I’m obsessed with books – I absolutely love to read.   Unfortunately nowadays it takes me a lot longer to get through a book than it used to as the only time I have a chance to read is just before I go to sleep at night.  It’s usually a sure sign that I need an early night when I re-read the same page of my book for the 4th night in a row and fall asleep halfway through it!  I’m sure a lot of you are the same – maybe you don’t even have time for half a page.

In recent years I’ve become captivated by self improvement books.  As someone who struggles with anxiety and running a business in equal measure – I find myself drawn to books about confidence, psychology, leadership and business management.  I discover books via: Facebook; friends’ recommendations; Amazon and dental business coaches, and read every one dreaming that I’ll find the golden key to ridding myself of my anxiety and self-doubt or becoming the perfect leader.  Of course deep down I know that will never truly happen but I do always pick up a little tip or 2 out of each book and try to bring them into my daily life.

Like my favourite from “How To Win Friends and Influence People”.  When you would like someone to do something for you: “Action springs out of what we fundamentally desire… First, arouse in the other person an eager want.  He who can do this has the whole world with him…” Which basically means when you are asking someone to do something for you, find out first of all what is in it for them – and tell them that if they do this thing for you, this is what it will mean for them. Ultimately people only do things which will benefit themselves.  I love the fact that a book that was first published in 1936 – nearly 75 years ago is still relevant today.

Then there’s my most recent purchase “The Worry Trick” where David Carbonell, a renowned clinical psychologist recommends setting up an appointment with worry. It’s amazing how when you actually sit down and allow yourself to worry about things for 10 minutes you eventually run out of things to worry about!  And speaking the worries out in front of a mirror really makes you see how silly some of them really are.

And just today, after spending the last few weeks in a constant battle with our 12 year old  trying to get her to do what she’s asked and not sit and stare at the screen of a phone, I picked up a book I bought when she was just 7 called “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk”.  Given that I’m only managing a page a night at the moment maybe I’ll just give it to her to read and she can tell me where I’m going wrong – she’s very good at that.

The best thing though I rediscovered in the last year or so was audiobooks and Audible.  I fondly remember listening to Enid Blyton audio cassettes as a child on long journeys and I’m sure I even had some 12″ audio books I used to play on my Get Along Gang record player.  Oh and not forgetting all the Harry Potter books that Keith and I listened to travelling through the red centre of Australia – there’s nothing quite like dreaming about being at Hogwarts!  My journey to work is about 40 mins and it’s perfect for listening to a self improvement audio book – at least it means I get through more than a page at a time.  I sometimes even listen to them when I go for a run – I run a bit slower but I come back with loads of great ideas to bore Keith with!

So for me – and I know there’s many who will disagree- I love self improvement books and the great ideas I get from them. And try an audio book on your next car journey – it’s awesome! And at least if you’re driving you won’t fall asleep after the first page – hopefully!