The Bookstore Project

I have liked books for a long time since I was a kid. I remember getting Jules Verne’s book Journey to the center of the earth when I was around 8 years old, and I loved it. My uncle Carlos had a small bookstore in Guadalajara, Mexico and my Dad used to bring me when he visited the bookstore to exchange his books and get a few magazines. And since then, I was always thrilled to go to this bookstore and look at all these book covers, magazines, etc. It was magical to me.

Verne’s book was a treasure for me, and while I don’t remember what happened to that book, it definitely was essential in awakening my interest in reading books. So as I am writing this, I did a quick search and found that the book is still in print, and I will definitely buy it – but not online. So instead, I will aim to get it at a small bookstore.

Like many people, I have many books around the house that I haven’t read yet. For me, it’s hard not to buy a book every time I go to a bookstore. While I don’t read all books immediately, I do read them. But the experience of visiting a bookstore, looking at all the books, decorations, and everything about them is very romantic.

A few years ago, I watched a video on YouTube where Max Joseph visited beautiful bookstores in Portugal and Argentina. In his video, he travels to Portugal to visit what’s considered the most beautiful bookstore in the world, while also talking about how to read books faster, and create a habit of reading. It’s a great video, and it’s very inspiring too.

I decided to watch the video again, and since my son had asked me to go with him to a Barnes and Noble near hour house, I was excited to go. While visiting the bookstore with my son, I found a book titled “Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores,” it is as if the universe had a plan, and was laying it in front of me. I bought the book.

With newly found inspiration and ideas from the YouTube video and the book about the world’s greatest bookstores, I decided to try a new project. The idea is to visit the most unique and beautiful bookstores worldwide and take some videos and photographs of these bookstores. This isn’t going to be a single trip around the world, but instead, I will try and visit at least one or two bookstores in every city I land. And since I travel often, this should be doable, and also very fun.

This summer, we are traveling to Europe, and one of the first places we’ll visit is Porto, Portugal. And guess what? Porto is home to what is considered one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Yes, the same one featured in that YouTube video. This bookstore is also where it is said that J.K Rowling got the inspiration for some of the Harry Potter decorations. This bookstore will mark the beginning of this project, and I am really excited about it.

I don’t know what this project will be like in the end. Maybe it will be a collection of photos, videos, or both. Perhaps it will be a collection of essays where I write about each one of these bookstores, their story, etc. I don’t know, but having a specific project like this to focus on is exciting to me. It also gives me yet another excuse to find and visit more bookstores everywhere I go.

Do you also like visiting bookstores? Do you have any recommendations? One of the coolest bookstores I visited recently was in downtown Brooklyn, NY. The bookstore’s name is McNally Jackson Books, and it is beautiful. They have a large collection of books, and the place is amazing. The photo featured in this blog post is from that bookstore which I visited in May of 2022.

How to consume books while hiking, driving, or washing dishes. Hint: Audiobooks.

The thing is, as much as I enjoy reading paper books and also books in my kindle, it’s nearly impossible and highly irresponsible to do it while walking, washing dishes, or driving, it really isn’t safe. Now, I’ve known about Audible for a while, but for some reason, just never tried it until recently. However, listening to podcasts while driving, running, hiking, washing dishes, etc. it’s something I’ve been doing for a while now. Listening to audio while doing other physical or very repetitive activities is not only possible but enjoyable, and yes, I really do wash dishes just so I can listen to podcasts and audiobooks.

Audiobooks crossed my life recently, it was during a road trip to Florida last year when I experienced listening to an audiobook from beginning to end while driving for several hours from Texas to Florida.

The audiobook was Becoming by Michelle Obama, my wife had asked me to buy it, and so we ended up listening to it during this road trip. The book was long but very entertaining and exciting, it was great overall. We learned a lot about Michelle Obama, and also her husband, President Obama. But what it surprised me the most, it was the audio format was actually easy to follow, We truly enjoyed it. And this is all it took to be hooked to audiobooks.

The next thing I did after that was to buy another book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, which I’ve wanted to read for a while and since I knew I was about to drive from Austin, TX to Seattle, WA, I thought it would be a great way to consume this book. It was, and it is now one of my favorite books I’ve listened to or read this year so far.

The thing with audiobooks is that, while they aren’t as polished as podcasts, they are a pretty good way to consume books, especially if you can’t find the time to sit and read. Now, for me, audiobooks aren’t a replacement of paper or kindle books, but they are definitely an option when you want to consume a book while doing an activity where reading isn’t an option.

Ad: Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

In the end, whichever way you find more sustainable and entertaining for you to consume books, just do it. Eliminate all the barriers that are preventing you from learning and discovering new things usually hidden in books/audiobooks. I recently wrote about how reading help you find success, the post is in Spanish, but you can easily translate it or wait until I post an English version of it. Go read/listen more. Cheers.

¿Quieres tener más éxito? Lee más.

library

¿Saben una cosa? En toda mi vida nunca he conocido a una persona con éxito financiero que no lee en abundancia. Leer te ayuda a tener un conocimiento amplio de la vida, de los negocios, de la ciencia, y cualquier otro tópico que leas. En mí opinión, si quieres tener éxito, tienes que aprender a leer en abundancia y con gusto.

Una forma fácil de hacer esto es leer cualquier cosa que sea de tu interés, si lees sobre algo que te guste, le encontraras el gusto a la lectura y con tiempo leerás sobre una variedad amplia de tópicos, y con gusto.

La lectura también amplia tu vocabulario, y te ayuda a entender y a obtener puntos de vista distintos y variados. Las personas que leen normalmente tienen una mente más abierta y no pierden tiempo en discusiones innecesarias. El conocimiento adquirido por la lectura te ayuda a entender otros puntos de vista, y te da la habilidad de discutirlos con inteligencia, sin enojarte.

Además, leer puede ser muy placentero y excitante, una vez que adquieras el gusto por la lectura, te sorprenderás de ese mundo tan interesante y misterioso que puedes encontrar en muchos libros.

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Kickstarter: Our project failed

greenThis is the message I received this morning from Kickstarter about my campaign failing because it didn’t get funded:

We’re sorry to report that your project, The Undocumented Engineer, didn’t meet its funding goal.

We know how much hard work goes into running a project. You’ve made tremendous progress by launching and working to build a community around your idea.

As you’re figuring out your next steps, don’t forget to keep your backers in the loop. They’re your biggest fans and are probably interested in following along with your progress. You can post an update or send them a message to let them know about your plans for your project.

Continue reading “Kickstarter: Our project failed”

Kickstarter: Day 10

It’s been 10 days since I launched my first kickstarter campaign for my first book. These series of blog posts are a story of my journey with my first kickstarter campaign.

These are the things I’ve tried up until today to get more people to back my campaign:

  • Emailed my entire email list. Twice.
  • Have tweeted multiple times from different accounts about the campaign.
  • Tried unsuccessfully to get influential people to re-tweet or tweet about my campaign.
  • Emailed friends and acquaintances directly to ask them for their support.
  • Have posted the video, book cover and excerpts from my new book multiple times on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Have written three posts about my failure to get people to back my kickstarter campaign. This is the third one.

Continue reading “Kickstarter: Day 10”