Are you reading just for fun?

I like to read.


Typically, if I’m not at work or not on here doing something for A Better Way of Business I’m reading.

I tend to stick to two genres, fantasy / science fiction and business books. Feel free to ask me about the fantasy books I like, but they’re not the point of this post.

I actually thought of this topic several days ago, but since it doesn’t exactly fit the direction I want to take A Better Way of Business right now I decided to wait to talk about it until today in the Friday Free Form.

I saw a discussion the other day in a forum where someone listed all the books he had read so far in 2011 (it’s the end of August as I type this). There were more than 50 books on the list! Most of the responders were amazed at the volume of books being consumed. Lots of questions were posted such as: “Which is the best?” “Which book do you recommend for topic xxx?” and “Could you recommend 1 or 2 for me since I don’t have as much time as you?”

My first thought was, “Holy crap! Is this guy gaining any useful knowledge from these books or just reading for fun???”

And I think this is a perfectly legitimate question. Especially since I used to do the exact same thing. In the past I was more concerned with the number of books I read then I was with what I had actually learned from the books. I would get excited because I had read four books in a month, but when it was all said and done I hadn’t really learned anything.

Sure, I could carry on a conversation about the books I’d read. At least for a month or two after I read them. But that was about it. I couldn’t point to any tangible action I had taken BECAUSE of the books I had read.

It’s not been until the last three months that I’ve decided the number of books I read is not really that important. NOW, what’s important is what I am APPLYING in my life from the books.

I’ve come to realize, if I pick a book up and it doesn’t VERY QUICKLY strike me as having anything I’m going to be applying in my life in the immediate future I put it down for another day.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m looking to take ACTION in my present state. I want to pick up a book and know that I’ll be able to apply what I’m learning today, if not today, by the end of the week.

So I’d like to share with you three books that I’ve recently read and that I’ve found are packed full of actionable items that I can apply IMMEDIATELY in my life (none of the links are affiliate links, they just take you to these AWESOME books!):

Become a Coach: Discover what it Takes to Turn Your Passions into Profits by Justin Lukasavige

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story by Donald Miller

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

25 answers to questions that if you apply you WILL be successful at coaching!

YOU are responsible for writing the story of your life!

The BEST book in people skills I’ve ever come across!

About Ivan Bickett

I want to help people see that there is a better way to conduct business and life. If I can help, let me know.
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8 Responses to Are you reading just for fun?

  1. I agree, Ivan. There’s nothing wrong with reading for pleasure, and ironically enough, I actually find pleasure in non-fiction, but I do it to learn.

    I had to slow down last year after I set a goal to read one book per week. I wasn’t getting anything out of the books and I realized it was a stupid goal.

    I’m glad you enjoyed Become a Coach!

  2. Ivan Bickett says:

    Ha! I was thinking about your book a week challenge the other day. I heard you talk about it while going through your archives over at And I also heard how you transitioned the goal as the year went on. It was less about volume by the end and more about quality and what you were getting.

    And Become a Coach was cram packed with great information. I’m actually about to go through it a second time. I read through it really quick the first time (still turned half of it yellow with a highlighter), but this time I’m going to go a little slower and DIGEST it. Rip out those gems I can implement NOW and see how I can’t improve A Better Way of Business with what you’re sharing.

  3. Craig Graves says:

    Glad to know there are people who have the same experiences as myself. I love to read but a lot of the books I’ve read in the past I couldn’t tell you anything about today. In the last six months or so I’ve tried to read non-fiction (I do like fiction however) books that are going to get me the places I want to go. I keep those books in my office and refer back to them occasionally. Sometimes when I pickup something I’m reading I’ll review the chapters/pages I read the day before.

    Thanks for the post Ivan! Good stuff!


    • Ivan Bickett says:

      There’s TONS of us out there!

      Glad to see you’re intentionally reading books now. I’m getting to the point if I don’t see how I’m going to be able to apply something from a book (now this is for non-fiction books) I’ll put it down. B/c there are SO MANY quality books that I could action take ACTION because of out there.

  4. Dan Walsh says:

    As an accountant and ‘numbers’ guy, you would enjoy and appreciate Freakanomics by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt. Levitt is an economist from the University of Chicago who has taken an alternate way to how things were done in society and why. Very refreshing and unique way to look at things. Its one of those books that sticks with you. That’s a good thing. I find that I tend to read more web content and when I do read a book, it’s usually for pleasure. – Dan

    • Ivan Bickett says:

      DAN! Thanks for stopping by man!

      I’ve seen that book NUMEROUS TIMES in the book store. Never picked it up though. I’m going to go ahead and put it on my wish list over at Amazon now based off your recommendation.

      And it’s a new thing for me, but I’m consuming more and more web content, too. I still love having a book in my hand, but I’ve discovered I can get a LOT of great content for free if I’m just willing to look for it.

  5. Alana Mokma says:

    oooh. Good books! Well, I haven’t read any of them, but have been told to read Don Miller’s book as well as Dale Carnegie’s. Right now I am reading, “No More Mondays” by Dan Miller. It is rad.

    • Ivan Bickett says:

      You made me crack up! “Good books! Well, I haven’t read any of them…” That is AWESOME! I like you. You’re fun.

      How is No More Mondays? I’ve been thinking about picking it up but haven’t done so yet. Is it different than 48 Days? I’d love to know your thoughts.


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