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Good books change you – stop memorizing

The+mark+of+a+book+that+speaks+to+you%2C+one+that+has+an+impact%2C+is+just+that%3A+it+impacts+you.+You+can+never+truly+forget+them.+
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Good books change you – stop memorizing

The mark of a book that speaks to you, one that has an impact, is just that: it impacts you. You can never truly forget them.

The mark of a book that speaks to you, one that has an impact, is just that: it impacts you. You can never truly forget them.

The mark of a book that speaks to you, one that has an impact, is just that: it impacts you. You can never truly forget them.

The mark of a book that speaks to you, one that has an impact, is just that: it impacts you. You can never truly forget them.


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Last summer I interned for a company in Pittsburgh. While I enjoyed the warm weather, I hated that I had to commute almost an hour to work every day. That was when I discovered a new hobby of listening to audiobooks. I am a bibliophile by nature, but I have never really dug into the self-help genre of books. Hoping to enlighten my 22-year-old mind, I started with the most suggested book on the internet: “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.

I finished several audiobooks on financial freedom, positive thinking and what not. I could not take notes on the valuable ideas from those books because of my commuting situation and I hated the thought of forgetting all these insights and quotes within a few weeks.

I finished “The Alchemist” and wanted to download the whole book into my brain. I read “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and didn’t want to forget a single lesson from Robert T. Kiyosaki. I wanted to start working like Tim Ferris as he describes in “The 4-Hour Work Week”. What was the point of reading if I couldn’t remember anything a week (or a day) after finishing the book? What was the point of reading if I wasn’t actively using what I learned?

So here is what I started doing, I started listening to those particular quotes repeatedly by rewinding and replaying the audio, because we are all taught that repetition is practice and you are bound to improve with repetition, right? It went well for a while. The guilt of “wasted” listening went away and I felt I was making some progress with my thinking. Then something curious happened.

Listening to these books felt more like cramming for some test. Hitting the pause button and going back and re-listening started to suck the joy out of listening to the audiobook. This sometimes led me to close the Audible app and listen to my jam on Spotify during my 50 minute commute. Then one day the guilt of being unproductive during those two hours overcame me. So, I decided to stop rewinding the audio and just finish one book at a time. Soon, listening started to feel less like cramming and more like fun.

But here is what started to happen! Every time I had one of those split seconds in my day when negative emotions took over, something I had read will come to mind and try to pull me back. Books I’ve read have merged and morphed to give me my own personal database of good thoughts. Every book I read adds to this knowledge and makes it a better consciousness. So in conclusion, beware of what goals you choose to set. The thought of remembering a book made me see the process as a chore and caused me to read less. Think about the bigger picture- of being the best version of yourself – and enjoy the process of changing your mindset.

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Good books change you – stop memorizing