Learnings from 69 audiobooks in 2019

Peeking in the writer’s mind can be highly addictive.

Anton Nikolov
9 min readDec 31, 2019


Recently I was in an elevator where I was asked what I learned from all the books I’ve read this year. It was difficult to give an answer because of the short elevator ride. If I have to sum all learnings into an elevator pitch it will be something like this:

Ask, listen, understand and decide, let your frequent and consistent behaviour build a strong compound effect in everything you do, invest wisely your finite time, focus on getting better than yesterday and create valuable outcomes not only for yourself.

However, this probably seems like a very generic statement for most of you even though for me it has a much deeper meaning because of all the attached thoughts and reflections from the different books I’ve consumed.

To summarize the main learnings and principles that stayed with me from my reading list in 2019, I decided to put together this post/story.

Learnings and the books are arranged into a few buckets for the sake of simplification. I’ve tried to distill as much as possible the points. I recommend the 28 books that are highlighted in this post. Check them and read them. The same book can tell different stories to each reader.

Side note: You might end up with a lot of browser tabs open from all the Goodreads references.

Learning how to get better than yesterday

I found the 5 books below to be well written and encouraging me to become more focused and intentional on how I create value for myself and others. Let me share the more prominent learning points.

Don’t obsess over building preset habits like getting up at 5 am and then do first this and then that. Rather focus on reflecting! Reflect what works for you and WHY. Connect your new habit/activity to another one or several that you do already. Try to connect it to well-established activity that is consistent otherwise you will risk dropping the new habit as soon as you stop doing the main habit/activity. e.g. Listen to high-quality content such as audiobooks while you commute or do other activity that allows you to keep the focus on the content.



Anton Nikolov

Searching for pragmatic balance in life. Writing about UX Design, Health and Family-development with the aim to learn and inspire. Parent of 1 lovely girl.