Why I Read: Finding Fun in Fiction

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Hobbit"

By Katie Corbett


I read a lot. Business books are fun and good, and I also enjoy curling up with a fiction book. Reading fiction is advice that one of my favorite authors, Tim Ferriss, gives a lot in his book, “The 4-Hour Workweek.” I have found his advice helpful on many levels.


I first read “The Hobbit,” by J. R. R. Tolkien because my mom said it was a fun book. As I grew, I started picking out books of my own to read. Here are some benefits I’ve gotten through enjoying a good story.


  • I can live vicariously through others.
  • I learn about ways to persevere, and also how it looks to give up.
  • I can sit back, relax, and not think so much about my own life.
  • I can learn new words and turns of phrase, which helps me become a better writer.
  • Reading book jacket blurbs and then reading the accompanying book gives me marketing perspective.
  • I can read anywhere.
  • Books give me a way to start conversations with others.
  • I can read about different people and decide what kind of person I want to be.
  • I love learning about how worlds are built and how authors get their ideas.
  • Reading is the one hobby I’ve never gotten tired of doing.


Do you love to read? If so, what have been some of your favorite books this year? If not, what hobbies do you enjoy?


If you’re not sure what hobby you want to try next, consider picking up a few new hobbies and see what sticks. Have you been curious about knitting, think you might like to try kayaking, or want to learn how to bake an amazing soufflé? Give it a try. This time next year, you’ll be glad you did.


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Enjoying the Journey: How to Travel The Long Road

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Hobbit"

By Katie Corbett


The journey of entrepreneurship or career change can be daunting. You might not get there as quickly as you might like. You might know where you want to go, and have no idea how you’ll get there.


I have read the first chapter of “The Hobbit,” by J. R. R. Tolkien more than once. This is because it is LONG. It’s one of the longest chapters in the book, and at almost 50 pages, it’s pretty long for a starting chapter. Here are some takeaways I’ve gotten from pushing through it multiple times:


In this book, as well as in entrepreneurship and career change, you might be getting those feelings you got as a kid on a road-trip. Your parents probably told you to sit back and enjoy the scenery every time you asked, “Are we there yet?” I would agree. Enjoy the journey.


Everything will be answered in time. You no doubt have questions that can’t be easily answered. That’s what it felt like reading that first chapter. Will Bilbo go on the journey? Where will everyone sleep? Why did Bilbo have so much food? Why didn’t everyone do their breakfast dishes? You know, important questions like that. Some questions will be answered in the future, and others will not. I think being OK with that helps me be OK with spontaneity and carry onwards.


You might have to slog now, but it will be worth it. Getting through that first chapter was a chore, and I’m so glad I did it. I got to read so many other enjoyable chapters after that and would have had no clue what was going on if I hadn’t read that first chapter. So while you’re applying for that job that asks you to fill out your life history, or reading boring legal articles to try to figure out how to file the paperwork necessary to start your business, keep in mind that the best is yet to come. Every step you take now will get you closer to where you want to be in the future.


In what ways do you push yourself to succeed? Did you slog through something that took forever, but you’re proud you did it? How has it paid off? Drop it in the comments.


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Remember to Tell Your Founder Story

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Hobbit"

By Katie Corbett


Founder stories are almost always inspiring. This month, I’m going to blog about the lessons I’ve learned through fiction. Here’s a founder story of sorts that inspires me.


I first read “The Hobbit,” by J. R. R. Tolkien when I was in elementary school. My mom loved the book and talked it up, and even read me the first chapter.


I eventually checked it out from the library and finished it myself. I enjoyed it so much, I read it to my younger brother.


In later years, I ended up stumbling across the story of how Tolkien came up with the concept. He was grading certificates, as professors do, when he came across a blank page in the stack. Suddenly inspired, he wrote, “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” To this day, that is the first line of the book. From that serendipitous story, I learned:


  • It’s OK to start without knowing where you’re going. Tolkien didn’t have a clue what a hobbit was when he wrote those lines.
  • Take opportunities that come your way. He could have thrown the paper aside and kept working, but he seized the moment and wrote the first line of a book that would become more popular than ever.
  • Write things down. If the idea had been ruminating in his head, the book might not have gotten written.
  • Share your story. I bet that was a fun story to tell.
  • Let your projects carry themselves. Tolkien built a beautiful world and inspired so many by letting things be what they would be and following his creativity.


If you have a favorite book, movie, song, or product, I encourage you to learn about how it all started. You never know what lessons you can take away from the story or how it will impact your future.


Which founder story inspires you? What can you do to learn more about the people who inspire you? What is your founder story? How could you share it with the world? Leave me a comment; I’d love to know.


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