All my life I have never been interested in books. I couldn’t find the motivation to sit and read something for so long. When everybody was into Harry Potter, I think I was about 13 years old, so I tried to read it. I read all the way to the page twenty-something and gave up. I couldn’t care less about this kid leaving under the stairs.
I was all right with it and never planned to try reading, but something happened. I realized that I would soon be turning 30. About a year ago I started thinking A LOT about what I’ve done in my life and what I want to do. Kind of middle age crisis, but a decade too early.
The project I was working on at work was late and getting annoying. I didn’t feel like I was learning much at this time. Plus, we were moving from small independent feature team to a whole Agile™ team (more on that in another post).
I remember than when I was younger I read “The 4-Hour Workweek“. To be honest, I was 20, I read it in English, and at this time, I probably didn’t understand much. So I thought I should read it again.
It clicked! I was feeling so motivated while reading Tim Ferriss! Almost like I could do anything I wanted, that it was possible.
If you’re European, you might view (American) self-development as a sect kinda thing, where desperate people go to conventions to seek answers. This is partly true, but I would still encourage you to try one.
After this, I thought about his following book “The 4-Hour Body“. When it came out, I found it stupid and didn’t believe any of what my friend was telling me about this book. I was wrong. I read it (partially since it’s 700+ pages long) and lost about 5 kilos (11 lbs) in May and put the weight back on.
5 kilos might not seem much, but since I’m not very tall, it makes a big difference. I was feeling so much better that in July I decided to run the next Paris Marathon.
Another example. A dear friend advised me to read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up“ and I did. My apartment has never been so clean. I have thrown away SO MUCH, and I’m triumphal about it.
Learn and grow
Like I said earlier, at some point I didn’t feel like I was becoming a better programmer. Learning through books is one of the best ways to learn, I believe this is as important as practicing.
You can learn almost everything in a book, not just programming. I love reading books like “The Hard Thing About Hard Things“ because it gives me the opportunity to take quiet time think (I oppose it to reading an article).
Another great book I read this past year is “The Cathedral & the Bazaar“, about how Linus Torvalds revolutionize the software industry.
In the end, I still don’t read fiction. I still believe I can spend my time in a better way but this because to me; reading is more about work than about entertainment.
Considering what I like, is there any book you’d recommend me?