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Seven Books that Can Change Your Life

Reading the right books can help you see new possibilities or solve old problems.

Allyson Lewis, 12/10/2009

We have all had the feeling of browsing through a book store and finding a book on a subject that you really want to gain a deeper understanding of. Even as you held the book you had a sense of excitement that somewhere in those pages there would be wisdom that could make an immediate impact on the person you will become. For thousands of years writers have been sharing the secrets of life's mysteries by putting their stories on paper. Now it is your challenge to decide to become a reader.

Of course, for most people the two barriers that stand between them becoming readers are the amount of time it requires to read a book and the constant distraction and interruptions of life that keep them from concentrating on what they are reading.

Here are three ideas to get you started.

First, the average person reads between 200 and 250 words per minute, and in a book there are roughly 250 to 300 words per page. One suggestion is to commit to reading 10 pages of a book per day. Depending on the complexity of the book's information, this commitment could take between 10 and 20 minutes a day. Yet, choosing to read 10 pages of a book per day can and will change your life. Ten pages per day would allow you to read a new 300-page book every month!

The second idea is to listen to audio books. My recommendation is www.audible.com, which carries more than 45,000 audio books in digital form. The subscription price varies depending on how many books you would like to listen to per month. My subscription allows me to download two audio books each month. These books become a permanent part of your personal electronic library, allowing you to listen to them over and over again while you drive, exercise, garden, or relax.

The third idea is to get a library card. Books can be expensive, and by being a member of the public library you have a vast inventory of books available to you at no cost. Most libraries have bestselling books in both print and audio versions. And, if your library doesn't have the book you are hoping to read, you can request the book through an inter-library loan, which can give you access to almost any book you would like to read or listen to.

Finally, I am recommending seven books that have made an impact on my life. Some of these I have listened to, others I have read--but all of them have taught me something and helped me grow.

1. Endurance by Alfred Lansing
Endurance chronicles the 1914 journey of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 27 men, and it is written from the firsthand letters and diaries of the men on the expedition. Leaving South Georgia Island on Dec. 5, 1914, the ship heads for the Antarctic, and its crew aims to be the first to walk across the continent. On Jan. 18, 1915, their boat becomes trapped in pack ice. You will be swept away by this true story of leadership, courage, hope, and overcoming unbelievable obstacles.

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