One Book at a Time

By Avil M. Beckford

Copyright 2009 Ambeck Enterprise

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3 Reasons to Read ............................................................ Page 4 4 Levels of Reading .......................................................... Page 5 Impact of Reading ........................................................... Page 7 How Many Books for a Well Fed Mind ..................................... Page 8 What to Read ................................................................. Page 10 Are You Too Busy to Read ................................................... Page 11 How to Remember What You Read........................................ Page 12 Keeping Track to Master a Subject........................................ Page 13 Keeping Track of What You Have Read ................................... Page 14 How to Develop a Reading Plan ........................................... Page 15 Reading Plan Process ........................................................ Page 17 Book Recommendations .................................................... Page 22 Rare Books That Inspire Learning ...................................... Page 27 Avil Beckford’s List of Books That Influence ............................. Page 28 Books Important to President Barack Obama ............................ Page 29 Authors Important to President Barack Obama .......................... Page 30

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“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention” says Francis Bacon, author, philosopher and the father of inductive reasoning.

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Professionals who aspire to become leaders in their field must develop intellectual power. To do that requires chewing, digesting and savoring the right books one book at a time. Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren in their groundbreaking book How To Read A Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading, say people read for three reasons: 1. Entertainment 2. Information 3. Understanding (Necessary to further knowledge) To get the most from reading, readers have to interact with the words on the page, have to think about what the authors are saying, and why they are saying what they are saying.

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Elementary: Level of reading that is learned in elementary school Inspectional: Emphasis is on time - getting the most out of a book within a short time frame. There are two types of inspectional reading, systematic skimming or pre-reading and superficial reading Analytical: Deals with classifying the book, coming to terms with it, determining the book's message, and criticizing both the book and the author. Analytical reading is a very active type of reading Syntopical: Also known as comparative reading, is the most complex form of reading. It is reading multiple books on the same subject and placing them in relation to each other

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Comparing Adler’s and Van Doren’s four levels of reading to Francis Bacon’s quotation, elementary reading is similar to tasting, inspectional to swallowing and analytical to chewing and digesting.

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         

Build verbal power Build a body of knowledge Gain insights Discover guidelines to live by Secure formulas and intellectual frameworks to use Gain a deeper understanding and heightened awareness Discover new ways of thinking Introduce rigor to your thinking Gain an understanding of cultures, civilization and the world Awake/Ignite something within

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Research by Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI) reported that Korean CEOs read an average of two or three books per month, which was slightly lower than what their counterparts at western companies who read on average 1,000 pages per month. This equates to approximately four to five books each month assuming each book is 200 – 250 pages in length.
Source: Korea Economic Trends, NO.333, August 7, 2004

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The “menu” of books should include a selection of not just bestsellers, but also books that are off the beaten tracks. In fact, the great thinkers who have transformed the world did not read bestsellers. As an aspiring leader, or someone who wants to be on the fast track, if you focus only on what others are focusing on, how can you stretch and expand your thinking to develop the intellectual power required to respond with agility to opportunities and challenges in the workplace? Books featured on bestsellers’ lists are unlikely to give your mind an intellectual workout.

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To get book recommendations, ask mentors, colleagues, friends and family: 3.Which book had a profound impact on your life? 5.If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are five books that you would like to have with you? Offer to compile a list of the results and email to them. If reading to master a subject area, read books by the leaders in the area that you are interested in.

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In a 24/7 world that is ever changing, one where people are constantly bombarded with information, busy professionals have to be intentional about reading, carving out time for learning in an already tightly scheduled day. To achieve a reading goal a reading plan is required. “The only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.” E. M. Forster, English novelist and essayist

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Take notes while you read in a notebook designated for that purpose, or write the notes on the inside cover of the book and on other blank pages. This is very important if reading to master a subject. Record all the page numbers for easy access to the information Connect what you are reading to what you already know Identify what are the strength and weaknesses of the book Make special note of any information that you can readily apply to work and life Each month record book information to keep track of what you have read, and write a brief summary of the book from your notes
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Title/Author Concept 1 Documentation/Page Found Concept 2 Documentation/Page Found Concept 3 Documentation/Page Found What are the Weaknesses of the Authors’ Arguments, Evidence and Conclusions? Special Notes

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Name of Book 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Name of Author

Month Read

Short Summary of Book

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How many books have you read in the past six months? Of the books that you read, how many were for entertainment, information and understanding? Did you recommend any of books you read in the past six months to anyone? Why? Why not? What are you now able to do that you were not able to do six months ago, that is a direct result of reading a book?

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In what subject area would you like to build intellectual capacity and power in? What has prevented you so far from building intellectual capacity and power in areas that you need to? What are some strategies that you can develop to minimize the barriers that prevent you from building your intellectual capacity? Are you committed to developing a reading plan? If yes, when?

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 

Invest in a good speed-reading course To get tips on how to get the most out of your reading, read  How to Read A Book  Book-Lover  The Reading of Books  How to Read and Why  The Art of Thought  The Thinker’s Guides (Center for Critical Thinking) Set a daily reading goal and schedule it into your day  Try to read about 40 to 50 pages a day, which will allow you to read about a book each week  Get up earlier and/or stay up later if necessary  If your aim is to attain mastery in a topic within three years you have to apply the necessary discipline

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What to read each month:  Start with the book recommendation from mentors, family and friends  Have a combination of fiction and non-fiction and every now and again read a fairy tale or a children’s book “just because” Take an inventory of all the unread books that are on your bookshelf Join a Book-of-the-Month Club. Two suggestions are:  Book of the Month Club http://www.bomc.com  Quality Paperback Book Club http://www.qpb.com

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Subscribe to business book summaries and use them as a guide to decide which books are worth reading.  Audio-Tech Business Book Summaries http://store.audiotech.com  Soundview Executive Book Summaries http://www.summary.com  The Summaries.com http://www.thesummaries.com/ Make professional development a fun time for the family. And, if you have a long commute to work, invest in:  Unabridged books on CDs and tapes to listen to during the commute  Audio programs that your family can listen to during family time or on road trips Create a form to record information on the books that you have read, for easy reference
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For articles to read, two very good websites for magazine articles are  Magportal.com  Magatopia.com Each week read some alternative articles on subjects that you would not usually read For electronic book downloads  Google Books  Project Gutenberg  World Public Library  BookYards  The Great Book  Great Books for Free  Classic-Literature & Literature Page
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Join the:

Centre for the Study of Great Ideas Great Books Foundation School of Thinking Foundation for Critical Thinking

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      

Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain The Penguin History of the World, J. M. Roberts The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies, Marcel Mauss Rubáiyát, Omar Khayya The Way to Love, Anthony de Mello

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 

That Which You Are Seeking Is Causing You to Seek, Cheri Huber Alexander Hamilton: The Year That Rocked The World, Ron Chernow All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes, Maya Angelou I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Visions of Glory, William Manchester

  

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As a professional who is an avid reader and continuous learner, I am always on the lookout for book recommendations. Also, as someone with over 15 years research experience, I have used my skills to interview accomplished individuals to find the answers to my questions. On the next few page you will discover the gems that I have found over the years. By diligently chewing, swallowing and digesting the decadent entrees on the book menu, you will not only please your palate, but you will develop a well-fed mind.

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In the New York Times article “C.E.O. Libraries Reveal Keys to Success,” journalist Harriet Rubin reveals that “Serious leaders who are serious readers build personal libraries dedicated to how to think, not how to compete” The CEOs mentioned in the New York Times article seldom read business books. To gain wisdom and insights they chew and digest biographies, literary works and poetry, many of which have been around for decades and sometimes centuries. They too interact with the words on the pages to stretch and expand their minds. The books mentioned in the New York Times article included on the list of books recommended Rubin, Harriet. July 21, 2009, “ C.E.O. Libraries Reveal Keys to Success.” New York Times

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The list of great books compiled by Professor Gene Waddell is quite impressive and is for those readers who aspire to be extraordinary. Why the Books on This List is Important Everything old is new again. Throughout history, the great inventors a and thinkers have built on the work of others to create successful businesses, products and services. What innovation might you create after reading books from Professor Waddell’s list?
Using Rare Books to Inspire Learning Part 1 Using Rare Books to Inspire Learning Part 2

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Some of the questions that I ask during the extensive interviews that I conduct with highly accomplished individuals include: oWhich one book had a profound impact on your life? oIf you were stranded on a deserted island what are five books that you would like to have with you? oHave you ever read any books that prompted you to start a business, or invent a product or service? oWhat books did your mentors recommend to you? Avil’s List

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Souls of Black Folk, W. E. B. DuBois Letter From Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison The Power and the Glory & The Quiet American, Graham Greene The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing Cancer Ward, Alexander Solzhenitsyn In Dubious Battle, John Steinbeck Power Broker, Robert Caro Working, Studs Terkel Wealth of Nations & Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren Source: Abe Books

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Ralph Waldo Emerson Thomas Jefferson Mark Twain Abraham Lincoln James Baldwin Friedrich Nietzsche Reinhold Niebuhr Paul Tillich Source: Abe Books

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Avil Beckford President of Ambeck Enterprise and Chief Invisible Mentor, is an accomplished writer, researcher, and analyst with over 15 years of experience. Her strong service orientation, dedication to learning and exploring new ways of improving her own life as well as the many she touches, has underpinned her success to date.   A published author, her new book, Tales of People Who Get It is the culmination of her life experiences. It has often been said of Avil that her life informs her work. She has also created a companion workbook Journey to Getting It.   Avil’s many readers look forward to Ambeck Edge, her company’s regular e-Newsletter that is a rich resource those interested in selfimprovement, as well as those professionals who struggle with life balance issues. More recently, she created The Invisible Mentor Blog to use books, articles and interviews by and about successful people to mentor her readers.  

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Websites   Ambeck Enterprise http://www.ambeck.com   The Invisible Mentor Blog http://theinvisiblementor.com   Resources   Website Resources: http://www.ambeck.com/resources.html   Blog Resources: http://theinvisiblementor.com/resources/   Books: Tales of People Who Get It, Journey to Getting It, The Invisible Mentor Tool Kit, Work-Life Balance Self Discovery Worksheet http://stores.lulu.com/avilbeckford  
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