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The Three Book Diet

September 13, 2013 , , ,

library girl

library girl

I went along with a fad diet started by one of my social media teachers, Chris Brogan. Last November he proposed that  limiting the number of books one read would change the way one learns and absorbs the art and information in the books.  As a proud and profuse library addict I looked at my own reading habits and wondered if I might benefit from reading less and studying more.  The Three Book Diet commenced with a bang and ended with a whimper very shortly after it was begun.  I, however, had chosen three very deep books that deserve a lifetime of reflection and contemplation, as well as physical homework, so I stayed in.

The Sacred Contracts book is the text used in an on line course I have enrolled in to do deeper study in archetypal psychiatry.  I have an extensive and comprehensive set of video lectures and appropriate homework assignments in the course.  The student is required to look very deeply into the past and identify archetypal patterns and write about them in detail.  The self analysis is heavy, and the written work required to make progress is lengthy and serious.  I have started the work, but see that it could require a lifetime.

The Leonardo book has been on my shelf for years, as has the workbook with active homework assignments to help the reader become more like Leo.  It ranks as one of my favorites, so I knew I could stay busy in these books easily for a year without scratching the surface.  I was right about that; 10 months into this diet and I do not seem to be the least bit more brilliant or innovative.  It is for the same reason it always is….because I do not do my homework to rebel.  At least the Sacred Contract study has taught me that this rebel is a teacher and my teacher is a rebel, so maybe I will soon break out of my will to avoid my own assigned homework.  That would be such a fabulous breakthrough!!

Impact Equation is a great book that I read once and looked at a couple of times during the diet.  Chris is the new kind of guru.  Perhaps I think this because he is my guru of social media and disruptive positive change.  I subscribe to his newsletter and correspond with him all the time, so his voice and his attitude are very well known to me.  I am actually happy he gave up the diet; I told him he was too young for it.  Now he has launched a new magazine/biz school, Owner, which is very exciting, so obviously this was not his year to diet.  I have learned from Sacred Contracts that Chris is my teacher and visionary.  He doesn’t need a contract with me, but I am signed up to learn and emulate.  It will end when I have done my homework.  This brings me to the brilliance of the diet for me.  I needed to blog and develop my own skills, but while consuming hundreds of books a year I had no time dedicated to my own writing.  Now I have a small but growing group of Gentle Readers that I love very much.  I would never have found them, or my discipline to write, had I not gone on the book diet.

When I break the fast I will decide what is prudent. I have a pile of books I bought and had signed by my favorite author of all time, Thomas Moore.  I have preordered his new book, which will be released into my Kindle in January.  I will read A Religion of One’s Own with great gusto.  Chris Brogan is my guru of worldly wisdom, but Thomas Moore is my idol.  He is teaching the world to be monastic….in a good way…in a meditative way….in a kind way. Contemplative reading is one way to meditate.  The book diet has taught me the great value of learning more by consuming less. I may go on a One Book Diet next year..it could be fabulous.

What do you think?

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comments

LOL I don’t think I could do that pamela! I’m just not that organised!

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London-Unattached.com

September 13, 2013

I sooo couldn’t do 3 books, heck there’s times I am actively engaged with 3 books at one time

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ladybren

September 14, 2013

This is really interesting. Like you, the library is my best friend, and reading is pretty much my favorite thing to do. While I can totally understand the value of learning more by consuming less, I think it would be a very hard diet!;-)

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Jess @UsedYorkCity

September 14, 2013

It is THE hardest diet I have ever attempted ….that is how I learned how much I needed it..I have always read about 20 books at a time..and I know I could go back to that any time, but I need to do the homework more than I need to read more books.

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mermaidcamp

September 14, 2013

I don’t know if I could only read 3 books – I go through them so quickly and am usually reading 3 or more at a time.

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Rebecca

September 16, 2013

this is interesting. would love to have some feedback as you go through this

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Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

September 17, 2013

1 notes

  1. Ending the Book Diet | mermaidcamp reblogged this and added:

    […] Like Leonardo DaVinci by Michael Gelb, and Impact Equation by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.  This experiment was proposed by Brother Brogan about the time that he published Impact Equation.  I went for the […]

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