For most of you, school is officially in session for the fall semester. Whether you’re a student or a parent of a student, I thought it would be good to cover something that is close to my heart to get you started down the road to a successful year. It all starts with a book…or two.
I’d like to say a special thank you to the teachers who taught and challenged me to read. The unmistakable smells of books bring back so many memories from my childhood. I’m glad I’ve had the chance to read the classics, but after looking at the “required summer reading list” at Barnes & Noble, I realize that I need to read more. Not only do I need to read more business books, but books from classic authors like Kurt Vonnegut, etc. After all, knowledge is power, right?
Some of my favorites over the years (ranging from elementary to present-day) include:
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- Elephant & Piggie: There is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems
- Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
- Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
- Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer / Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- Call of the Wild / White Fang by Jack London
- The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo Willems
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
There are so many more, but this post would be very long if I listed them all. What can I say? I loved (and still do) to read. My imagination runs wild, bringing the text to life. In my opinion, the book is better than the movie 99.9% of the time. I’ve never read Cliff’s Notes for anything. It takes the fun out of reading. Yes, there are a lot of books out there today. I didn’t mention it above, but I also love Dave Barry’s books, bringing an unprecedented amount of humor (some will say it has rubbed off on my personality) to life. Pick up a book at your closest store or library, download it, or listen to it as an audiobook or podcast. I can be a 50-100 page quick read, or it could be War & Peace (which, in my day was a BIG book – now it pales in comparison to Harry Potter and Twilight). Just read.
My advice? Read for two reasons:
Pleasure. Escape to another place. With all the craziness in this world, we need an escape from reality. Cozy up with a nice cup of tea, a quiet place and read to your heart’s content. Let the text take you into their world for a bit. I’ve found that this is sometimes just what I need to refocus on other things. Take a break. Enjoy a book.
Business. Read for personal and professional development. There are many books out there focusing on leadership, management, and every trade/skill you can imagine. Find a book that will help you develop as an individual. Don’t just read the text – take what you’re reading and apply it to the real world. This might make for a longer reading time period, but you’ll be glad you did. Check out the Book List tab above for some of my recommendations.
So, the next time someone asks, “Read any good books lately,” you can answer them with an emphatic “YES, I have!” What books are on your list of favorites? Please leave a comment below!