"A Mind Needs Books As A Sword Needs A Whetstone If It Is To Keep Its Edge"

One of my favorite quotes of the Game of Thrones franchise by Tyrion Lannister and a credo in which I started investing years before. I already used this in an earlier post of mine about commuting (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/make-most-out-your-commute-here-how-sebastian-förster). 

Be it as it may, but the majority of us reads all day, be it news articles, the lastest trends on our favorite pages or simply the daily overwhelming amount of emails.

Everybody is preaching to practice speed reading and filtering information as fast as humanly possible. Everything is measured by the minute - sometimes you wonder how top managers supposedly live according to the daily press coverage.

As I agree totally on reading as much as possible and as interesting as it gets, I wouldn't agree to read everything fast and furious.

In school they tell you what to read. Later your industry dictates what you read, but where are you?

It is some sort of vicious cycle, you know what you are supposed to read and that you have to keep up with the newest trends if you want to be part of that gang - especially in today's age of constant consumerism.

The problem I see here is that this phenomenon takes the fun away from reading. The only really good time I have when I read is when I do it for fun in my free time or commute. Looking further into this, it might even be the most productive learning time I experience during the day. 

Here are some of my favorite tipps when it comes to reading for fun:

  • Read in a foreign language

I read mostly English literature (sometimes Spanish or failing in Japanese) although German is my mother tongue. The thing is that I love the English language and it also helps me improve my vocabulary and my writing style. Once every other month I might read something in German, but than the original source is also from a German author. Another benefit from this style is that you can train your language skills - you might have had French in school, but since your last vacation ages ago you hadn't had the chance to practice... why not try a children's book or a novel  for kids - you should be able to read it and become familiar again with that language. If you do it regularly you might even advance in level and feel a lot more comfortable with your skills.

  • Read different types of books: Novel, Magazines, Comics or Expert Literature

Reading is even more fun when you change the subject constantly. Mixing it up widens your portfolio and your available dinner conversation topics. You may always have your favorites but a little bit diversion once in a while makes the overall experience that much better. 

  • Recommend books and look for recommendations from others

There might come a time when you don't know what to read anymore or your looking for that new kind of inspiration. Browse topics on platforms like LinkedIn, Amazon or even Facebook. I bet that every category has its own "10 Must Read List", look out for those and dive into one. You can always try out new things, you might even find new interests or passions.

These are just three simple tipps that helped me finding new books every now and then. My list is growing and while reading one I always have 2-3 books on hold for afterwards. Sometimes I start reading two books simultanously - this could be fun too, although depending on your reading habbits, it might be exhausting over time when you tend to forget details.

One recommendation that I can give you is read something from Murakami, for example the Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, never read something quite like it.

However, please feel free to leave a comment, like the post if you find yourself in here or let me know what you are reading nowadays.

Thanks for reading!

Sebastian