“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 :

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. During another customer interaction, he offered me a book, and it was a nice gesture and exhilarating.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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:

  1. The Bhagavad Gita translated with commentary by Eknath Easwaran (3 Volumes)
  2. How we feel by Giovanni Frazzetto
  3. Grit by Angela Duckworth
  4. Mindset by Carol Dweck
  5. Relentless by Tim Grover
  6. Atomic Habits by James Clear
  7. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
  8. 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…

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