As of 12/30/2013 I can now call myself a graduate, 3 years ahead of schedule.
The power of books are the ideas they give you. The path they take you down and the journey that unfolds as one book leads to another and another. I remember checking out a Zig Ziglar CD from the Broward Library and listening to it in the car in 2005 when I had a 62 mile daily commute.
Zig challenged me with the idea of “Automobile University.” Turn your car into a place of learning by having a audio CD load and playing anytime you are driving. That one idea, changed my life because he then laid down a challenge. Less than 1% percent of Americans read 500 books in their lifetime after earning a college degree.
Zig Ziglar and the concept of “Automobile University”
In 2006 I decided to make a goal and accept the challenge of reading 500 books in 10 years, 50 books a year, or about 1 per week. With just my daily commute that was 260 days or 260 CD’s I could listen too. The average book is 5 CD’s so there was my 50 right there. That did not include driving to and from sales appointments and other driving.
What kind of reader are you?
Here are some scary facts about reading in the US:
- Less than 15% of American's read books on any regular basis, here are some additional surprising statistics.
- 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
- 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
- 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
- 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
- 57 percent of new books are not read to completion, over half of those are not read past page 18.
(Source: Jerold Jenkins, www.JenkinsGroupInc.com)
I laugh when Zig mentions “tapes” in his discussion. I started with CD’s, but during this journey, I purchased my first ipod and started ripping the CDs to Itunes so that I could listen anywhere. I added a 1/8th inch jack so I could listen in my car. I started working out and found that listening to books took my mind to wonderful new places while my body was making boring repetitive motions on the treadmill.
After that initial inspiration there were books that were not available in audio so I started checking out regular books too. Just leaving a book by the bed before going to sleep and another in the bathroom helped me reach a few more steps closer to my goal.
Then Amazon released “Ebooks” and the Kindle. My mother purchased the first version of the Kindle and loved it, until she moved to Montana, the one state without out Spring wifi. So I inherited it and started reading more. Then Kindle moved to the phones as the screens improved and I started reading on my blackberry and now my Samsung S3.
I can now check out an electronic audio or edbook from the library on my phone and start reading it or listening to it as soon as it downloads. That is a huge leap forward from when I started ordering books on the library website, waiting for them to arrive and the library, driving to pick them up and then ripping and loading them on my ipod or phone.
So what is your excuse?
I also listen to book while doing housework, laundry, cooking or yard work. All it takes is the goal to do it, a simple spreadsheet to track it and a hunger to fill yourself with new ideas.
Here is a link to my book spreadsheet (requires a gmail account)