Most people set goals for a new year and… that’s it. It is just a resolution but reaching their goal seems optional. I like setting goals, but I also like to reach these goals. I was inspired by Mark Zuckerberg, who challenged himself to read a book every week of 2015.

I’m excited for my reading challenge. I’ve found reading books very intellectually fulfilling. Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I’m looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books.

So starting on Monday July 20th until Sunday 16th of August with the use of Google Play Books, I will be reading 4 books in total. I already had some books in mind, but I also wanted to know from others what books they find interesting to read. So I asked on Twitter (@ThomasVanhoutte) and got some recommendations: thanks all! Furthermore, I found the summer reading list of professors of the Vlerick Business School. Recently, I took part in the “Entrepreneurial Marketing” course at the Summer School at Utrecht University in The Netherlands. Some books that were discussed during this course are considered too for this 4-week personal challenge.

While I do already have an extensive list of books that should be worth my time, I do not already want to make a definitive list of 4 books. Perhaps I will be inspired by my first book, which can influence my choice for the second book. Or, during my challenge, I stumble upon yet another great book. So there is a list, but it can definitely change. In no particular order:

  • Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity by Luc De Brabandere & Alan Iny (Thanks for the suggestion, @Laurensverhulst)
  • Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip & Dan Heath
  • Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant
  • Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation by Larry Downes & Paul Nunes
  • Digitizing Government: Understanding and Implementing New Digital Business Models by Alan Brown, Jerry Fishenden & Prof Mark Thompson
  • Frugal Innovation: How to do more with less by Jaideep Prabhu & Navi Radjou
  • The First-Time Manager by Loren B. Belker, Jim McCormick & Gary S. Topchik
  • The Plugged-In Manager: Get in Tune with Your People, Technology, and Organization to Thrive by Terri L Griffith

A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.
– George R.R. Martin

For each week that passes, my blog will be updated with one blogpost that contains an overview/review of the book I have been reading. Most important will be highlighting what I have actually learned from that book. The list below will be updated weekly:

  1. Week 1 (20/07 → 26/07) — Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity by Luc De Brabandere & Alan Iny
  2. Week 2 (27/07 → 02/08)
  3. Week 3 (03/08 → 09/08)
  4. Week 4 (10/08 → 16/08)

I am truly looking forward to completing this challenge! While I do enjoy a great book, I don’t read enough books. In the past, books have learned me to increase vocabulary and to overall write better sentences. By reading more books, I want to gain new insights in fields that are currently unknown to me. It might also stretch my creativity and as such, can help me in my future career. So… only benefits! Let the challenge begin 😉

(Photo title: “Man with book sitting in chair”, date: ca. 1915, medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process) via George Eastman House Collection, copyright: No known copyright restrictions)

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