I don’t read books.

May 19th, 2013

Until the beginning of this year, I didn’t read books. When envisioning the quintessential 21st century gentleman, amidst the brogue boots and well sculpted scruff, I’m convinced the man reads. He’s read classics, he reads regularly, hell he’s read his favorites multiple times because every go-over he “learns something new.”

My mother is a voracious bookworm, tearing through a couple crime novels on the weekend, working her way through every free book the Kindle library has to offer. You’d think the genes might have been passed on, but my unfortunate personal truth was that as of January I hadn’t read a book recreationally (excluding Harry Potter) in nearly five years.

I read a handful of classic novels in high school and college as part of English requirements but at the end of the day, me-time reading was a hobby that never stuck. But when 2013 came around, my fear of the “What’s your favorite book?” question came to a head. My feed of blogs and long-reads were beginning to bore and spending enough time around a few habitual readers moved me to take on the embarrassing lack of books in my life.

Five months in, I’m proud to say I’ve finished seven books and enjoying numero eight. It’s admittedly a funny mix of fiction and nonfiction, following my fickle interests of the month.

Here’s the lot:

Shape of Design by Frank Chimero
A short read by a fellow studiomate. Loved his anecdote on putting a little extra “love” into your work.

Purple Cow by Seth Godin
Best-seller by last month’s CreativeMornings/NYC speaker. A whip-smart dude, helped me make a few business decisions as of late.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
Also felt guilty about the state of my personal finances. On Bekka‘s recommendation, Ramit got me up to speed. (And I got to meet him at SXSW!)

Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds by Ping Fu
The remarkable life story of another NYC speaker.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
A Second-Life like world, language viruses, futuristic pizza delivery. My brother raved about this scifi classic ten years ago.

The Hunger Games TRILOGY by Suzanne Collins
Boom.

Born to Run by Christopher Mcdougall
Didn’t exactly inspire me to run a 100mi ultramarathon, but close.

Currently reading – Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir by Eddie Huang
Food, hip hop, Asian culture. What more can I ask for?

They might not all be gentleman-worthy American classics, but I’m damn proud to say I’ve read these books. Here’s to new stories in the new year.