How She Got Her Reading Groove Back

One Small Step Can Change Your LifeIn Get in the Mood for Love, I mentioned that a book could explain how I managed to get my book love groove back. That book is One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way by Robert Maurer. This was the fourth book I read since reuniting with my books (I read five books in a couple of weeks). Because of this, I knew this process worked.
People try to exercise more often, stop a bad habit, practice writing or improve at something. Maurer says the answer isn’t jumping in or quitting cold turkey. That can lead to failure.
Instead, start small. Exercise for one minute. Smoke one less cigarette. Write 100 words a day adding another 10 or 100 words per day or per week. Whatever pace suits you.
That’s the idea behind kaizen. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means “improvement.”
Thus, I stumbled on this by accident in “returning to regular book reading.” Fried Green Tomatoes, although a good read, was a longer book and didn’t quite push me. The next three books all had fewer than 200 pages and those stimulated me to keep on reading.
Groovin' and readin'I just finished Girl, Interrupted and started Ordinary People. A friend loaned me those books, so I wanted to finish those to return back to her. Next, I believe, will be Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow RichThink and Grow Rich because I enjoyed reading a magazine story about Hill and his life. Plus, so many speak highly of this book that I want to see for myself.
After that, the plan is to read three books waiting for a book review. And I hope that reading groove sticks with me for a long time to come. Maybe I’ll get through more of my own purchased books.
So if you struggle to meet a goal or make changes — start small. In the case of reading, it meant starting with shorter books. The tricky part is finding short books that captivate enough to motivate you to keep reading.
This process works beautifully for companies. Too often, employees think they need to come up with ways to save thousands of dollars and do something big. No … no … start small. Those little steps can and do turn into giant steps.
Don’t worry about reading a Jane Austen or tackling a literary classic. Just find books with no more than 200 pages with a topic of interest or ask for recommendations. My spark started with Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking — hardly the book I typically read.
What small changes have you made that led to bigger changes? How can you make a change beginning with small steps? What small books do you recommend and why?

6 thoughts on “How She Got Her Reading Groove Back”

  1. It is remarkable how reading one book draws your attention to certain ideas or, compels you to devise some of your own. In researching motivational books, I discovered people rarely sit down and read inspirational books from cover-to-cover precisely because they would prefer to digest topics or pieces alone. Quote books are often opened at random pages as a way to provoke thought or to enable a person to get in touch wih his or her intuition. In essence, at a given moment, every person has a reason for picking up a particular book. Yet, that does not mean you are consciously aware of your own motive. You may simply listen to your instinct and leave it at that.
    Liara Covert´s last blog post… 25 Ways to stimulate consciousness

  2. Can I add one idea… or two? When wanting to change something, after starting small, allow yourself to record the change, shooting for 90 days… BUT, and here is the kicker, those 90 days don’t have to be in a row. So if you fall off the wagon for five days, you still know you are reaching your goal, and you don’t have to punish yourself by starting over. Second idea, tag three things together, two of which you already do. Shower, early morning twitter, and 20 minutes on the glider works for me… the glider part is part of the system over time…and that is supported by other parts of the system. Hugs to all! Robin

  3. I agree, Liara. I have many books that I call reference books — these include quotes and other books that I can just go to when I need the information or inspiration.

  4. Great tip, Robin. Giving yourself leeway lets you have successes and make it through not so great days. Your suggestion sounds similar to what the book covered.

  5. I took a class with Bob Maurer about 15 years ago, on the subject of creativity for writers. He is a gifted teacher.

  6. Nick, I imagine that was an amazing experience. He managed to talk about the brain in a captivating way where many others would put us to sleep.


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