Mark Zuckerberg's 2015 challenge? Read more

Zuckerberg wrote that he's resolved to read more new books and is inviting Facebook users to join in.

Manu Fernandez/AP
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a conference at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

If you made a New Year’s resolution to read more this year, you have some high-profile company.

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook recently announced that he plans to read a new book every other week and he wants Facebook users to join in. He wrote in a Facebook post that it’s his “challenge for 2015” and that he received many suggestions for what his new challenge should be.

“I'm excited for my reading challenge,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I've found reading books very intellectually fulfilling. Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today.” 

He wrote that on his page, “A Year of Books,” users will be able to participate in a discussion of the book he’s currently reading and that the page will be moderated. The page currently has more than 143,000 likes and there are more than 500 comments discussing Zuckerberg’s first pick, Moisés Naím’s book “The End of Power.” 

“Power” is now ranked at number 73 on Amazon’s bestseller list and is at number three at Barnes & Noble.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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