Must-Read Books (for yoga people)
My 100% biased recommendation list
I typically read about 70 books per year. Most books I read have just a few ideas, but a few books have a ton of ideas that I come back to again-and-again. Below are four books that are worth sinking your teeth into. Enjoy!
I’m a terrible reader. I’ve had so much trouble focusing on written words on a printed page that until my late 20’s, I struggled to read much of anything at all. Completing a book was a monumental chore for me, and as you can imagine, this impacted nearly every aspect of my life.
I love learning, but without reading, good luck learning anything.
For me, things really shifted with short-form, online media, digital books (Kindle) and the proliferation of audio books. I’m not a visual learner, so words on a page are not interesting to me. But audio? I can listen for hours, and I typically do. I average about 2 hours per day of audio learning, and most of that is audio books. For the past 8 years, I’ve read anywhere from 50 to 100 books a year, and usually around 70.
The best part is, I now love reading and have access to some of the best thinking in the world. I apologize if the discovery of books sounds a little sophomoric, but considering the statistics that most adults read just one book (in their life) after finishing their formal studies, I’m guessing I’m not alone in this problem.
Perhaps you can relate?
If you struggle with reading the way I did, here are a few tips that turned me from a reading hater into a total bookworm.
#1. Books are not sacred (except the ones that are). Books are just a delivery system for ideas, so no need to treat them like a collector’s item. With printed books, I scribble all over them, stuff them into my pocket, tear out pages, scan them – anything to make it easier and faster for me to absorb the info.
#2. Most books have 1-2 chapters that are amazing, and the rest is filler. Your average non-fiction book is around 60K words. Publishers demand this so authors fill those pages. With that in mind, if your gut tells you the author is just filling space, you’re probably right. Stop reading.
#3. You don’t have to finish any book, ever. Many of us have this idea that if we don’t finish the book, we have someone failed the author or ourselves. This is not true. If you read a chapter and get a great idea – but then lose interest – don’t give it a second thought. Drop the book and move on.
#4. Read as many books at a time as you like. I used to force myself to read one book at a time. Some books are just too dense or too intense to read one at a time. Go nuts, read 10 at a time. If one gets boring, drop it and try the other. Maybe you’ll come back to it, maybe you won’t. It’s all good.
#5. Try different formats. Printed paperback books are my least favorite. I love Kindle books for health and wellness, and I love hardcover books for yoga and fitness. Audio books are my default favorite for non-fiction, but they are impossible for me for fiction. Again, remember that books are just a delivery system for ideas. Try out different formats until you find the one that works for you.
#6. There are some really bad books out there, and some of them are incredibly popular. Again, books are not sacred (unless they are). Some are really bad. Like Hollywood movies, many of the blockbuster books are just rubbish. Most book buyers never even read the books they purchase, so it’s a game of telephone where books are recommend like crazy, but people mostly just read the front and back covers.
They say that writing in the “doing” part of thinking, and I believe that reading is the “digestion” of years (and even lifetimes) of experiences and studies. It’s an amazing time we live in where you can get just about anything for less than the cost of lunch on your phone in seconds.
With that reading rant out of the way, above you’ll find the 4 books that stand out as “must reads” from my list this year.