I spent a couple of hours yesterday hanging out in Harvard Square waiting for my older son to finish a Boy Scout merit badge “camp.” I did what I usually do when I have time on my hands, headed for the bookstore. (In this case, the Harvard Coop.) I had a list of books that I have been meaning to pick up and random browsing in a bookstore is one of my favorite hobbies — not an inexpensive hobby. I picked up Chris Brogan’s book, Social Media 101, which I knew from reading his blog was a collection of blog posts. The book is (supposedly) intended for people who are still a little unclear about social media. But I still bought the book. (There’s another blog in my future about the book itself.) Why? Because I read books for inspiration.
I also bought Seth Godin’s book, “All Marketers are Liars.” I’ve been doing branding and messaging for various companies for several years but with a number of messaging projects on my plate right now, a little inspiration never hurts. The book now has a number of “stickies” stuck to it with various random thoughts and in one case, a breakthrough thought. (At least I think it is and the company I am doing it for is going to love it too!)
I’m not sure why I prefer book reading for inspiration over my online ramblings. Maybe it is the sense that I might not ever find my way back to my source of inspiration. (I have used Webnotes to track my wanderings and I love the tool for allowing me to show clients what I am talking about and point out different things online.) Or maybe I feel compelled to write something down and can rarely locate later the little scraps of people I write on. (I tend to tuck the stickie notes into the book and I try to leave the books in the same place at home so I know where they are. Have you ever noticed that when you live in a two story house, whatever you are reading tends to be on the wrong floor when you want it?)
How do books inspire?
What books have inspired you?