I have a confession to make. I am an avid book collector. I love books. However, I have not been reading all the books I buy. This is something I am doing my best to rectify. I would rather be an avid reader. To that end, I have a goal for this year: Read (or listen to) 60 books. (My goal was orginally 35, but I have already made it through 18 this year.)

The last book I read was The Noticer by Andy Andrews. This is an amazing book. I read it in two sittings. Could have read it in one, but I started it at 11:30 one night. Anyway. It is a story about how a man named Jones (not Mr. Jones as he tells people) was able to help people take a fresh look at their lives by noticing things and helping them gain perspective. By the books end, Jones has made an impact on a whole community just by paying attention to people and helping them see better.

One of the characters in the book finds himself homeless, living under a pier. His parents are dead and he has no money. He is doubtful about his future and is bitter. Enter Jones. Jones talks with him about many things. One of the things that Jones suggests to the character is that he needs to read. What specifically? Biographies of great individuals. Winston Churchill, George Washington Carver, Joan of Arc, etc. Jones points out that by learning what made these people great, we can become great ourselves.

This made me think of a quote I heard a while back. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said this:

You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things, the books you read and the people you meet.

This is one of the reasons I love books as much as I do. I know that I am not a finished product. I need the wisdom of others to speak into my life and help me grow. The Noticer is a great read. It is a great reminder to take a step back when difficulties arise and look at the big picture so that perspective can be gained.

What good books have you read lately? What lessons are you learning?


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