Late 2014, November, is when i picked my first of a series of many books that i was to read. Kevin had been given this read by the mom, and it come strongly recommended. Frankly, I had not given much thought to maintaining a reading culture. I had done my share of motivational books while i was in network marketing and loathed at the idea of picking up a book, especially self help. Here I was, out of Kevin’s enthusiasms with the first few chapters, burning with curiosity as to what Richard Carlson had penned in that green, thickly bound book: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, Omnibus.
Did it change my life? No. Ok, let me put it like this, the content didn’t necessarily change my life but I can say the author sparked thirst for knowledge that I never knew I could have. Back in my network marketing days, I used to read out of obligation. To read was to grow, to grow you had to read. It was packaged to couple with business success. Of course I wanted my business to succeed, which it miserably didn’t albeit i garnered tonnes of experience my years there: (story for another day). Kevin and I had a lot of philosophical exchanges based on Carlson’s book…his content was good, can’t remember much though. Kevin kept his mom’s copy and I got a copy from my Mom, who happened to have one. We read on our long drive to work from Nyayo to Riverside, and discussed our epiphanies with great zeal. In between breaks at work, we read the book and by the end of the year I was done ushering in my first year as an avid reader.
I can’t recall the book i picked up next but it must have been either Word Faiths: An Introduction or Unbowed by Wangari Maathai. I strictly shied away from anything that resembled a motivational book and for the whole year until now I kept the same apart from Before You Do which counted midway as a self help book, nonetheless interesting.
As a frequent reader I’ve come to appreciate my own evolution. I began with motivational books, then business books, went to topical books, began memoirs, went to spiritual, took up novels (because they are soft and effortless) and currently flirting with controversial topical books.
Reading a book is alot like meeting a person in a networking event. They introduce themselves to you, you listen to their opinions and perspectives on a lot of things, but you don’t necessarily agree with all of them. You learn a lot by listening to them. They might even affirm some of the opinions you hold that counter theirs. Read widely, read diversely. Reading a book does not mean you agree with the author it simply means that you are secure and curious enough to learn how other people think.