About a year ago, I started to read books in a pretty serious way. I was focused an intent and keen to learn new things.
I base my Creativity training to a large extent on my own experiences. But in an international marketplace, this was never going to be enough. I needed research, statistics and well-known examples.
One of the fundaments of creativity is joining the dots, making connections. So, it holds true that the more dots you can assemble, the more connections you should be able to see.
It is for this reason that my reading pile is not ONLY full of books on creativity, but rather also on Neuroscience, psychology, economics and more.
In the age of Google, its kind of old-fashioned to want to acquire and retain so much information, when its all at the tips of your thumbs anyway. But another principle of creativity is that you need to internalise information in order to be able to analyse it and synthesise with it. Rapid Google searches just don’t give you this.
Reading also has the advantage of taking me out of my work and into a quiet place where I can focus on only one thing at a time, instead of the usual multi-tasking, deadline driven work world. It gives me a peaceful eddy where I can reflect, think and dream.
It is taking me a lot of time to read all these books. I only really halfway through that pile (which is missing a few titles). This makes it tempting to read online summaries or skim and skip. But I am conscious of the additional benefits of reading (such as the ones named above) and it is also a pleasant reminder of a youth spent reading (and reading and reading and reading).
It doesn’t matter what are of interest you have, there are plenty of books to read, and books that you should read anyway.
My solid gold recommendations are:
Essentialism – Greg McKeown
The Runaway Species – David Eagleman
Why do We Sleep – Matthew Walker
Why We Do What We Do – Edward L. Deci
The Creative Curve – Allen Gannett
In our fast-changing world, acquiring new information is a life-long occupation. It doesn’t matter what your line of work is, our world is changing and those who do not keep up run the risk of being left behind.
If you were to assemble a reading list, what would yours look like?