When I think about my Dream House, it’s not a big glistening kitchen, high-tech family room or backyard swimming pool that catches my fancy.
No, my perfect home has a library, a real library, with floor-to-ceiling books, and aladder on wheels for exploring the top shelves. There’s a fireplace with a cozy reading chair and a good light.
I’m am not alone in thinking that would be exquisite. “When I have a house of my own,” said a character in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, “I shall be quite miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
Eda LaShan once said that middle age begins when you realize you won’t live long enough to read all the books you want to explore. According to that definition, I was born middle-aged.
Fortunately, I landed in a family that assumed reading was an important part of a well-lived life and we were always surrounded by books. As much as I love the library, I can’t imagine living without books of my own at my fingertips.
Libraries are as unique as the people who assemble them, of course. When I scan my own shelves, I see a record of my life as telling as a photo album.
Creating a wonderful personal collection can be both haphazard and intentional. If you are serious about success, your library will reflect this.
What kinds of books show up in libraries of the Joyfully Jobless?
Inspirational. We quickly learn the truth of the adage that you can’t outperform your own self-image.
The books that inspire us the most are often those that stand up to repeated visits. They help us reconnect with our own best selves and nudge us to move past pettiness.
Informational. Of course, we require different kinds of information all along the way as we build and grow. How-to books are hugely popular, although not everyone is keen about putting what they’ve read into action.
With the avalanche of information which abounds today, there’s really no excuse for saying, “I don’t know how.” You can fill in the gaps easily.
Whether you need help with marketing or how to start a profitable petsitting business or how to write a killer book proposal, a book written by a reliable source can get you pointed in the right direction.
Heroes and heroines. A well-rounded library for an entrepreneur would also include some great biographies and autobiographies from successful self-bossers.
I’ve just finished reading an advance copy of Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness, the upcoming story of the entrepreneurial evolution of Zappos founder. It will be taking its place alongside numerous stories of inspiring entrepreneurs in my library.
And speaking of Flashlight Worthy, pay them a visit for hundreds of great book recommendations compiled by all sorts of experts and aficionados.
“We are all pilgrims on the same journey,” said Nelson DeMille, “but some pilgrims have better road maps.”
Fill your library with the best maps you can find and consult them regularly. Going places may just start in the quietest room of the house.
Did you know that May is Get Caught Reading Month? Participate.