I saw a tweet today that got me thinking about the benefits of reading. But, especially, of doing a lot of reading.
The tweet referenced this blog post, which talks about completing a book every fortnight and thus, over a calendar year, completing 26 books. The article also links to a piece by Julien Smith which celebrates his reading of over 52 books in a year.
How far can we take this? Two books a week? Three? How about one every day? Is reading the next extreme sport? Can nerds eventually be part of the X Games?
Most people would flinch at the prospect of completing a book every fortnight, let alone every week. “Where would I get the time?!” is likely to be a common thought. Of course, it’s a matter of making the time, re-prioritising etc. All around me, I see an increase in consumption of media. But books don’t seem to be as compelling to the general public as TV, radio or even social media updates.
In business, most people will admit that they should be reading more. That’s not to say that would like to read more or are missing out on the pleasure of it but simply that they should. They feel they are somehow ‘behind’, not ‘up to speed’ on different trends, thoughts and philosophies. Some take refuge in book summaries or even in concepts like Bookbuzz, where excerpts from books are explored. (I’m not much of a fan of summaries but do like the Bookbuzz idea).
So, if most recognise the need for some reading, what’s the right amount? What’s the right level of investment of time and energy into this pursuit when there are so many worthy alternatives competing for that same, limited time? Of course, there is no ‘right’ answer here. One size definitely does not fit all and your mileage will vary etc. But this is a good question for each of us to consider: how much time do I need to be spending on the kind of reading that will stimulate and inspire what I do?
If I could get away with it, I would read every day. My capability to read books varies with the demands of family & business life but I did get through over 30 books last year and dipped into as many more. The nature of the work in the Smarter Egg realm does require me to explore the emerging literature on an ongoing basis. And I often wonder, am I reading too much? Or is it still too little?
So, what do you think? Are you reading too much or too little? And what’s your answer to this question: how much time do I need to be spending on the kind of reading that will stimulate and inspire what I do?