MGU 37 | Reading For Growth


When someone picks up a book, they do so for a great many reasons, but the most important of these reasons is to find something that feeds you. Reading for growth – in your personal, social or work life – is an important step on the road that ultimately ends with you ending up in a much better place than you were before. Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen put forth the merits of reading for growth as a way of feeding your soul and the better you already inside of you. People consume the things they read in a variety of ways, but whatever you choose, just make sure that what you’re reading brings you to a better state than you were before. Find out more about what you should be checking out with Jason and Whitney.

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The Health Impacts Of Reading Books

National Read Across America Day

This episode is coming out on the National Read Across America Day.

It sounds like that was something that started in the ‘80s during the Reagan administration.

It started in 1998. According to, it was established to help get kids excited about reading. It occurs each year on the birthday of beloved children’s book author, Dr. Seuss. He is pretty good, though. I’m surprised that you’re not a big Dr. Seuss man with all your wacky tendencies.

There’s some contentiousness about Theodor Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss.

What do you mean?

There’s a lot of stuff about him abusing his wife and taking great ideas. It’s disheartening. I don’t mean to go there, but I have to go there because I feel like he’s a person that obviously has shaped so many of our childhoods. My mom read me all of his books and Shel Silverstein’s books.

Shel Silverstein was basically your dad. Can you tell that story?

Shel Silverstein, the lauded author of Where The Sidewalk Ends, The Giving Tree and a lot of seminal children’s books. My father was a complete doppelganger of Shel Silverstein. He, in the ‘70s and ‘80s in Hollywood when my dad was out here acting, would impersonate Shel Silverstein and go into restaurants. We could get free meals at restaurants in Beverly Hills until someone finally figured it out after years and realized it wasn’t Shel Silverstein. He couldn’t pull it in Hollywood anymore.

Do you mean one person figured it out and he couldn’t get away with it anywhere?

There’s probably a lot more to it than that, but the jig was up as they say. My dad was pulling it off for a while where he would walk around Hollywood pretending to be Shel Silverstein, which I thought was hilarious. He looked so much like him. When you see a picture of my dad in that era and you see a picture of Shel Silverstein on the back of any of his books, he’s a dead ringer. Whitney and I do this thing where sometimes we’ll see people in public and we’ll go like, “85% Vince Vaughn.” We’ll give a grade of how much they look like a person we know. My dad was probably 93% Shel Silverstein, almost exactly on point. He pulled it off for a while.

I wanted to bring this up because we’re always looking for timely content, and so a lot of the times, I’m scheduling out our episodes. I’ll look and see are there any national days that match themes that we could have. This is important to me though because we’re both authors now. My book officially came out, The Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook. We’re both cookbook authors now. For the first time in my life, I feel like I want to write more. I’d love to publish another book. I don’t think I necessarily want to do another cookbook. If it came to my lap as this one did, I would do it for sure. It’s hard to turn down opportunities that come to you. This one was incredibly rewarding and a great experience, but similar to Jason, I don’t know if I have a massive passion for recipes necessarily.

I have more passion for personal development as is the topic of this podcast. I had published a few newsletters to my personal mailing list and they were all centered around books. I was finding all these interesting statistics about books. I’m fascinated by that. It’s interesting because this National Read Across America Day is aimed towards kids. The truth is I’m ignorant. I don’t know what the exact statistics are, but at least in my childhood, I read a lot. I felt like books were such a huge part of my childhood, whether it was my parents reading books to me or reading books for fun. Reading books in school was a big part of my education. I was surrounded by books. My very first job was at a library. I was surrounded by my books during that phase of my life.

The library that I’ve been to, the one in the center of town.

There's a different energy you find while you're reading a book. Share on X

That one is the new location. They moved, so it was in a different location. It’s that library but not the same original location that I worked in.

When I say the center of town, I’m referring to the small town that Whitney grew up in. I’ve been to the new version. It is very quaint, sweet and has the vibe you would expect from a small town, East Coast library. There’s a certain energy to it that you’re like, “I want to spend time here.”

It’s also one of the filming locations for the movie, Little Women, which is a book. I wanted to talk about this because it’s important for us as adults to feel inspired to read, to be motivated to read, to be encouraged to read. That’s my aim. Also, to talk about how books have touched our lives and what books we love. I pulled up some of the information about National Read Across America and they had like some activities. I thought I would read these a lot. These are all aimed towards kids, but this can apply to people of all ages. The first one was to make a date with a book, which reminds me of the artist’s way. It’s taking your favorite book or a book that you want to read out and going out for coffee, getting a glass of wine. Take your book out to dinner and sit at a bar or a table for two and get lost in your book while out in public. Isn’t that so sweet?

There’s different energy I find when I’m reading a book. My version of that is like on vacation if I’m in a hammock or reading a book on the beach. This idea though of bringing your book on a coffee date or a dinner date, I like this.

What I’m saying is going out and reading in public is an automatic conversation starter.

How so?

I’ve thought about this when I was single that I would go out and publicly read some times or fantasize about meeting a guy at a bookstore. I love books so much. How romantic is that? I love that idea. When you see somebody reading a book, which honestly is not that common, at least in Los Angeles, how often do you see somebody sitting by themselves reading a book? You don’t even see people by themselves that much anyways. I feel like people when they’re on their phones, they like to disappear. I don’t even notice people or take them in very much if they’re on their phones. If somebody reading a book, you’re going to notice them because you’re probably going to be curious, “What book are they reading? Why are they reading it? Is it the first time that they’re reading it? What’s going on in their life? Have you read that book before? Have you been wanting to read that book? It’s such a great conversation. I challenge you, Jason and anyone else, who’s looking to meet more people, whether romantically or friendship-wise, I think books are a phenomenal way to meet strangers if you’re in a public space.

I never considered this. I did get on this topic. I did get invited to a Vegan Singles Night. I don’t know if maybe I should take my Dr. Joe Dispenza book, the one I’m reading right now, Becoming Supernatural, which is fascinating. Pop that on the bar, any of the timing. I don’t know. The timing of it is interesting. I could be there reading my book.

Don’t you feel like when you’re trying to meet people, it’s tough sometimes because you don’t know what to start talking about?

I had that at the Oscar party. Whitney was like, “You’ve got to go talk to this girl. She’s your type.” I’m like, “What do I say?” What approach angle?” To your point, I feel like once I’m in conversation with someone, it’s very easy for me to flow. The terror I feel when going up and talking to someone I’ve ever met is what to say first.

If she had been reading a book, it’s so easy. Maybe it makes a date with a book to get a date? You can go to a park, but even like a restaurant or anywhere where there are a lot of people. Coffee shops are a great place and you can find with like a comfy couch and a nice window. You can go to a bookstore and read. It’s a cool thing. Tip number two is go to a public event where people are reading books, like the local libraries, bookstores going in there and seeing your favorite author read a book. It’s another great way to socialize too.

For any Angelenos or people passing through Los Angeles, I want to recommend briefly for this kind of thing. Downtown LA, The Last Bookstore, it’s multiple stories. They have a book tunnel that is so highly Instagrammed, but it’s still doped. It’s a tunnel made of books and the vibration there is of an old bookstore that’s been there for decades, which it has, but also mixed with like you want to go see author signings and author speaking there. I’ve gone there for several authors to do events there. Hands down, if you are in LA or passing through LA, The Last Bookstore in downtown LA is spectacular.

The other one that I love, which is close to our podcast studio is Skylight Books. It’s much smaller than The Last Bookstore but has that Indie, cool, small, very curated and the staff always has cool selections of like their staff picks. If anybody depends on writing utensils as I am, they have an incredible selection of Japanese and German pens there that are so tactilely pleasing to use. If you happen to be in Skylight in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, check out their pen selection.

MGU 37 | Reading For Growth

Reading For Growth: It’s somehow more comfortable knowing your money is being spent on an indie business. There’s just a different relationship.


There’s also Powell’s Books. Are they in Portland or do they have multiple locations?

I’ve only been to the Portland one. That is a massive, beautiful experience as well. Powell’s is dope in Portland. I love that place.

I was invited to do a book signing in San Francisco at the Ferry Building, which I’m not going to be doing. I was intrigued when I heard that it was at the Ferry Building, which is a great location. It’s fun to seek out neat bookstores. I’m trying to think in Massachusetts growing up.

There have got to be some in Boston. There have got to be some cool bookstores in Boston.

I don’t know if it still exists, but the Harvard Law School or maybe it was Harvard University, they have or had a cool library in Cambridge, which is a neat city. There are various small bookstores scattered around the city. In Concord, Massachusetts, which is close to where I grew up, they have a great bookstore. I’m pretty sure you’ve been in there, Jason. It’s called The Concord Bookshop. For me, it’s going into a bookstore and the smell is the most intoxicating thing, whether it’s new books or old books, the smell is the best. The people that work in libraries are also very fascinating.

Also on rare occasions, there’s a bookshop cat in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

If you look up Portsmouth, New Hampshire bookstore cat, you will find that.

This cat was so sweet. It’s so nice to walk into an old bookstore that has history and a vibe to it and be greeted by a shop cat. It’s was like, “Maybe I should open a cat café/bookstore.”

Do you know what that cat’s name is? I found it when I looked it up. It’s Petunia. It’s called Sheafe Street Books. It’s a house. The guy that owns the bookstore lives in there. When you’re walking through this little bookstore, you could accidentally go into the kitchen if you weren’t being mindful.

He built a bookstore in his house.

I don’t know what came first, the house or the bookstore.

I want to open a bookstore. I’m going to make one in the house. Petunia is patrolling the property. This brings up a larger point with too. I know it’s tangential and related is supporting small independent businesses that have a different energy to it. Going to a big box retailer, I don’t feel the excitement or the specialness or the vibe that I feel when I go to an Indie bookstore. No disrespect to Barnes & noble, not at all. I prefer knowing that my money is being spent by supporting an Indie business, knowing the owner who’s probably there. There’s a different relationship. That’s why shout out to all of the independent bookstores we mentioned in the US. There are probably plenty more. Supporting Indie businesses, in general, is important as we see corporate conglomerates growing buyouts, mergers and obviously giant corporations becoming huger and huger. Amazon notwithstanding and physically going to an independent bookstore is a very special thing.

There’s nothing wrong with buying online, getting digital books. For anybody who feels like they don’t have time to read because of the physical act of carrying a book around or sitting down, it feels time-consuming. To me, if you can make book reading part of multitasking, the easiest way to do that is to listen to an audiobook. In my head, I laugh a little whenever anybody says that they don’t have time to read because usually have time to watch TV, a movie, listen to a podcast like this one or spend five hours a day on social media. We love having you listen to our podcast, but we also want to encourage you to space it out and to listen to an audiobook too. That’s what I do on most of my drives. I go through phases where I’ll listen to podcasts, but most of the time, I listen to an audiobook because I love learning. You can do it through Audible. You could also do it through lending from your local library. There’s a phenomenal platform at called Libby. That’s part of a service called Overdrive. I discovered it years ago. I feel like everybody needs to know about this. They had a sponsorship opportunity.

There's a lot of ongoing resistance around reading digitally. Share on X

I wanted it. I’m like, “Please, sponsor me. I’m obsessed with you.” Maybe one day they’ll be a sponsor of our podcast. I use Libby almost every single day because you can use your library card to get books for free. You’re digitally borrowing them. They have audiobooks and digital books. I download a new book several times a week and I listen to it in the car. I’ll read the Kindle version on my iPad. I learned so much. It’s hard for me to even tell you off the top of my head what books I’m reading because I’m always reading a bunch at once. Off the top of my head, I can name a few. The audiobook I’m listening to right now is called Attached. That will be the subject matter of one of our podcast episodes, which is going to come out.

The other one I started reading is Gabrielle Bernstein’s new book, The Judgment Detox, which is super interesting. I love any personal development books like that. What I do, my system, because I like to read and I get a lot of recommendations and sometimes it can feel overwhelming is I use Libby. Every time somebody recommends a book, I search for it in Libby and 95% of the time, that book is in their system. There’s 50/50 chance that the book will be available immediately to borrow. You have to get on the waiting list, put a hold on them and you’ll get the book within like a month to two months or so.

It takes some time. Because I always have a lot of different books I’m rotating through, I don’t even notice. While I’m waiting for one book, I’m reading another one. I put a hold on every book that I hear about through Libby. It’ll automatically download it into my system. I’ll have it there. What I love too is because I like to retain information and implement it, I highlight all the books that I read through Kindle. Kindle is cool because you can sync it up with your Amazon account and have all of your notes stored digitally in the Cloud. I can go into the Cloud through Amazon and find every single book highlight. You can copy and paste from there. If you ever want to use it for research, like when I was writing my book, I could reference all of these books that I had read and find actual data from that. It was helpful for my book writing process.

It’s interesting because I feel a lot of resistance around reading digitally. I’ve used other people’s Pads because I don’t have an iPad or a Kindle. I’ve done it before. For me, probably part of it is a habit. The other thing is I enjoy the weight and the feel of turning pages. The smell and the entire sensory sensual experience of holding a book and using it that I didn’t get one. I tried to use a Pad or a tablet. It’s interesting because what you’re saying is sounds extremely efficient and user-friendly. At the same time, it seems that year after year my book collection keeps growing and growing to the point where my mentor, Michael, gave me a second bookshelf. I don’t mind that. A lot of people I know are in this whole minimalist thing, which I very much subscribed to on a material level. Whenever I see people like Marie Kondo giving away their books, I’m like, “No.”

Part of what Marie Kondo teaches is that you keep the books that are A) Very sentimental and important to you. B) Books that you’re going to read multiple times. Her point is that most of us get books and never read them even one time, let alone twice. If you have a book that you want to give away to somebody, to loan somebody, there are all different purposes. That’s why I like digital books is because they don’t get as attached to them and they don’t become clutter. A physical book, to your point, is great for a sensory standpoint. However, because I like to research and collect data, they’re not that useful to me because I end up highlighting them in the margins, underline and marking and stuff. What can I do with that? I have to go back to the book. I have to find the page that it was on. It takes a lot of work. Whereas for me, highlighting books in Kindle, I can search for a word in my Kindle notes and find that quote that I was looking for on the book and utilize it. For me, I would rather do that than have the sensory experience.

I’ve noticed in podcasts and interviews because I’ve done a lot of podcast interviews at this point, a couple of times I’ve been asked the whole prototypical, “If you were on a desert island and you could only have 3 or 5 books for the rest of your life that you would take with you.” A better framework would be, “What are the books that have had the most impact on your life?” The ones that immediately come to mind that you’re like, “That was a massive turning point in my awareness, my worldview,” something that hits you so deeply, emotionally. What are some that come to mind for you, Whitney, books that were real game-changers for you?

There are a lot of books. I have trouble answering these types of questions because I want to give them a solid response. I haven’t thought about that much. The very first book by Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth, I like that one better than The Power of Now. For some reason, it’s lesser-known but maybe it was because I read A New Earth first. The other book that’s made an impact on me is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield because it’s about resistance. That’s something that a lot of people struggle with and maybe don’t even realize it. To me, that book is one that I find myself referencing over and over again. A New Earth, they don’t reference nearly as often but it impacted me, that it cracked my mind open and got me to think about my ego in a profound way. I’m sure there’s a bunch of others. Maybe I’ll think about them like glancing over at my bookshelf. I read so much. Another book that came to mind is The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. I could list off tons of books like that, but those 2 or 3 have made enough of an impact to come immediately to mind. Do you have a common answer or a new answer to that question?

There are a lot because I read a lot as a kid. When I was a small child, I would take books to bed with me as if they were stuffed animals. I was obsessed with reading. In terms of my lifespan, as a child, The Giving Tree, we mentioned Shel Silverstein. I’ve always been super sensitive, even more so as a child. The Giving Tree comes to mind. Another book as a child, which very few people know about, is a book called Rotten Island. I still have it at my house. I took it from my mom’s place and brought it back to Los Angeles. Rotten Island is an amazing book about compassion, getting along, hatred and forgiveness. It’s a great artwork too, Rotten Island. One of the first books my mom gave me when I was a young adult was The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. It’s still one of my favorite books to this day. One that I go back to over and over again because I feel much like a lot of great art, be it movies or music or other things that touch us. It reveals different layers depending on how you’ve grown and evolved as a person, as you go through life.

You also like Joseph Campbell.

It’s one of my favorite books ever is A Joseph Campbell Companion. It’s a collection of his lectures at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur over the years. It’s essentially his beautiful melding of ancient archetypes in world mythologies and world religions and how they apply to modern life. He talks about Islam, Christianity, Greek-Roman mythology, and how those archetypes in the Hero’s Journey probably made most famous by George Lucas borrowing that archetype for the Star Wars mythology. I love the way that Joseph Campbell interweaves these ancient mythologies from thousands of years ago and how they apply to our struggles, our triumphs and our sorrow of modern life.

It’s a beautiful way he does that. The other one that comes to mind in terms of fiction is a book by Ralph Ellison called Invisible Man. It is an allegory. The protagonist in this book is not invisible. It’s a story about racism, classism and the struggle of that. It’s a phenomenal book, Invisible Man. There are so many. Those are the immediate four to five that come to mind. Whitney, going back to you saying you read multiple books at a time. I find that now I can’t do more than two at a time, or I feel overwhelmed with everything else I’ve got going on in my life. In addition to Becoming Supernatural, the Dispenza book, which I started reading on my trip back from San Francisco, I started reading Jen Sincero’s, You Are A Badass at Making Money. I appreciate you, Jen, if you happen to listen to this.

What if she wants to be a guest one day? We have to be kind.

I’m being honest. I feel like it’s a retelling or a reframing of a lot of energetic Law of Attraction concepts that I’ve already heard. I’m not knocking it, but it’s not necessarily a thing where I’m like, “This is revelatory new information,” which is fine. It’s reinforcing it.

MGU 37 | Reading For Growth

Reading For Growth: Authors have a different emotional connection to what they’re talking about because they’re the ones who wrote it, and it comes from the heart.


Some of these books serve to condense a bunch of information together. It’s not to be something new. She’s a great writer. The other person that comes to mind on that note, I’m so drawn to Elizabeth Gilbert as a person. Eat Pray Love is a fantastic book we read.

Big Magic is in my queue. I have only gotten halfway through it and I mean to finish it.

I don’t know if I finished it either. That’s so interesting too about statistics about how the average person won’t even make it past the first chapter of a book.

Tony Robbins talks about that.

That’s an interesting statistic to look up. I also looked up some reasons to read from a wellness perspective. There’s a number of different studies on this. It all depends on how much you read. There’s a lot of different factors, but some studies have shown that it can protect you against brain lesions and self-reported memory decline. Remaining an avid reader into old age reduced memory decline by more than 30% compared to engaging in other forms of mental activity. There are some great physical, mental reasons.

Plus, on the emotional side, apparently even reading for six minutes can reduce stress. Reading is more calming than listening to music or going on a walk, which I’ve read multiple times. For a while, I was taking walks frequently as a form of exercise. I would always listen to an audiobook or a podcast, but more often than not an audiobook of some sort. That’s what I do every time I’m in the car. It’s funny too when people feel frustrated about driving long distances or being in traffic. To me, it’s amazing because it gives me time to listen to a book. I look forward to that time. I feel sad if I don’t get to finish an audiobook because I don’t go on long enough drives.

On this tip, I have a preference for audiobooks that I’ve noticed. It’s when the authors are reading their work.

In most cases, some authors are not meant to be readers.

I find that for the most part though, there’s a different emotional connection or gravity to what they’re talking about because they’re the ones who wrote it and it comes from the heart. For instance, the one I listened to was 12 Rules For Life by Jordan Peterson. I listened to the audiobook version of it all the way through because it’s a thick book. It’s a tome. It’s a big book. There was a certain gravitas to the way he read it, his inflection, his emphasis and his passion. That was different to me than if someone other than him as an example would have read it on his behalf. Whenever possible, for the most part, to your point, I prefer when the authors themselves are the ones reading it. It’s a different infliction. It’s a different emotional weight to it.

There’s nothing worse than when you turn in an audiobook that you’re looking forward to and you hear the voiceover artists and you’re like, “This is tough for me to make it through it.”

There’s one category of books that at least I have not seen an audiobook component. When I wrote Eaternity a couple of years back, I had a lot of people email me and go, “Is there going to be an audiobook version?” I was like, “What do you mean?” I wrote to my publisher, Hay House, “Is it standard practice to do cookbook and lifestyle guides?” They’re like, “Not really.” We had a laugh about it because they’re like, “What are you going to do? Read the recipe directions?” To the other point, much like your new book, Whitney, The Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook, there’s a lot of good lifestyle information there as well. It’s a bit of a conundrum in that sense because there are good non-recipe lifestyle tips and health information. What do you do when you get to the recipe? It’s a bit awkward.

Since I listened to a lot of personal development books, there are a few that have exercises in them. I like The Four Tendencies I listened to that and it was so monotonous because she was like, “On a scale from 1 to 10, fill in the blank.” There’ll be a pause. I’m like, “I’m trying to listen to the audio. I’m not trying to do a quiz right now. I’ll do the quiz on your website.” The book, Attached, that I’m reading right now, same thing. I’d find myself annoyed. If you’re driving, you can’t easily fast forward through it. It is a little odd. You’ve got to get the information somehow. A lot of times, I will read both the physical book and listen to the audiobook because I take in the information differently. I like that because it reinforces it.

The way your brain listens to something is very different than when you’re reading it. For me, highlighting things helps me too. It was sweet. When my grandfather passed away, I took a number of his books because he used to love to read as well. I found that he takes the same notes and highlighting style as me and my books. That was fascinating because he didn’t teach me that, but he happens to notate in the same way that I do. I thought that was fascinating. It was cool to have his books because they have sentimental value. He was a big fan of Norman Vincent Peale. That’s the other thing my grandfather was into. I love cover design and hardcover.

If you go home with someone and they don't have books, don't stay with them. Share on X

Who are the other guys of that era? Les Brown, the Zig Ziglars, the old-school motivational guys. Sold 15 million copies, The Power of Positive Thinking is a seminal personal development book.

My grandfather and I would talk about these books too. This came out in 1985.

It’s cool now because of personal development and transformation coaching, it seems to be so ubiquitous in our culture now as we’ve talked about. It’s so cool to see from whence all of this came, the NLP, the positive thinking, the mantras and the affirmations. We’ll talk about Hay House. Louise Hay is in that category too of OG.

This book is cool too. I’ve never opened it. It’s called Have A Great Day Every Day. In Tokyo, I once met another American, an inspiring man from Pennsylvania, crippled from some form of paralysis. He was on another around the world journey in a wheelchair, getting a huge kick out of all of his experiences. I commented that nothing seemed to get him down. His reply was a classic, “It’s only my legs that are paralyzed. The paralysis never got into my mind.” It’s almost a Chicken Soup for the Soul type of moment. We had the pleasure of having Mark Victor Hansen on as a guest. Here’s what the book says, “Harry Truman once said, if you’re afraid of getting burned, better stay out of the kitchen. If you’re going to fight for principles and convictions, you can hardly avoid a rough time now and then. Never weaken or back down as all of us feel like doing at times. If we yield to that temptation, life may be easier, but it certainly will be less interesting.”

Something like that is truly a great way to gain perspective, to feel inspired, educated and motivated. It makes an impact on stress. It does improve your mental health to read. It depends on what you’re reading. A book like this is designed to impact you emotionally. There’s something about the act of reading, of being transported into a different story that’s so magical. I love watching television and movies. We have so much great content at our fingertips these days. There’s also something incredible and almost meditative about sitting down to read a story because you get to create what the characters look like, sound like and what the world looks like. Everybody is going to have a different experience reading those books. It’s important to do and to encourage each and every one of you to make more time for reading. Even statistically, as I read earlier, if you read for six minutes a day, it starts to make an impact on you. If you can read for 15 or 20, it can have a profound impact on you.

From a personal perspective, when I meet someone and I find out that they’re a book nerd too, it’s hot because, A) There’s a kinship of interests, but B) Because many people are not reading as much as they used to. Statistics are declining in terms of people reading physical books. It’s unique and interesting. It also reminds me of John Waters, the film director of Pink Flamingos and many other great movies. My favorite quote of his and one of my favorite quotes of all time is, “If you go home with someone and they don’t have any books, don’t screw them.”

It is a turn on. I would say the same thing. It’s equally a turn off when I find out that people don’t read. It’s a struggle. It’s not a deal-breaker for me though. It’s that I can’t relate because I feel a little bit sad if I don’t read a little bit every day.

It’s important to you. That would be non-negotiable.

Jason and I were talking about screen time and being more mindful of how much we as individuals use our phones. To me, I don’t feel like reading on my iPad counts as screen time. It’s not the same. My screen time is doing things that don’t benefit or escapism thing. When I looked at my recent screen-time, I spent a lot of time on TikTok, which is a platform I do enjoy. If I step back and look at it, I use TikTok that much because I’m looking for entertainment. I’m looking for an escape. I’m honestly trying to distress. A lot of us use social media because we’re looking for those things. Why not get those from something like reading that has bigger benefits? Whereas, I feel like maybe using social media has a lot of downsides to it. I can’t even think of any downside to reading. Can you?

Not at all, paper cuts are the only downside, but they’re forgivable. Especially if you love the book, it’s like, “I forgive you.”

Your eyes strain will be the other if you’re reading from a digital device. That’s why we have blue-blocking glasses.

I put books to me in the same category as I love and I get excited much in the same way that Whitney does about technological innovations. I’m a huge car fan, always have been and I’m a big fan of all of the autonomous and electric car technology that’s coming out. I also feel that there’s something to be said about knowing how to drive a stick shift and something old school, tactile, analog and much like a digital reader or a tablet. I’m always going to have books. I always want to be driving a manual transmission car even if I have an electric car. I have vinyl records in addition to my Apple music player.

To me, there’s an important thing to keeping analog, tactile, physical things alive in life and not having everything be so automated and digitized. That’s me. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I was raised with a rotary phone and a black and white TV, which I was that there’s a love for analog technology that I adore. Part of reading books is to me like analog tech. I put it in that same category as a stick shift car or vinyl records or things like that. There’s something sweet about it. It’s a different experience.

MGU 37 | Reading For Growth

Reading For Growth: There’s an importance in keeping analog, tactile, physical things alive in life and not having everything be so automated and digitized.


Out of curiosity, I looked up disadvantages to reading off the top of my head. I could not think of any. Here are some interesting disadvantages I found. One is that books can look messy if you have too many. Reading can be lonely because some people start to prefer the company of books over people. It’s much like social media. I’m glad we began with doing something outside of your home. Joining a book club, for instance, could be another great way to make it more social. This was interesting. Less time for “being cool” because you’re not as into things like pop culture from watching TV shows or whatever. Reading can keep you up at night, but I find reading as a great way to end the day because it’s very soothing and I fall asleep after reading a few pages of a book or so.

It also helps me wind down a lot and distress. Some people spend a lot of money on audiobooks or physical books and that’s why I’m always going to plug platforms like Libby and Overdrive because you can borrow books for free digitally or you can go to a library. You can also swap books. You could ask a friend and borrow one of their books. I do that too. Another disadvantage is people that read more than they implement, depending on the reason that you’re reading. This is also interesting, being unsure of what to believe because you’ve read so many different perspectives that you can become confused because you took in too much information.

This is something in scientific literature, specifically around nutrition. I had a conversation with someone who was like, “I don’t know what to believe.” I’m like, “You can find scientific research from a variety of sources that often contradict each other. Ultimately experiment with your body and see what feels good to you.

It’s very important to consider different perspectives because if we only read the same information and we don’t look at the outside of our bubble, it can be very dangerous. I encourage people to read multiple perspectives, not implementing them. Trying to decide what book is worth your time and energy because not every book is going to be good. You might not finish a book simply because it’s not your style. It’s not what you’re interested in. Another reason, you can go to a bookstore in person and flip through the book, read a couple of pages before you buy it. You can preview books on platforms like Amazon, which will allow you to see a few pages. Borrowing books is a great way to see if something is worth your time. I also found an article about digital reading, pros and cons. The inability to give books away is a disadvantage. If you buy a digital book, you can’t give it away to someone when you’re done reading it. It’s another reason to get a loan from the library, that’s very true. I don’t see a lot of disadvantages, to be honest. Most of these, you can easily find a workaround to.

I’m going to say there are no deal breakers on either of those lists. From a creative standpoint, if I may, and I’m curious if you feel this way, Whitney, because your book came out. There’s something very pleasing when you’re an author about having the physical copy of what you’ve created in your hands. It’s different. You see it on screen, it’s real. It’s like, “I have a Kindle version. I have an eBook,” but there’s something about having your book in your hands. It’s pleasing in a completely different way. It feels more real. I keep using the word tactile over and over, but the physical book in your hands that you’ve created, it’s such a sweet, pleasing, triumphant and emotional experience.

Somebody said this to me on social media. They messaged me on Instagram, “I’m so excited to have your book because I don’t like eBooks.” The only other books that I’ve come out with have been eBooks. If you’re a self-published author, you can go on Amazon and people can order your books printed through Amazon. I’m sure some other platforms do that as well. I’m working on making my other big eBook, Healthy Organic Vegan on a Budget, available on Amazon because it’s only been available since it came out in 2014. It’s only been available through my website. I’m working on an updated version and a version that will be available on Amazon so that way it can reach a bigger audience and maybe I’ll make it so that you can order the printed version.

There’s a power about speaking things into existence. I’m going to relate it to books, but there were two super interesting tweets that came out after the Superbowl. One was from Demi Lovato from January 2010 that said, “One day I’m going to sing at the Superbowl.” Ten years later, she sang in the Superbowl. Patrick Mahomes, the Superbowl MVP from the Kansas City Chiefs also back in 2012 or 2013 before he was in the NFL said, “I’m going to make it to the Superbowl someday and I’m going to Disneyland.”

He wanted to be able to say that line at the Superbowl and he did that.

It was interesting as people unearth these tweets. To see like Demi Lovato and Patrick Mahomes having these tweets from Demi a decade ago and Patrick from several years ago speaking these things into existence. This Might Get Uncomfortable is the perfect title for a book. I also feel that as you and I are diving ever deeper into this podcast, talking about all the things we talk about, that it seems like a natural extension of where this brand is growing, mutating and evolving into. It feels like we’ve already got the title. I’m going to say that at some point, there will be a book co-authored called This Might Get Uncomfortable. I’m feeling it and I’m speaking into existence.

I haven’t thought about that, but I like that. It’s a good title. When I went to the City Summit Event where I had the pleasure of having Mark Victor Hansen on as a guest, the author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. When I was at that event, the woman that runs our podcast network and the amazing team at Podetize was introducing me to Mark’s wife, Crystal. She went up to her and said, “You’re going to be a guest on Whitney’s podcast. It’s called This Might Get Uncomfortable.” The woman paused and she was waiting for the title of the podcast because she thought that she was being braced for an uncomfortable name. She didn’t realize that This Might Be Uncomfortable was the name. She thought that she was being told, “I’m about to tell you the title and just a heads up, this might get uncomfortable.” I had never thought about that before. I always find it interesting when we say the title of our podcast to people and it takes them a second. They’re like, “That’s interesting.”

Interesting is the word that comes up. Usually, they furrow their brow like a very curious way. For those of you who are reading and have been reading, whether it’s your first time or you’ve been with us on this journey, we appreciate your support and all the shares on social media. You can always shoot us direct messages. We are on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest under @Wellevatr. We’re in most of the platforms. If you want to find us, you can find us pretty easily. With that said, Whitney, congrats again on The Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook. I feel like a proud brother seeing your book come out and us both being published authors now. The recipes are wonderful and beautiful and delicious. We’ve got all the recipes covered for you if you want to do to plant-based thing. We’ve got you!


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