“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.”
Hello and welcome to BookJelly! This is Amitesh Jasrotia.
My obsession with reading started more than a decade ago. I was getting beaten the hell out of in my first sales job. I was learning the ropes the hard way when reading became my catharsis. It grew from there. In reading I found a sense of fulfilment and empowerment. However, all this while, I remained clueless if I could ever share my passion with others.
In the nutshell, it took me 25 years to hit upon my true passion – reading. And it took me several years more to do something about it.
Like they say passion counts for nothing unless acted upon in the right way. Luckily, I got the acting part right, but failed to fathom the ‘direction’ part. I started doing book reviews sometime around 2012 on a decrepit, half-baked website. My only visitors would be my friends and relatives. After some time, even they jumped the ship.
My non-techie skills and lack of SEO mumbo jumbo didn’t help matters. I was literally in a state of cyber oblivion all these years. Some 100 book reviews later, I decided to decamp and set myself a proper website. So, here I am in a sort of starting-over-my-web-identity mode.
Coming back to reading. The gamut of my reading is limited. Yes. I am mainly into business and management literature. Entrepreneurship, finance and behavioral economics are my favorite subjects and I dive into them from time to time. Though, of late, I have forayed into philosophy, sports, politics and science as well.
You would find three main sections on BookJelly:
- Book reviews – I suggest you explore the categories section to zero in on your favorite topics
- Pearls of Wisdom – You can read/save the key takeaways/quotes from the books I have read
- Blog posts – I mainly ponder over personal finance, money, sports and sales (a skill my day job has instilled in me).
Exposition of my reading habits
Reading is a cathartic exercise for me, a sort of brain callisthenics that drives my daily spirit. I invest close to 2 hours into reading everyday from Monday to Friday. On the weekends, I supercharge my batteries and clock 4-5 hours straight, reading and writing. Mostly writing.
1. Why read? I am a firm believer in benefits of Self-education. My belief emanates from the fact that unlike college education which is always confined within a certain framework, self-education is a stricture-free pursuit.
In addition to assuming total control of your timetable, you also get to decide what to read, when to read and how much of it to read. For the last five years, I have thoroughly enjoyed this soulful endeavour.
2. What to read? This one is a no-brainer. Pick up the titles that interest you the most. I have always had a penchant for non-fiction genre; every year I experiment with different sub-genres within this genre.
At the start of a new year, I sit down and decide the kind of books I am going to read in that year. Admittedly, my decision on which book to read next is never random and is mostly based on the genre or the subject that has held my imagination of late or the one which I think contributes to my future development. For instance, last year, I read an eclectic mix ranging from sports/survival genre to history, philosophy and science.
In 2017, I am keen to whet my financial chops. Additionally, I wish to read more about entrepreneurs to learn and share with my readers the habits and methods of the young millionaires. In the nutshell, my 2017 reading program has ‘money’ written all over it.
3. How much to read? In my viewpoint, a workable target is always more motivating than an outrageous one. The latter may excite you initially, but as you fall behind, it would drain your enthusiasm eventually. Please note that I am not saying that you should not set yourself stretch targets. By all means, you should. But there should be a method to madness.
To cite an example, in the year 2014, I made a resolution that I would read 50 books. Yes, it was a challenging target, but was it feasible? Hell no! With my full-time day job, that kind of target was always going to be a far-reaching one. So, I strongly suggest to my fellow readers to set yourselves achievable targets and then take it from there. No point in getting swamped with overwhelming numbers.
A realistic target can help you achieve more. A part of it is due to the ‘Goal Gradient Effect‘ which states that as you come in close proximity to your goal, your motivation levels double. It really works! At the same time, a feasible, predetermined list, in my opinion, can make things a little easier. When you know from the get-go what you are going to read, the scope for deviation is limited. Plus, I believe a preset list makes you a little more accountable, especially, if you have socialized it (the list) on the internet or discussed it with your friends.
I hope you find something on my website that adds to your knowledge or at least, nudges you in the right direction. Wishing you the best!
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