Surround Yourself with Books (The Payoff Is Substantial)

Fri, Mar 22, 2024

I love to read; it’s truly my favorite pastime. 

Whenever I get any amount of time to myself, I bring a stack of books to a coffee shop and (weather permitting) sit outside on the patio and lose myself reading. 

Here’s one of the best habits I’ve cultivated when it comes to reading.

Any time someone I respect or am interested in mentions a book, I jump online and get it. 

It could be a speaker on stage, a video I’m watching, or an in-person conversation. If a book is mentioned in anything resembling a positive light, I take a moment to find it online and buy it. 

This isn’t as expensive of a habit as you might think. 

Most popular books have used copies circulating for less than $5 (with free shipping). 

Make sure to pay attention to the secondary sellers on Amazon as well as other sites altogether, especially eBay and ThriftBooks.  

I prefer used books to new books; I like the way they’re already broken in. 

It feels like there’s an energy to them. I even like it when someone has marked up or highlighted the book, it feels like I’m reading alongside an unknown friend and getting to peer inside their mind a little. 

I’ll get a half dozen books delivered a week. I just let them stack up on my desk until I have the time to sit down and thumb through them. 

If a book captures my attention right away, I’ll read it right away. If it doesn’t, I’ll put it on the shelf and just let it sit there, waiting to find me.

That’s my favorite part. My house is covered in books. 

They’re in every room, stacked in places you wouldn’t expect to see books. We’re literally surrounded by books all of the time. I love wandering into a room and being grabbed by a title that inexplicably catches my interest.

That’s what I mean by waiting for books to find me. 

Sometimes, you’re not ready for the book, for whatever reason. That’s okay. You may be someday. 

Just having all these books around puts me in a position of stumbling upon books that I might otherwise never have read; it turns out I’m not the only one. 

My wife sent me this picture a few days ago. She had left my son in the living room to build a couch fort. When she came back, he was reading The Art of Impossible

She asked him why, and he said, “It just sounded interesting.” 

He’s eight. The entire rest of the day he was talking all about the steps to accomplishing impossible tasks. It was amazing to witness. Who would’ve thought it would be that particular book that would capture his attention? 

That’s the beauty of being surrounded by books.

I realize I’m something of a fanatic, that’s okay. I willingly accept the title and embrace all that it means. 

Regardless, it’s a fun exercise if you’re at all interested to simply start buying books as the universe brings them into the conversations of your life. The payoff is substantial. 

And now, it’s your turn to cost me some money. 

What books do I absolutely have to buy? Fiction or nonfiction. Go!