1st of all, this is for audio books, if you know anything from reading anything on this site, I’m into audio books not physically reading the books.

The challenge?

Is 1 audio book every day for 1 week.  So at the end of the challenge I should have checked off 7 books from my ‘have to listen to’ list.

I’ve been preparing them in advance.

So far I’ve got:

Karen Blixen – Out of Africa – 1 hr 7 mins An autobiography of a Danish author that lived in Kenya in 1913 for 18 years.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Out_of_Africa

Cressida Cowell – The Wizards of Once – 5hrs 56 mins (I think this may be the longest one) By the same guy that wrote ‘How to Train your Dragon’ however this one is about witches and wizards and they have to bring magic back to the land or something.     I’m willing to give it a try, and if it’s a well written story I think it’ll be easier to flow by. Link to book on Audible.com

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments – 53 mins    A book about logic and how people argue with incorrect logical arguments & I presume how to counter that.  I don’t quite know what the illustrated part is all about. Difficult to get that in an audio book.Link to book on Audible.com

How to Stop Feeling Like Sht (14 Habits That Are Holding You Back from Happiness) – 6hrs

I’m not sure about this.  Usually these ‘mindfulness’ books require note taking, or there’s not much point to listening to them. If you learn lessons, but then you forget them, and you don’t apply any of them, there’s really no point to listening to the book in the 1st place. AND 6 hours is a really long book to get through in 1 day.  Link to book on Audible.com

Sam Harris – Free Will – 1 hr 14mins  I’ve listened to his book just called ‘Lying’, and that wasn’t bad. And I’ve listened to another audio compilation just called ‘lessons’ I presume on meditation. But Sam Harris is all about ‘mindfulness’ And it’s something that gets recommended by many people. So I figured with a short book like this, its worth listening to it, if its crap, its only an hour, if I can take lessons from it, that’s awesome. Link to book on Audible.com

The Messaging Connection -How to Increase Profits by Connecting with People the Way They Want – 2 hrs 37 mins  – Basically it seems like a book to increase communication in the workplace.  Maybe its full of crap, maybe its common sense needed for people that actually don’t have much common sense. But at just under 3 hours, I’m willing to give it a go. Link to book on Audible.com

The Tao Of Pooh – 2 hrs 46 mins  I’ve had this on my ‘have to listen to list’ for quite some time, and I’ve just never got round to it. Everyone that’s read it says that it’s actually really insightful.  So yeah, I’ll give it a go. Link to book on Audible.com

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down – 2hrs 51mins  This is another ‘mindfulness’ book.  Yes, there’s a lot of those.  But if everyone is talking about them, and they’re only short books… its worth seeing what they’re all about. This particular one is a Korean Buddhist production. Be keen to see what it’s all about. Link to book on Audible.com

So as you can see I’ve got 8 books there. And of course only 7 days.

From experience… there’s going to be 1 book that is just utter shit, or that I just won’t be able to finish in time.

So I need a back-up.

Why so many ‘mindfulness’ books?

I’ve got a lot of friends recently that are into this kind of thing. Meditation, slowing down, etc. ‘Mindfulness’ has become something of a buzzword recently.

I’ve got friends that have really got into Buddhism, and I’ve got friends that have really got into meditation.

To be honest for me I think its normal to just sit by yourself and have a bit of self-reflection from time to time.  But the more I talk to people, I realise that actually this isn’t something that comes naturally to many people.  Many people are just so consumed by everything that they don’t stop to smell the roses.

I also keep getting recommendations from these friends for “you really should read this book” “oh this book is great, I think this book would be really good for you”

I’m not a fan of this way of talking because I find it really condescending, its as if people instantly assume that I have the same problems that they’re wrestling with, or just because they have realised something recently they believe everyone should know this…  I guess it shows they care in some way, however… it still feels condescending to me.

Many people I’ve talked to seem to consider them raised above other people, because THEY have now consumed this knowledge, therefore THEY know better.  It’s as if being mindful has some sort of point system and each book they read gives them 10 points or something, and once they get to a certain number of points they start talking down to people and start recommending books that will ‘change your life’.

Maybe this is something that just annoys me. BUT…. I kind of want to have read these books so I know what they’re talking about, and can refute them if they’re talking complete crap.

I’ve had this for a couple of friends that told me to read a specific book, and I say “actually I’ve already read it, and I didn’t get that impression” and as it turns out, they’ve only read the 1st few chapters.

So… not good to go into this thing angry, but … also.. if there’s anything to gain, the fact that many of these books are short and the potential take aways are actually meaningful and applicable to everyday life (potentially) then.. yeah willing to give it a go.

Is this actually do-able?

Yes.  My brother has already finished this challenge and he did it with much longer books.  He actually did it with war / spy books which are 6-9 hours long.  So its definitely achievable … its just you have to find the right time.

The other thing that he did, which is something I will be trying as well is to set your audio book player to 1.2 or 1.3 times speed.  That way you knock off 20 mins here, 20 mins there.  And that’s always a plus.

Challenge rules

Just like the push-ups challenge a day is from when I wake up to when I decide to go to sleep.  If its 3am but I haven’t gone to sleep yet, then that’s still counting as the previous day.

That’s actually a plan that I think I’ll have to use to get through the 6 hour book.  Ie. Finish a 1 hour book, and then immediately start the 6 hour book, and finish it the next day, the next day counting as finishing that 6 hour book.

I want to keep the books as separated out as possible, but for the 6 book it seems I will have to squish that into another day too.

Keep notes on my phone.  I don’t want to just passively listen to any of these books. Otherwise I may as well just not listen to them.

The idea is to listen to them properly take notes, and thus be able to apply any worthwhile lessons from the books, I don’t want to have to come back to them. Once I’ve done a book, I want it to be done.

When will the challenge start?

I’m finishing a book called ‘Chasing the Scream’ about addiction, and the war on drugs… which is fascinating and then I’ve also already started the Bernie Sanders book ‘Where do we go from here?’ And so I’d like to finish these before I move on.

I have no qualms about starting on a random day, if its 7 days… its 7 days. Once I finish those 2 books, I’ll start.