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Reading More in 2008

As one of my goals this year, I decided to turn off the television and to read more. I was not sure how much I could read in a given year. I also realized that not all books are the same. There are some books I could read in a night and some books that might take me a month. After much deliberation, I decided to set my goal based on the total pages of the books rather than the books themselves. In other words, quick one-night reads would not count as much as a 400-page book that would take longer to read. After much consideration, I decided to set my goal at 5,000 pages for the year. As someone who has read only a couple of books all the way through since college (almost 15 years ago), I thought my goal was extremely lofty, and I wasn’t sure if it was attainable. I am happy to say that even during my “busy” season, I have been able to outpace my goal.

So far, I have read six books this year – about one per week – totaling 1,114 pages. It is amazing how much time one can free up for productive activities when the television is off. Here is where I would like to thank all of the members of the Writer’s Guild of America for going on strike. If there was anything at all on television, I probably would never have figured out that reading is actually enjoyable.

Of the six books that I have read so far this year, I would like to mention the follow three as that are particularly good reads related to personal finance and entreprenuership. They are as follows:

1) Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
With over 15 million copies sold worldwide, Think & Grow Rich is widely known as one of the greatest personal achievement books ever written. This is a MUST read for anyone who wants to maximize their success in business (or in life for that matter.)

2) You’re Broke Because You Want to Be by Larry Winget. This was a great book. Larry provides a tough and direct, no-nonsense approach to answering why so many Americans are failing to achieve what they want financially. This is a must read for anyone who is falling behind on a month-to-month basis and is struggling to make ends meet.

3) How to Ruin Your Financial Life by Ben Stein. Most of my generation remembers Ben Stein as the economics teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (“Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?) or from his hit TV games show, Win Ben Stein’s Money. I could write a few pages on what else Ben Stein has been up to, but you can just click here to find out more about Ben Stein – “everything but his shoe size and the length of his left arm.”

How to Ruin Your Financial Life provided a different approach than most all personal finance books. Instead of telling you how to improve your situation, Ben detailed out surefire ways to sabatoge your financial future. From collecting as many credits cards as you can and investing in penny stocks, to making sure you loan your new boyfriend/girlfriend that money they are needing, Ben covers it all. This was also a really quick read at only 128 pages – and big print.

I will let you know how my progress is coming throughout the year. I am on track to blow my goal out of the water, but it is still very early in the year.