So many books, so little time.
So how should you choose your next tome? Well according to this little article from Huffpost, you should pass on the easy ‘holiday’ reads and head straight for the ones which challenge you. I’m talking those big idea books, or those books that delve so eloquently into a subject that you might even get a mild headache. The books that require the endurance and dedication of an ironman competitor.
Commenting on one particular complicated but competent read, the author commented;
“The one I’ve just finished, The Sellout by Paul Beatty. It won the 2016 Man Booker Prize and was widely praised and adored, presumably by people who are more amenable to a challenge than I am. Set in the southern outskirts of Los Angeles, The Sellout was a witty, funny, extraordinarily clever book, with a strikingly original take on racism, slavery and segregation.”
“And while I was repeatedly astonished by its intelligence, pausing to re-read slabs of text that had captured a truth perfectly, or marvelled at a perfect turn of phrase, I found it hard to get through. It almost seemed as if it was too dense with cleverness. I just found that reading it felt a little like work, or like reading an article about the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that was informative, and hugely worthwhile, but a slog. At least it was a lot funnier.”
“So, was it worth reading? I would have to say, unequivocally, yes. Reading it was like mining, digging through words to find precious gems. And there were plenty to be found; so many points at which I had to pause to appreciate their brilliance.”
The bit that got me?
“So, was it worth reading? I would have to say, unequivocally, yes. Reading it was like mining, digging through words to find precious gems”
The reason for sharing this article is that after reading it I feel more inclined to try something which I might previous have started and not finished, and that can only be a good thing?
Me? I flit. If you know me, you’ll likely recognise I’m unafraid of a challenge, and the truth is that a tiny font and hundreds of well-worn pages fills me with joy rather than trepidation. Yet I’m happy to admit I regularly have a pile of books on the go which satisfy all my various interests – some I delve into on a Tuesday, when business is high on the agenda and I am searching for big ideas. Others, often relating to walking or gardening, are the perfect anecdote when I need to slow down my thoughts.
I find joy in reading, and this has pushed me to challenge myself to pick up the book I have (knowingly or not) put to the bottom of the pile because I know it will be smarter than me. Maybe it will inspire you too. In which case, my job here is done.
Whilst we’re talking about reading, why not take this simple but revealing test from Macmillan Readers – it will tell you your reading level (top tip I learnt from senior school exams… read. the. question.)
Every Wednesday I book out an hour to hold a FREE agency leaders surgery. If you have something on your mind, a challenge you’re wrestling with or just want an alternative point of view, I’d be very happy to lend an ear and maybe help you start to unpick the issues. You can help yourself to my calendar, here. Speaking to a diverse group of agency leaders helps me stay current and contextualise the issues I’m seeing with my clients. So please see this conversation as a genuine collaboration where we both hope to learn something new.