Start reading.

Everyone has read a book or an article. When you are young you did because your teacher told you. But have you started reading a book since then?

I guess there are a lot of people who have not read a book since they left school. Maybe they did pick up a studybook when they started in their new job because they needed to follow another course. When they had the chance, they will never buy a book. Reading is boring, I’d rather watch television. That is a fair opinion, watching television can be interesting. But I don’t believe that you can find really interesting programs all day long :).

read-books

A couple of months ago I wrote about discovering my old love, reading books. I have read a lot of books when I was younger, mostly adventure books. But as with many people, you get busy and reading becomes like a difficult assignment. You need to make time for it and it seems to take ages to finish the book you’re reading. I think the power is to find the books you really like. For some it can be fantasy, others like to read biographies. I prefer books that tell the story about our lives and work. Books that encourage you to think about your own life and how you are living it. That doesn’t mean I don’t like fantasy books, it’s just a long time since I’ve last read one.

It’s not that I’m reading all day long. I’m still looking for a good balance. I noticed that it’s difficult for me to read in the evening. I’m tired when I get home and it’s easy to get distracted doing something else. That’s why I decided to get up early in the morning at 5:30 AM. I take a shower and start reading while I eat breakfast. Depending on the book that I’m reading, it happens I arrive later at work because my book is so interesting. ”The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing: A Spiritual Memoir” by Jeff Goins is such a book. This is really a quick read that you should definitely check out.

If reading a book takes too much time for your busy schedule, there are a lot of interesting blogs out there. A blogpost is easy to read and only takes a couple of minutes. In fact I call books slow information because it can take quite some time to read them. Blogs are much quicker to read and can also provide great lessons.

Summer is near, a lot of television programs are at the end of their season so now is the time to start reading. Ask your friends what they are reading and if you find a book that attracts you, just buy it. You wont’t regret!

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’Mijn leven. Sven Nys’, a book about cyclocrosser Sven Nys.

I know, the book ‘Mijn leven. Sven Nys.’ is in Dutch so a lot of you won’t be able to read it. Still, I think this book deserves a place on your bookshelf. Mijn leven. Sven Nys.Like I said in a previous blogpost, it made me read again.

Who knows Sven Nys? I think a lot of you do. But I suppose that a lot of people think that he’s just a cyclocrosser with a lot of talent. Well, that’s not completely true. Wait, don’t panic. He is a great cyclocrosser but only because he worked very hard and still does.

In the book you can read that he trained so hard that he sometimes forgot that there is more in life than cycling. After some disappointments in the big championships, he learned from his team that he needed to relax from time to time if he wanted to have a long carreer. That was more than 10 years ago…

Besides his passion another thing that jumps out in the book, is the importance of his team. Not only his teammates in the cross itself, but his family, his son, friends and so on. Without them, he would not be who he is now. They help him to become better. They help him when something goes wrong. Ofcourse he has the legs that need to perform but without the mind and support of his team, he would be lost.

That should be a lesson for everyone. Not only for those of you cycling are playing soccer. All of you need a team that you can count on. You need people that are there in difficult times.

Buy the book.

I’ve found back my old love.

Who? That’s the wrong question. What? Reading. I used to read a lot while I was younger. But when I went to highschool, I stopped reading. I don’t even know why.

I used to read different books every month, when I was younger. I rented the maximum amount of books at the library and at the end of the renting period I finished them all. That means 7 books in 6 weeks or so. I loved reading. I always went for quick adventures, stories that made me want to turn the page. Stories that made me go for that extra chapter. Before I knew, I could start the next book. But I’ve never read ’informational’ books or biographies. Maybe because I was too young or just because I did not like them.

I suppose that was the reason I stopped reading when I grew older and went to highschool. People expected us to read the news, read books about history and what we were studying. But why would I read those if they did not interest me? But that was not the main reason. I had a busy life playing soccer, going to school, assignments for school, breeding birds and so on. To be honest, it never occured to me that I was not reading anymore. I didn’t even think about it.

Until now. Since last year, I started reading blogposts and short articles. About life, productivity and other stuff. People were blogging about the books they were reading and how they learned a lot just by reading what others wrote down with so many passion. So I started reading the short ebooks provided by those bloggers. Mostly free but with great content. Then I started reading about the things I do at work. About datawarehousing and agile development because I wanted to learn more about what I was doing. But I noticed that this lecture is not the same as reading life experiences and little adventures. I needed to think while reading and store some things in my memory. Those books could not be read in the evening. At least, I couldn’t read them because my mind is tired in the evening after a day of work. So I started reading in the morning at 5:30 AM before I went to work at 7 AM. This works for me. I enjoyed doing so but still those ’learning’ books are not always as easy to read. I like books like ’Getting Things Done’ by David Allen because those books tell a story. They are written with practical knowledge and have that factor that make you go for that extra chapter.

Right now, I am reading ’Mijn Leven, Sven Nys’, a book about cyclocrosser Sven Nys and how he experiences his carreer. This is the book that made me find back my old love. Reading.

My advice? Ask people what books they are reading and when you think ’this is the one’, buy it and start reading. Not as good as you thought? Close it an go look for another one.