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Feed Your Brain: The Easy Way

The old adage, “so many books, so little time,” is more true now than ever. With almost 200,000 new titles published every year, we have a cornucopia of literary options. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time keeping up.

iPod Shuffle

Yet I know that “leaders are readers” and “readers are leaders.” If you are going to lead in today’s environment, you have to be a thought leader, and that only comes from reading. If you don’t keep up, you’ll fall behind. Before long, someone else will be doing the leading.

Last November, when I began running, I also started listening to audiobooks. I discovered I could “kill two birds with one stone.” I could run with my body and listen with my mind. I found that this was a great way to feed my brain while doing something else.

So, I joined Audible.com and began listening to recorded books. Audible has nearly everything I want to read—thousands of books in nearly every major category. It is fully compatible with my iPod. Best of all, it uses a “bookmarkable” format (.aa format for you geeks), so that my position is saved when I turn off my iPod. When I’m ready to listen again, I pick up right where I left off.

I joined Audible’s Platinum program for $22.95 a month—about the cost of a single hardback book. This gives me two credits. (One credit equals one unabridged audiobook.) Since the average recorded book is 6–12 hours long, I can usually get through two books a month. Honestly, this enables me to read way more than I was able to do conventionally.

In the last six months, I’ve listened to:

  • Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
  • The Carrot Principle by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton
  • Focus: Achieving Your Highest Priorities by Stephen R. Covey
  • The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive by Patrick Lencioni
  • Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham
  • How to Think Like a CEO by D.A. Benton
  • It’s Your Ship by D. Michael Abrashoff
  • Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • Next by Michael Crichton
  • The South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston, M.D.
  • Tough Choices by Carly Fiorina
  • Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes
  • What's So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
  • Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams
  • Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen

For the last six months, I have used a standard video iPod. I have a 80 GB model, which holds a mind-boggling 20,000 songs. But for just running and listening to books, it’s overkill. Plus, it’s a little bulky and expensive—about $350. I used a “fanny pack” for running, but it always seemed a little awkward.

So, last night, I bought an iPod Shuffle. It’s so small and light, it’s scary. It weighs just a half an ounce and is about as big as my thumb—only thinner. It has a 1GB flash drive, which will hold 240 songs or about 4–6 audio books. It comes with a docking station and earphones. The sound is great, and it costs only $79.95.

Audible is also running a special offer on their Gold program. The program normally costs $14.95 a month. You get one credit (or one audiobook) a month. But, if you sign up now, you get the first three months for half price—$7.49 a month.

Most of us know we should read more. Intuitively, we believe it will make us more creative, more engaging, more educated, and more well-rounded. But many of us have difficultly making time. Well, here’s a simple, relatively inexpensive way to get your body and your mind into shape.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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