You Are What You Read

July 25, 2018 by Joni Watson DNP, MBA, RN, OCN®

Business leader Charlie “Tremendous” Jones once said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

Reading is essential to growth—both professionally and personally. Unfortunately, reading for enjoyment rapidly declines after age eight (, and one in four Americans say they haven’t read a book in the past 12 months (

Even growing up in a home with plenty of books, parents who read every night, and exceptional teachers, reading was always something I had to do, not something I wanted to do. Years of schooling left me with a desire to do anything but read; I had to reprogram my brain and develop the habit of reading until I eventually enjoyed it.

And, I legitimately enjoy reading now. Nonfiction books are my pleasure, and I try to read three to four books per month that range from leadership and management to modern poetry to Christian living to biographies and historical memoirs. If fiction is your thing, read fiction. The important thing is to just read.

If you’re not sure how to start or keep the momentum going, here are a few tips I use to keep my reading flame burning:

Reading can help you develop and hone leadership skills, work to refresh your attitude and provide stress relief, and even reframe your perspective to approach problems with a new point of view. Not all reading needs to be tedious, scholarly, or dull. It’s important to interject a wide variety of books into your repertoire.

If you aren’t reading as much as you’d like to today, try a few of these tips to get started. You’ll be recommending books to your friends and colleagues in no time. Happy reading!

reading list
My Recommended Reading List

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