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My Reading Habits: Past & Present

Since 2008, I have digitally kept track of the number of books I’ve read annually (with the exception of 2012 and 2013 — not sure what happened those two years). From a quick glance of my “completed books” lists from the past decade, I can deduce the following about my reading habits:

  • I still enjoy reading a mix of nonfiction and fiction, and tend to find myself ‘stuck’ reading a couple nonfiction books at the same time (this is my current predicament).
  • I’m still interested in reading about business (marketing), productivity, and health/nutrition when it comes to nonfiction.
  • In my fiction reading, I have dabbled in YA/fantasy reading in more recent years (last year I finally got around to reading the Harry Potter series, and subsequently watched all the movies).
  • I am not sure why in certain years I read over 20 books, while in other years I would barely eke by with 10 books: lack of inspiration? Lack of time? Hard to say.

From Reading to Listening

In 2019, I completed 19 books, with the majority of them being audiobooks that I checked out from Denver Public Library. I have found that my ‘reading’ habit has changed over to favoring audiobooks in the past couple of years due to the multitasking nature of the format: I can listen to an audiobook and still stare out the window of a bus or focus on a knit/crochet project at the same time.

Digital Reading

I have been trying to use my Kindle more: I received it as a gift in 2010 and it is still full of many books I haven’t read yet. I signed up for a limited-time offer to check out Kindle Unlimited through mid-March, and am so far not impressed with the service (it really isn’t unlimited, so the name is a misnomer). At least I am able to check out the latest issue of Writers Digest through the service, though.

Sparse Bookshelves

My bookshelves at home used to be overflowing with many books I hadn’t had the chance to read (yet). Last summer, in the midst of my job search, I purged most of those books since they had gathered dust/taken up space and had also moved with me through several different apartment moves.

The books that still remain on my shelves are half books I still want to read, and other books that I have read already and enjoyed.

After moving so many times since 2007, I am intentionally cutting down on my purchases (especially with books), since I have experienced one too many times how heavy moving boxes of books can be.

My 2020 reading goals are simple:

  • Read all fiction on my physical bookshelves.
  • Check out a few more books/magazines on Kindle Unlimited, and then cancel my membership.
  • Read at least five books already pre-loaded on my Kindle.
  • Select a few nonfiction books from my bookshelves and read them. I’m not putting an exact number on this goal, since I tend to get bogged down with too many nonfiction books all at once.
  • Limit audiobooks (checked out from the library) to one per month so that I can focus on my current collection at home/digitally.

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#amreading Review Time

Love Your Life, Not Theirs: Rachel Cruze’s Refreshing Point of View Does Not Disappoint!

Every dollar you spend is a reflection of your values. – Rachel Cruze

Love Your Life, Not Theirs, is now available online and through national bookstores. Image credit to Rachel Cruze.
Love Your Life, Not Theirs, is now available online and through national bookstores. Image credit to Rachel Cruze.

Last year, I had written about how Ryan and I enrolled in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Since graduating from the course, at least one of us (ahem, *me* hehe) has kept up with a monthly budget via EveryDollar. I am seriously about budgeting now, according to my family.

When I had heard about Rachel Cruze, Dave Ramsey’s daughter, releasing a book called Love Your Life, Not Theirs:7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want, I knew I had to pick it up. Fortunately, I was selected as one of her early reviewers, so I received a copy of her book to consume these past couple of weeks.

My verdict: a wonderful refresher from Financial Peace University; Rachel’s energy is so magnetizing, just like her father. Her writing is down-to-earth and very relatable: I especially like that the first habit listed in the book is about quitting the comparisons.

One of the most frustrating parts of social media is that it’s not always real life. – Rachel Cruze

I could definitely relate when she talked about the #blessed photos, status updates, etc. on social media. Haven’t we all been in that place, comparing ourselves to others? I read a lot of personal development books and articles, and even though the idea of quitting comparisons keeps getting hammered into my head through these other sources, Rachel’s insight into the comparison trap, *especially* when it comes to money, really hit the nail on the head.

Since I did take Financial Peace University (FPU) previously, the six remaining habits were more refreshers for me than any new material learned. But, I’d say that Rachel’s book is good for any person or couple who is looking to get their finances in order. Whether you go through FPU or simply read Love Your Life, Not Theirs, you will glean a lot of useful information on how to take charge of your finances, once and for all.

If you read Love Your Life, Not Theirs, let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts about the book.

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#amreading

My Love For Reading, But…

I love big books and I cannot lie. Image courtesy of renjith krishnan from freedigitalphotos.net
I love big books and I cannot lie. Image courtesy of renjith krishnan from freedigitalphotos.net

I’m a bibliophile: I can’t help but stop and stare at book displays whether they’re at bookstores or libraries; can’t help but pick up many books at said locations and read the blurbs, adding them to my “must-read” list. That list just grows longer and longer. Ever since 2007 when I started tracking books I want to read via lists (first on MS Word, then on Goodreads, now on Amazon wish list…ha), that list just keeps multiplying, never decreasing.

Still, despite all this love for books, I haven’t been the most diligent reader the past several years. I kept track of how many books I read each year up until about 2011/2012; I then stopped keeping track of my books 2012 and 2013. Last year, I decided to pick this habit back up and I logged a measly 16 books read (compared to my average of 25 books per year in 2008-2009).

Now it is March of 2015, and so far I have logged zero books read. I find that as technology has evolved, that has taken my time away from just sitting and leisurely reading a book. In my early 20s, it used to take me only a few days to read and finish a book; nowadays, it takes me perhaps a month, if not longer. I go through spurts of reading binges, flying through books if the subject matter is highly interesting and then plodding along in books that, although may be interesting, are not as easy to fly through.

Well, right now I am in the midst of one book, so hopefully by the end of March I will have read at least one book for the year. That’s a start, I suppose.

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#amreading community Denver Life Entrepreneurial Journey

An Entrepreneur Lending Library

My bookshelves; so many books!!
My bookshelves; so many books!!

I have a lot of books, as you can see from the picture above. Those are all the books I’ve had sent out to me from Virginia/bought/accumulated. Don’t even ask me how many books I have left in Virginia; our family’s collection at home is pretty much a library on its own.

Anyway, what I’ve noticed over the years is how many books are getting published, especially with the option of self-publishing/e-publishing these days. I find myself inundated with book recommendations and not exactly enough money to go out and purchase all the books. This is especially the situation with entrepreneurial/leadership books.

I know I have a good bit of entrepreneurship/leadership/business books. I wonder if anyone would be interested in having a lending library amongst us entrepreneurs? Would be fun to keep us lean and share knowledge easily.

What say you?

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#amreading Review Time

Book Review: Craig Lancaster does it again with “Quantum Physics”

Get your copy of "Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure"!

I have not been shy about how much I love Craig Lancaster’s writing. His two novels, 600 Hours of Edward and The Summer Son, simply blew me away. And now, Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure, Craig’s first collection of short stories, goes right up there with his novels.

At first I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy the short stories, since the first one, “Somebody Has to Lose”, moved along slowly. Once I got past a certain point in that story, though, everything began to fly.

The stories in Quantum Physics are all about very human lives set mostly in Montana. I feel the book proved to the outside world how people in Montana are pretty much the same as anyone else. We all experience the same problems in life, no matter where we may live in this country, in this world.

I really enjoyed how unfiltered Craig was in his writing: if you want to read a flowery, family-friendly book,  look elsewhere. Every story includes an element we all wouldn’t openly admit in public : affairs, experimentation, sexual abuse, etc. These are touchy topics, but it is refreshing to have these written about in such a matter-of-fact way.

My favorite stories out of the collection: “This is Butte. You Have Ten Minutes.”, “Cruelty to Animals”, and “The Paper Weight”. All ten are wonderful to read though. Don’t miss it!

Check out Craig’s author page on Amazon for information about his books: Craig Lancaster