Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Using Books For Inspiration

Anyone who's read this blog for any period of time knows that I'm a voracious reader. I believe one of the best values in North America is the library card. I read a statistic that only 3% of the population has a library card. It seems to me it's likely those 3% are some of the more successful, since it not only helps with the quest for knowledge but it also helps with the law of savings.

It would be interesting to commission a study to see where library users stand relative to the rest of the population on success and economic scales. Would be tough to grade but also where they stand on just "being interesting" scales as well.

Of course it's also possible among the more successful might be some of the people who buy some of the books so library correlations might not apply.

I have long used books for inspiration using the following simple exercise:

1. I write down what it is that I'm trying to do or what I want to accomplish.

2. I start to read and choose an appropriate book close to the topic I wish to study or gain inspiration on. Seems obvious but starting is half the battle.

3.I highlight or make notes either in the book or on a separate journal.

The simple act of knowing what I'm looking for when I'm reading a book often inspires me to find the answer.

A simple example of this is I was preparing to do a seminar on Goal Setting and in order to do that seminar since it was longer than my usual, I needed to come up with more material. So I started to read more books about success and success habits and sure enough the presentations flowed.


At 4:11 PM, Anonymous davidburkus said...

Great post. I agree that a Library card is the best investment ever. Free but provides endless value in the form of knowledge. I made a habit when I teach business students to only bring books I grabbed from the library. That way, they see just how much it has to offer them.

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous chicago furniture said...

I've been trying to figure out the value of a Kindle vs. the ever increasing library I've been assembling. It seems I go back to wanting actual books possibly because I don't know how the kindle works. Being in the YPO and having to travel a lot I end up opting for paperbacks.

I know what you mean though, basically I pick a subject, get a book, follow all of the "read these" suggestions and end up getting a library. I also notice that the people that read tended to be the successful ones while people that don't tend to stay flat in their aspirations.

At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that your 3% number is a bit low. A study that I read shows that one out of every six people in the world is a registered library user. (Source: ) Other studies show that about two-thirds of Americans and Canadians have a library card.
You might be interested in a study of Fortune 500 companies, which found that “corporations that were ranked higher on the Fortune 500 list were significantly more likely than those ranked lower to have a corporate library.”
(Source: ) Although you were referring to individuals, this study reinforces your point that organizations that value knowledge and information, and have a library, are more successful. Cheryl


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