the links to the books that I have read as part of my 2012 goal.
52 Books in 52 Weeks: The Index
Book 1: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Book 2: Starting Over by John Gray
Book 3: In The Green Kitchen by Alice Waters
Book 4: Embracing Uncertainty by Susan Jeffers
Book 5: People Skills by Robert Bolton
Book 6: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Book 7: Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink
Book 8: Alone on the Wide Wide Sea by Michael Morpurgo
Book 9: You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation by Deborah Tannen
Book 10: EGO: The Fall of the Twin Towers and the Rise of an Enlightened Humanity by Peter Baumann and Michael W. Taft
Book 11: Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation by Steven Levenkron
Book 12: Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
Book 13: Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
Book 14: The TOTAL Money Makeover by Dave Ramsay
Book 15: I Will Teach You to be Rich by Rami Sethi
Book 16: The Millionaire Maker’s Guide to Creating a Cash Machine For Life by Loral Langemeier
Book 17: The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
Book 18: Where Were You When I Needed You Dad? by Jane Myers Drew
Book 19: Radical Honesty by Brad Blanton
Book 20: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Book 21: Radical Parenting by Brad Blanton
Book 22: The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brendan Manning
Book 23: Change Your Gambling; Change Your Life by Howard Shaffer
Book 24: Love & Survival by Dean Ornish, M.D.
Book 25: The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
Book 26: The Liver Cleansing Diet by Sandra Cabot. MD.
Book 27: Reaching Out by Mark Williams
Book 28: Healing Words by Larry Dossey
Book 29: Whats Next? Create Your Dream Job With a Plan B by Dr. Michael B. Grossman
Book 30: The Linchpin by Seth Godin
Book 31: How to Get the Job You’ll Love by John Lees
Book 32: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
Book 33: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Book 34: The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist
Book 35: The Millionaire Mindset by Gerry Robert
Book 36: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Book 37: The 4hr Work Week by Tim Ferris
Book 38: Market Wizards by Jack D.Schwager
Book 39: Fried Blue Potatoes by Charlene Potterbaum
Book 40: Kick the Drink Easily! by Jason Vale
Book 41: The Easyweigh to Lose Weight by Allen Carr
Book 42: Healing Back Pain by John E.Sarno M.D.
Book 43: Lead The Field by Earl Nightingale
Book 44: The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz
Book 45: Fat Chance by Dr. Robert Lustig
Book 46: A Survival Guide to Life by Bear Grylls
Book 47: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Book 48: Potatoes Not Prozac by Kathleen DesMaisons
Book 49: Drinking Water (A History) by James Salzman
Book 50: The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E.Gerber
Book 51: This Year I Will… by M.J.Ryan
Book 52: Committed: A Love Story by Elizabeth Gilbert