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My 2020 Personal Reading Challenge: Six Great Books in Six Months

In a world of audiobooks, podcasts, online videos and information overload – it’s easy to get out of the habit of good old-fashioned reading. Reading real books not only exercises your brain, but also aids in improved understanding of the subject matter. Here’s why I’ve embarked on a personal reading challenge this year.

A Few Stats About Reading Real Books

Wired magazine reports that the feel of paper pages under your fingertips provides your brain with some context. This can lead to increased comprehension of the subject you’re reading about.

In addition, with age comes a decline in memory and brain function; however, regular reading may help slow the process, keeping minds sharper longer, according to research published in Neurology. Frequent brain exercise also lowers mental decline by 32 percent, reports The Huffington Post.

The Benefits Are Great

So, with all these great benefits, I have recommitted to reading real books this year. My personal reading challenge is to read one a month, which actually seems low – even to me, but I am striving for success!

I thought you might want to join me, so here’s a preview of my personal reading challenge selections for the first six months of 2020:

Prince: The Beautiful Ones edited by Dan Piepenbring

This was my January selection, and – admittedly – I’m behind with about 20 pages left to read! Even so, I am thrilled with this homage to the late Prince Rogers Nelson that is part autobiography and part scrapbook/anthology of interviews and quotes.

The reason it’s not a complete autobiography is that Prince passed away only months after the writing began. The introduction by Piepenbring, the writer that Prince hired to co-author and edit his book, is so compelling and provides an amazing glimpse into the artist’s wishes, desires, and thought processes. So, if you are a Prince fan, or just looking to get inspired by one of the most creative talents of our time, this is a must-read!

Investing for Good by Annie Dickerson and Julie Lam

In February, I will read about real estate investing and building wealth. If you are skeptical about the returns the stock market can provide for retirement and looking for additional streams of income, this book is for you. It’s written by two powerhouse women that started out like you and me. They both had nine-to-five day jobs working for someone else until they decided they wanted to build an investment company (called GoodEgg Investments) for themselves and just wanted more freedom. These ladies want the same for you, so check it out!

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It by Kamal Ravikant

Next up in my personal reading challenge, I’m going to read a book about loving yourself. Don’t we all need more lessons in that? Ravikant is an energetic bucket-lister who has meditated with monks, served in the US Army, walked across the country of Spain and served as CEO to several companies. I’m excited to learn from his lessons of overcoming grief and self-doubt after hitting rock bottom when his last company failed. The book is written simply with a roadmap to get back to the GREAT parts of you, so let’s go for it!

This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is like the godfather of contemporary marketing and has impacted millions of marketers of my generation. So, in April, I will get back to my own chosen trade by reading about how to increase focus on a specific target audience. Under the philosophy of “People like us, do things like us,” Godin helps us to understand the people we seek to influence. I can’t wait to dig into this one.

The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates

It’s Melinda Gates, y’all! I have been in awe of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Mrs. Gates’ leadership in driving change across the globe. Her emphasis on women’s issues and raising us up is the game-changing topic of our time. She not only writes about the challenges and inspirations she’s seen from women across the world, but she also writes about her own personal life. Also, as a woman in technology, I am eager to learn more about the woman that is an equal partner to one of the most successful men in the world. Empire building is real!

Fully Engaged: Shift from Average to Awesome in 46 Days by Adair Cates

In June, I will be ready to rework and build an updated personal plan for the second half of 2020. I can’t think of a better way than to go on a 46-day run with performance improvement trainer, coach, investor and author, Adair Cates. We all should be spending time each day clarifying our purpose and showing up in new ways to shift from our current state to awesome. Join me on this journey by checking out this straightforward book and workbook.

Join My Personal Reading Challenge!

What is your challenge to yourself for 2020? I have several. And, my personal reading challenge will be the most educational and tangible goal I strive to accomplish this year. I hope that you can find time in your day to read and invest in yourself in 2020. Also, I hope a few of these books spark your imagination and feed your soul.

Kristen Beatty

Kristen is an entrepreneur at heart. She helped start two companies, a marketing consulting agency in Denver and a technology services company in Atlanta. Kristen continues her corporate work in the high tech industry, and has worked as a sales and marketing executive for over 15 years honing her expertise in partner marketing, lead generation and account management. While working full time, she has ventured into various side hustles including event management and network marketing as a creative outlet. Kristen grew up as a nomadic child of an Air Force fighter pilot and an amazing officer’s wife. She gets her wanderlust from having moved eight times, and lived in four countries before the age of 18. She is the mother of two, and loves residing in south Denver near her treasured mommy tribe and college besties. Kristen’s true passion is giving back and spends many volunteer hours supporting the Alzheimer’s Association as a board member, policy advocate and event volunteer.

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