Lately I’ve been flashing back to a book I recently read.

It’s a remembrance of a more genteel time.

But, it had a chilling effect on my thinking.

It’s a book my father read.

I ignored it for many years. Until a friend brought it up. Then I paid attention.

Why is that? Why did it take a friend to let me know that a book was “cool” and OK to read. Well, that’s the nature of things and the way it is with parents.

My recommendation today is to break that mold.

Read the Books Your Parents Read!

How Will You Know What They Read?

Well, the obvious answer is ask them. But, also look around on their bookshelves.

  • Ask them questions about why they kept a particular book for so long
  • Ask them why they liked it
  • Ask them what they learned

Just Ask!

What’s the Point?

Books are timeless vessels of information, transformation and imagination. Through books you can go anywhere and do anything. You can experience the low gravity on the moon, explore the depths of the deepest ocean or become a wizard that saves humanity. Books are the mind-travelers friend.

One of the side benefits of reading is that it will make you a more rounded individual and by doing so you will Stand Out in Your Career. You will pick things up in the books your parents read that will help you understand a bit more about them, the world and yourself.

You may be thinking … no way. I don’t want to read books. I want to spend my time on Social Media apps, watching TV and hanging out with friends. There is nothing wrong with doing these things. However, I urge you to make the time to grab 30-45 minutes every chance you get to immerse yourself into a different mindset while exposing yourself to the books your parents read.

Also, don’t let these thoughts or these other common concerns deter you:

  • There will be NO TESTS. You are reading because you want to. Enjoy the experience and don’t worry about a pop quiz.
  • You don’t have to FINISH. If you don’t like the book (after a reasonable attempt) … dump it. There are lots of options available.
  • I’m too SLOW. It’s not a race. Read for pleasure, read at your pace. Slow Reading is GOOD for your BRAIN.

If you need a few more reasons to read consider these points:

The Point is …

Reading sets you free. It allows your mind to run wild. It allows you to relax and enter another level of thinking. When you read you learn. Even if you didn’t intend to learn something you will almost always come away with a different perspective.

What if you can’t find the books your parents read? Look at friends bookshelves, and parents of friends bookshelves. Then, ask the same questions as above. The responses you get may surprise you and you might find out something that can really change your perspective on the world which in turn might be one more thing that helps you Stand Out in Your Career. Who knows … you might even discover a whole new career.

Oh, and if you are wondering about the book I mentioned at the beginning. That book is Earth Abides by George R. Stewart and you can get it at your local library, bookstore or on Amazon for free. I highly recommend reading it … even if I’m not your parent. Like me, you may find yourself flashing back to the ideas, experiences and new realities the tribe encountered.

My interpretation and reaction to Earth Abides enters my mind almost every day. I find myself wondering how the people of today would react. I wonder which generations would lead, support and sustain the tribes of the future. I personally think Millennials and Gen Z’s would do quite well … albeit after a tumultuous start. In the end I think Millennials and Gen Z’s would revert to the books their parents read.