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Talk to someone who is living the life you’d like to live and odds are they are an avid reader. At any given time, I’m reading several books, all of which have little sticky notes or digital annotations in my e-reader in sections I want to refer back to.
Reading is important for several reasons; it offers new ideas, inspires action, and teaches new ways of doing things. When you consider the benefits, as well as how easy and affordable reading can be, it would be silly not to include reading into your daily schedule.
How Much and When to Read:
In a busy schedule, reading often is one of the activities that gets put on the back burner. But you don’t have to read an entire book or even chapter a day. Most success experts prescribe 15 minutes of reading every day. You can read before you get out of bed or before you go to sleep. You can read while waiting for the bus or at the doctors office. Add a reader app such as Kindle or Nook to your smartphone or tablet so you have something to read everywhere your go. Another option are audiobooks that you can listen to during your commute or exercise.
Books aren’t the only items you can read. Magazines and blogs also offer great information and tips to make your life easier, richer and more successful.
What to Read:
I suggest reading a variety of books that can compliment and work off each other. For example, if you want to improve your finances, resources on budgeting and investing are helpful, but you might also want to include success books to deal with the mental blocks and bad habits that might be impacting your ability to budget. For working at home, I recommend books and magazines that cover everything from how-to start a business, find a job, write a resume, marketing, success, motivation and improving interpersonal skills.
How to Read:
While the act of reading is important, you should read with the intention of having it change you in some way, whether it’s learning how to write a resume or set up a Facebook fan page. I like to have little sticky tags to mark pages that have content I want to refer back to. Or if you’re reading on an e-reader, use the highlight and note features to mark ideas you want to save. When reading online, use a digital notebook like Evernote to save text and/or URLs of websites you want to be able to read again.
Budget Book Reading
I spend a fortune on books every year, but that’s not a requirement for reading. You can find books at your library. If the book you want isn’t at the library, ask your librarian if she will order it or get it through inter-library loan. Many libraries now offer the ability to rent ebooks through Overdrive. Amazon has a huge selection low-cost and used books. Or buy e-books, which are less expensive than print in most cases. Another option is to check out online book swaps.
My book recommendations
I buy books all the time. My most recent purchases include Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk, Recommend This!: Delivering Digital Experiences that People Want to Share by Jason Thibeault and Kirby Wadsworth, The Writer Magazine, ShopSmart Magazine and Success Magazine. While there are new books coming out all the time, there are some books I’ve recommended for years and often refer back to. Below are a few of my favorites.
Finding Your Perfect Work: The New Career Guide to Making a Living, Creating a Life – I think this one is available only as a used-book because it’s so old. But I still love it.
The Work-at-Home Success Bible: A Complete Guide for Women: Start Your Own Business; Balance Work and Home Life; Develop Telecommuting Strategies – Shameless self-promotion, I know, but I think it’s a good book!
Lifestyle Career Design – Other personal promo, but again, I think this one is important to helping you decide the best work-at-home option for you. It’s only $1.99 on Kindle (you don’t need a Kindle to read it. You can read it on your computer, tablet or smartphone with the Kindle app).
This list is by no means complete. I’ve got about 100 books on my shelf now that I refer to plus another 200 or so in storage. I’d love to hear about books you’ve read that have made a difference in your success!
The books listed above link to Amazon using an affiliate link.