1. Want to save money? Purchase used books…or look them up!
I’m always on the lookout to save money. Period. I don’t think there is anything wrong with spending a little bit more money on something nice for yourself. It feels good to have nice things. But sometimes, you can get the same thing that will do the same job, and save a few dollars. And books are definitely one of those things. Often, you can find really good books at thrift stores and yard sales for really inexpensive. I’m talking $1…or less. If you have a particular book in mind you’re looking to read, Amazon gives you the option of buying used books if you’re willing to pay a few dollars for shipping and maybe wait a few weeks. The used book feature also comes in handy, if you want to order several copies of the same book to give as gifts, or use for a book club. One cool trick, I’m just getting hip to is finding downloadable books online. If you do a little digging, you can sometimes find popular books as PDF files on the internet.
One book on the list of titles I’m reading this year, How To Win Friends and Influence People can be found here: http://images.kw.com/docs/2/1/2/212345/1285134779158_htwfaip.pdf
2. Follow your spirit (when reading and buying).
Unless you’re an editor, book agent, or professional book reviewer, you’re probably not getting paid to read. And while books are filled with magical stories and lessons that can touch your life forever, it can feel weird to get into the flow of reading, and by that I mean, picking up a book and getting pulled into the world of words. It’s actually rather challenging if you have no motivation or inkling of what you’ll get out of it. Every meaningful book I’ve read is one that has found its way into my hands! I’m saying that to say, feel the energy of a book, follow that energy and flourish from the inside-out. Books, just like music come into your life at the exact time they’re supposed to, so don’t force it. Reading, when it’s right, is so intimate and special, a journey through space and time.
3. Carry along the “commitment” – just do what you can, where you are, with what you have.
I sometimes feel overwhelmed starting a new book because I get turned off by the idea that I might not finish it (I’m Type A and like to follow through with things). We’re all busy taking care of business and sometimes reading can feel like a luxury we just can’t find the time for. Or we'll have time for it this week, but not next week, or the week after. But, if you’re willing to make a little room in your bag for a good read, it will pay off. I find it easier to get through, and more importantly enjoy a book when I don’t feel pressured to look at it every day. What I’ve started doing is carrying around my current read in my bag with me throughout the day. Often just to pull it out for 10 minutes before heading into a meeting, or to keep me company over a solo lunch date. These moments are actually my favorite times to read. They’re just the thing I need during the busy day to escape into another world. Even if days go by and I don’t touch it, it’s comforting to glance at it in my bag knowing its there waiting for me when I’m ready to pick it up again. I might not finish the book in under a week, but I finish it much quicker than I would if I left it on the shelf.
4. If you're stuck, stick it out.
I’m guilty myself of getting pulled away from some books. I think I just walked away from them actually, but that’s not the point. Well yes is it. The point is that its completely normal to get distracted with life a third-way through a book, and find a solid list of reasons not to pick it up for another 2 months. Sometimes our spirits get called in a different direction. Just make it come full circle. Bring it back around. If you decide you don’t want anything else to do with a book, put it down and walk away without a care. But, if you’re always eyeing it on your dresser, or can’t get the images you’ve created for it out of your head, you should probably listen to your inner voice and find your way back to it. Sometimes, the mission to finish it, alone, is all you need. Other times, you ‘ll need a little motivation, like the adapted movie releasing soon or a friend who’s just started it and wants you to catch up. Either way, if you can’t let it go completely-don’t! Just do like a bookmark and stick it out!
5. The best thing you can do with a book...
While reviewing and resourcing a book is a great way to gain from it, the best thing you can do with a book is to share it. I love when people I trust pass books over to me after they’ve read them; it’s rarely a disappointing read. Sharing books is a nice way to have meaningful conversation about a book with someone in your life. There’s also something really spiritual about holding a book you know was held by hands you’ve held, and seeing words that we’re seen by eyes you’ve looked at. Even if it’s not the same tangible book, just suggesting a great book to someone who follows through with the read is a great feeling. If you’ve gained from a book, give the gift of the messages inside of it.