Hopefully you've set a specific goal for reading in 2016, but what exactly will you read? Have you picked your book catagories and put together a reading list? Many of us are stumped when it comes to deciding what to read. We know we want to increase our level of reading but we have trouble deciding exactly what books we need to read.
That's why I want to devote some time to helping you develop a map for your 2016 reading journey by sharing with you the process I used for picking which books to read in 2016.
Pick Some Categories
My first step was to select a few categories to read in. This helps narrow my focus from everything in the world, to just 5 specific categories of reading. No matter how much I would enjoy it, I can't read every book and therefore have to distingquish what I will read and how I will read it. Narrowing my reading to 5 major categories helps me focus my time and energies in the right directions. My five categories for 2016 are leadership / personal growth, network marketing, spiritual growth, biographies and fiction.
Ask Yourself Questions
One of the best things you could do is spend some time creating a system for selecting books. Personally, I use a series of questions to help me block out the hype and noise and determine what books are truly worth my time.
1. What do I want to learn in the next year?
I have an appietite for learning. I am obsessed with it and so each year begins with a hunger to grow, learn more and become more. Asking myself what I want to learn in the next year helps me create a list of books that helps me develop my mind.
Among the things I desire to learn in the next year are how to ask good questions, develop better relationships, write well and learn more effectively.
2. What have others suggested?
Someone is always reccomending a book we should read. Whether it is a friend over coffee, or a podcast we listen to, we have no shortage of recommended reads. And we would be silly not to take the sincere reccomendations of others into account when we are putting together our reading lists.
I personally keep a log of book reccomendations throughout the year. If I hear it come up in a conversation or I hear it on a podcast I write it down. If the same book is mentioned by multiple sources or the title deeply resonates with me I put a star next to it. This way I always have a pipeline of books to choose from.
3. What classics do I need to read?
There are certain books everyone simply must read, but sadly haven't gotten around to. To my own shame, my list of classics that I haven't read is just about as long as that of recommended reads.
4. What do you need to read?
Depending on my annual goals there may be specific books I need to read. These books may be industry specific or pertain to various projects.
5. Who do you want to be and what books will get you there?
For every book that finds it's way into my hands there is a specific purpose in mind. Some may be for developing habits, learning new information or reaching goals but no matter the immediate goal each book has an overarching goal, to shape who I am. Character development is the primary goal of my reading. Each book plays a part in helping me become the man I am supposed to be.