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books are cool

books are cool

Photo by Peter Amend

Growing up, I had no interest in reading. I remember my mom would beg me to read these “books” that she photocopied and stapled together. These “books” weren’t Spot books, but literally small squares of paper that had a maximum of three words per page. Years later my older sister told me that our mom was genuinely concerned that I couldn’t read, and that maybe had a mental development problem.

Fast forward to 2018, where luckily my mom discovered that I could read, but I’ll admit that at this point in time I didn’t read much for fun. Most of the literature I was reading consisted of Google Analytics Help Center articles, Google Analytics Product Requirement Documents (PRDs), Google Analytics Communication documents, and emails. So to give myself credit, I would read a lot - just not books.

Last year my colleague told me about his new years resolution to read a book a month, and I decided to piggyback this resolution. However, by May 2018 I was very behind. I was still reading my first book.

One night I watched “The Breadwinner” (movie trailer) which is a movie about a little girl growing up in Afghanistan, living under the control of the Taliban. From what I remember, the dad ends up getting thrown in jail because he believed in educating his daughters even though the Taliban forbade it. As a result, the mother and two daughters are put in a sticky situation because women could only leave the house accompanied by a male family member, and couldn’t go out and buy food on their own.

After the movie, I realized how lucky I was to be born in a society where I could go to school, and had parents who believed in and fully supported my sister’s and my education. And then I thought about how much time I spent just surfing the internet (often shopping/browsing), and scrolling through social media. And I spent so much time watching B rated TV shows, and even more time browsing online to find something to watch.

It was fantastic and terrible realization all at the same time.

From that point on I tried to read during the time I’d usually find myself watching TV, and it was amazing how many books you can read. I thought that I didn’t have enough time to read, but really the issue was that I wasn’t prioritizing the time to read.

January: -

February: -

March: -

April: -

May: **Daring Greatly (Brené Brown)

June: **The Tipping Point (Malcom Gladwell)

July: **Calypso (David Sedaris), Option B (Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant)

August: Ready Player One (Ernest Cline), The Gifts of Imperfection (Brené Brown), **Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It (Gary Taubes)

September: Rising Strong (Brené Brown), **Hillbilly Elegy (J. D. Vance)

October: **Linchpin (Seth Godin)

November: We Are All Weird: The Rise of Tribes and the End of Normal (Seth Godin), **Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World (Adam Grant)

December: All You Can Ever Know (Nicole Chung), **The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales (Oliver Sacks)

I’m also happy to say that I borrowed all but two of these books from my local public library, and one of the books I purchased was used.

What I didn’t expect was that when I started reading, I gained access to what seemed like this secret underground book club. Turns out other friends were also trying to read more (or were already big readers), and now I find myself connecting with friends in a way I hadn’t before. Connecting about books, either through sharing and asking for book recommendations, and even trading books.

For most of my life I thought being “cool” was being able to talk about all the hit movies and tv shows. Now in my 30s, I’m happy to discover that books are cool.

trying to sail through life

trying to sail through life

31 is just as fun as 30

31 is just as fun as 30