The cycle of book buying and reading (or not)

The cycle of book buying and reading (or not)- Karen Reyburn


The “Book progression model” (or book disappearance model):

1. From the screen to your amazon basket (or order form)
2. Sits in the parcel for a few days
3. Out of the parcel and on to your desk – there it is! I’ll read it soon!
4. Moves to the “to be read’ pile because it’s been sitting on your desk a few days
5. Goes to your suitcase because you promise you’re going to read it when on holiday or when travelling
6. Comes out of the suitcase not having been read yet. Back to the to be read pile
7. You get fired up one weekend and read three whole chapters! And make notes and think of new ideas and decide this is what you want to do
8. It sits there.
9. Another book appears and you order that…
10. …and the cycle continues


The moment of ordering a new book is the moment of greatest potential.

Anything is possible. You can become a marketer, improve your strategic thinking, resolve conflicts, build a solid culture, strengthen your leadership skills.

It’s all there, ready and waiting for you. The book you’ve ordered will help you get there…but it’s not here yet. As soon as it arrives, you think, that will be your moment.

If it’s an actual printed copy of the book, you’ll need to wait a day, or a few days, or a few weeks for this potential to become reality. That’s okay, you think. No problem. You’ve got a few things to focus on, and when the book arrives you can really get stuck in.

The day (or the moment) the book arrives isn’t always the right one. You’ve had a last minute panic with the kids, or it’s been snowing and you need to dig out the car, or a client has an emergency needing your help.

No problem, you think. You set the book on your desk promising yourself you’ll read it as soon as you sort this thing out, and a few days go by.

The book gets in the way of everything else on your desk, so you move it aside a little. It’s still really important, and actually, you reason to yourself, it’s TOO important to simply glance at. You need to really give it your attention.

The book starts moving around with you. On the bookshelf, on the bedside table, in the backpack or handbag, even in your suitcase when you travel.

It represents all the potential you’re going to lean into, the moment you pick it up.

And then something else comes up which inspires you to order another book and…the cycle continues.

(You can do the same thing with an ebook or an audiobook: you order it, download it, and then think, “Okay, I’ll really give that my attention when I have a minute.”)

Eventually, you will read the book. I’ve got books on my shelf which were half-read or barely-started or never-opened, and three years later I’ll finally pick one up and read it cover to cover. Or i’ll be in a good reading rhythm, and start reading a chapter a day.

That cycle makes sense. It’s normal life. You don’t need to feel guilty for not reading enough, or even for not implementing enough.

The question is, which of the areas you’re working through in your business needs the most attention in the long run?

That’s probably the book you’ll avoid the longest.

I remember many years back needing to have a serious conversation with a colleague. I bought a book about candid conversations or expressing yourself with intention or something, read it over the weekend, and used some of the principles in it for the meeting.

But there’s a book called “Known”, which is all about building your personal brand and becoming known in your unique area, which I keep looking at and thinking, “Yep, that’s really important. Big stuff. When I have a solid day to focus, I’ll read that and take notes and really give it my full attention. I think I’ve had that book on my shelf for…six years? Longer?

The Accountant Marketer may be one of the books you’ve bought and haven’t gotten into yet. Or you read the intro and the first chapter, or skipped to the video or website chapter, and you need to go back to the beginning and start again.

That could be because you recognise just how important marketing really is.

You know it’s not a quick fix, not an instant win. You need to build good foundations, make sure your marketing is revealing who your business truly is – team, and clients, and values, and way of doing things.

So you don’t want to just skim it and be half hearted. You want to be intentional.

Here are a few ways to actually do that:

ㅤ1. Time blocking: If you’re a time blocker, set aside 15 or 30 minutes to read a chapter, or a portion of a chapter. Put it in your calendar. Once a day, once a week.

ㅤ2. Connect it to an existing routine: If you have a strategy day once a week or once a month, tack on reading a chapter of the book at the start of your day. If you hold a team meet once a week, plan to read for 15 minutes before the meet starts, or just after it ends.

ㅤ3. Add it to your “filler time” list: Everyone has periods of time which open up unexpectedly during the day. A meeting is cancelled, and you have an extra hour. A project you set aside an hour for only takes you 15 minutes. Plan to use this filler time for reading a chapter.

ㅤ4. Get accountability: I run a 12 week coaching group for accountants, and we’ll be using the Accountant Marketer book as our field guide. You’ll read a chapter a week, and so will everyone else in the group. You will be far more likely to read it when you have a deadline (and have to show up and say “I read the chapter” or “I didn’t read it” every week).

Here’s the link to sign up. If you want to talk to me about whether this coaching group is for you, and what’s involved, drop me a reply and we’ll get that booked in.

What I’d love to hear from you: 

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read “soon”?

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Road trippin and tomb hunting in the northern Irish countryside with one of my life besties. It’s a satisfying thing to climb these hills and watch the clouds move… and explore the old tombs which are older than the pyramids. 

Here we go. 

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What will you do when you’ve arrived?

One of the things business owners tend to focus on is getting the business to run without you.

Systems, team, leadership, pricing… you work so hard on each of these and it often takes longer than you expect.

Maybe you have a vague idea of what you’d do with all that free time once it appears, but I’d guess just as many of you aren’t 100% sure what that will look like.

Every day is so full you don’t have to time to pause. “I’ll spend more time with my family”, you tell yourself. More holidays, more of whatever fills you up.

It might be cooking or DIY or reading, but equally it might be writing a book. Coaching. Speaking. A second or third business of a new kind. 

Which means NOW is the time to start thinking about it.

That can feel overwhelming, if things aren’t “sorted” yet. You still have team issues, or the systems and tech are taking longer than expected to deliver results. You’ve lost some clients, or are struggling to get new ones.

The fact is, all those things may be indicators you’re closer than you realise.

These issues will get sorted – and the moment they do, you could hit a point where you have that spare time. You have a little more energy, or money, or space and freedom. For whatever. 

Now what?

What’s that “whatever”?

That’s when you start looking at your personal brand.

It’s different from your business brand. Instead of being focused on an audience, buying a service; instead of being something which summarises an entire business including clients and team, now you have the opportunity to consider what summarises YOU.

What you care about. The message you’d get out to the world if you could. The kind of people who think the way you do.

If this is even a *glimmer* of a thought in your mind, I’d love to hear from you. I’m working on a live workshop event in the UK, and I want to make sure we cover what would be the most helpful for you, right now.

Before everything is “sorted”.

*Full post in bio: sign up for my new email and monthly newsletter, Creative Headspace. Starts 1 March!*