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Lately, I have begun to analyse how much I read and to be honest, I haven’t been reading as much as I should and that is about to change.
Over the years and this mostly influenced by doing an arts degree in the last five, I cannot fail to acknowledge that as a photographer, photography books are a good source of information to keep me motivated. Some may be hard to read especially when they, ironically, hardly contain any photographs and to be honest, I tend to shy away from those books unless I want to sleep.
Having said that and recovering from the shock of how intense some of these books can get, I am slowly getting back into reading and also listening to books via Audible using their app on my iPhone. As much as I like reading physical books, listening to books enables me to do something else, like take notes, iron, shower, wash dishes, eat, commute, etc. An experience I find quite enjoyable. I also signed up to my local library so I can borrow books I would not necessarily like to keep.
As I write this, I have already read and listened to 6 books this year already with 2 waiting for me to finish listening to on Audible and 5 more on my Kindle app. I know with some of these books I will be referring to them from time to time and I just thought I share 5 of my favourites.
Book #1 – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
Fellow photographer and friend of mine, Patricia Ng’ang’a, recommended this book and it is one of the books I listened to first this year. I am glad I did.
It’s one of those books that jolts you into the mindset of working out for yourself that things that matter the most and to stop literally f*cking around with your life. Stop sweating the irrelevant stuff and only give a f*ck to things that really matter and add value to your life.
If you are the kind of person that likes sweating the small stuff especially for no particular reason, you should definitely read this book.
Book #2 – You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero
I watched a vlog by Aileen (Lavendaire) on “How to Attract More Money into Your Life” and she mentioned Jen’s book. I quickly downloaded the audio version of the book as I am at a point in my life where I am ready to attract more money in my life. I am tired of constantly reminding myself why I cannot do or buy something due to limited funds. This book has certainly changed my attitude when it comes to how I deal with money, whether I have it, don’t have it or when I am ready to receive it.
Money is all around us and this book helps us understand that it is not a dirty word and should be embraced and talked about with positivity. Afterall, there is nowhere in this world, unless you are living under a rock, that you will not encounter money. This book helps you accept that and with a positive mindset about money, you can indeed attract it into your life to afford all the experiences you have dreamed of without breaking the proverbial bank. What I also like about this book is that with every chapter, there is a personal story, a case study and little exercises to engage/motivate you into being that money making badass and that the only thing that is stopping you is YOU.
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, another of Jen’s book that is on my reading list and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it.
Book #3 – Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being A Creative by Austin Kleon
I read this book in one sitting. It is a little quirky book with small chunks of information that makes you think about what you can do with your creativity that will make you stand out or just get out there and get creating. It an all-rounder of a book for creatives in this digital age. A book that makes you realise that “…nothing is completely original.”
Book #4 – Show Your Work: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Getting Discovered by Austin Kleon
Once you have read, ‘Steal Like An Artist’ as mention above, you have to read Austin’s follow up book. Just as it says on the cover, you cannot be creating all this awesome work and then keep it to yourself, you have to show it. Show the process, document, share, listen, ask, etc. are all mentioned in this book to get you as a creative to open your doors just enough so that people can see what you are all about and want more. Afterall, your work forms a part of your legacy that you will leave behind once you die. Basically, don’t be the Vivian Maier of the digital age.
Book #5 – The Doctor’s Kitchen: Supercharge your health with 100 delicious everyday recipes by Dr Rupy Aujla
Stumbled upon this book when I popped into the library and I have to say, it was a welcome read. I recently changed my eating habits and reading this book affirmed that I was on the right path when it came to my diet and relationship with food. What sold it to me was that it was written by an NHS doctor who with a lot of research especially as a medical profession confirms that food is the best medicine over prescribed medication anytime. I am not saying you go to your medicine cabinet and start binning your meds, no, I will leave it to the professionals to make that decision for you. What I am saying is that if you feel that something in your body does not feel right, first look at what is on your plate and rethink everything esp. if you feel you are not getting enough plant-based meals in your diet. And if a busy NHS doctor confirms that I am on the right path of adding more plant-based meals to my diet, then I am up for it. I would recommend this book to anyone struggling and wants to get healthy by eating right. And if you want more convincing, watch ‘What The Health’ on Netflix and then read this book. Come back and let me know what you think.
Bonus Book – Beyond the Lens Created by Association of Photographers (AOP)
This is more of a guide rather than a book and it has an arsenal of information for any professional photographer in the UK. As a creative, you can sometimes be confused when it comes to matters relating to the law, contracts, running a business, dealing with other businesses, etc. and Beyond the Lens becomes that reference guide that essentially helps you fight for your rights as a pro photographer. It is not easy finding something like it in the UK market and I am glad that the AOP saw this as an opportunity to produce Beyond the Lens. The one I have featured here is the 4th 2014 Edition. I understand that there is a new edition coming out soon and I will update you once it is published.
And there you have it. These are the books that I have read and will continue to refer back to apart from The Doctor’s Kitchen, which I have to return to the library.
If you haven’t tried Audible, you can sign up for a free trial which you can cancel before they start charging you for membership. Once you sign up, the first book is free and you can keep it even if you cancel your free trial or membership.
TIP: Don’t forget to set a reminder to cancel your free trial at least 2-3 days before the billing date. #NotAnAd
If you have reached this far into this blog post, thank you and I hope you enjoyed it/motivated you to read or listen to more books.
What books are you currently reading or would recommend?
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