“I have this book, I have not read this book. How is it?”
“You still carry books around, I know you from the old days, You and your philosophy!”
“It is good that you are carrying a book, what is that book you are reading?”
Three different people commented as soon as they saw me with the book. That made me check what has changed over a period of time with books and when people see me these days with books. I took some time last week to go down a rabbit hole of what made me move toward carrying a book when I go out for meetings, travel, and my newfound activity of walking inside the house reading from my Kindle.
I am getting a sense of these things that are happening :
- Books and authors help us to connect with strangers. I was having breakfast and noticed a person with a book. That was just the trigger. We exchanged our identities and had a quick chit-chat. The book was titled, ” It Ends with Us” by Colleen Hoover.
- Another thing I have practiced during my customer meetings was to observe their cupboard and table and check the books. In fact, in one customer meeting, I saw a stack of books that was a fascinating mix. He had a book stacked with AI at the top, in between Meditation books, and at the bottom was Einstein’s book.
- During another customer interaction, he offered me a book, and it was a nice gesture and exhilarating.
- I also keep a check on the books some of our fellow travellers carry and put them in my notes for future reference. In this way I have built a good source of books to dive into as well. Recently I was observing a fellow passenger who to me was behaving crazily. I couldn’t get that passenger’s behaviour out of my mind. While I was in the aisle, as we were departing, I saw a lady with the book “Everyone has a Story” by Savi Sharma.
- Books have helped in transitional moments, be it waiting for a customer, while traveling in a flight or car and these days even for a walk with my headphones on.
- I have also have some great mentors who maintain good reading lists which they devour and that has becomes a ultimate source of my foundational books
Last time when I was in my hometown, my childhood friend asked me, ” What do you do”? Instead of giving a standard answer, I said, ” I am in the moving business, my business is to have moving conversations with customers”. I am always looking for some magic recipes.
What am I reading these days and that too till now in 2023?
It has been a very fascinating experience these days with “The Almanack of Naval Ravikant.” You can pick up any page and start reading as it has his wisdom and insights. I have covered about Naval in my earlier blog titled ” Level up with Naval“. I was fascinated by his perspectives on writing. He said, “Reading a book isn’t a race – the better the book, the more slowly it should be absorbed“. Another book that I have stopped in between but would have read halfway through this year was ” Ikigai Journey” a sequel to Ikigai (The Japanese Secret (The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life) by Hector Gracia and Frances Miralles). I have started reading ” Unfiltered” and around 25% of ” 8 Rules of Love by Jay Shetty. In order to impress one of my customer senior executives I carry ” Psychology of Money” as he had recommended that book to me once. My Kindle read has been on ” Think again ” which is giving me a lot of attention on things for me to think again. I like an Adam Grant video. That made me read the book with much alacrity.
So when somebody was asking me “why do you carry two bags?” I have my favourite response- one for Business and the other for books. In fact, I try to keep a smaller bag with my reading and writing materials so that I don’t have to stove it up and I can accommodate this small bag under the seat. I have also got comments from people, ” Are you a writer”, and ” How is that book”?
Non-fiction books appeal to me, I don’t read fiction. Recently when we took a stock of our books at home, I noticed that Leadership and Personal development topped the list. There was a question someone asked me some time back:
” What makes you fully alive ?
” Reading my favourite book, sipping my favourite black coffee in my favourite cool outfit also in my favourite coffee shop. That is how I get hyped up with myself,” I replied.
Last week I had just concluded an exercise to map my value system and interestingly I mapped some of my values with books. Here are my 8 favourites at the moment which gives me a high these days. Ask me sometime later if the below is my favourite list, then I might reply differently. As someone said, ” It changes all the time“. I am making an attempt to learn and apply some of the insights from the book list below. Even though I have not completely read all the books on my list, I would like to finish those that resonate with my value systems.
My current favourite list:
- The Bhagavad Gita translated with commentary by Eknath Easwaran (3 Volumes)
- How we feel by Giovanni Frazzetto
- Grit by Angela Duckworth
- Mindset by Carol Dweck
- Relentless by Tim Grover
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
- Think Again by Adam Grant
A long time back, I remember my friend asking me after seeing my bookshelves, ” Have you read all the books”? I later realised that I should have told him this important maxim…