Electronic books (or eBooks for fellow nerds) are an awesome thing aren’t they? Except for the fact that I’ve now become a regular reader of something to the effect of 10-20 books at a time. It’s no laughing matter when I look at my Goodreads profile and see how pitiful life has become. With more pressure to be the best we can in our respective fields there’s lots of content to consume with no one to steer you in the right direction.
Historically books were primary sources of information. With the dawn of the Information Age it’s nothing new to find answers for your deepest problems shoved in your face through “15 Surprising Ways To” blog posts, advertisements or you name it. Successful people read all the time but slowly we see traditional books replaced by the ever changing condensed forms of media we consume by the minute. And I do mean by the minute. There’s a reason I read so many non-fiction books at once.
attention span of a 5 year old
Being an information addict has it’s disadvantages. Trying to intelligently sift through different forms of media leaves me to the wolves by robbing any focused moment with another opportunity to read about a new area of study. Intoxicating as it is, this can be an advantageous thing for reasons I’ll explain later.
books used to be about quotas
Almost every print book that is out on the market today is designed for an outdated system. Books needed to justify their size with a minimum page count eliciting long extraneous rants and examples. When I catch onto their overuse of case studies in a book I’ll immediately speed through the paragraphs searching only for anecdotal quotes to save in my writing journal. Storytelling is a beautiful art form but in my experience few non-fiction books get the hint. Send me a few quotes from the book or download a summary to get the gist. You don’t always have to dive in head first to get the benefit of the author’s research.
Blame it on social media
I get lazy sometimes. Facebook and Twitter have me bug eyed looking for the next article or topic to read. It gets unproductive but in the grand scheme of things a concentrated effort to intake a variety of content gives me unexpected advantage. With Google turning into an externalization of consciousness for our age it is important to learn the associations on where information is easily accessed. Tearing through short blasts of articles leaves me at least with the recollection of where it was first seen.
Interactions build strong connections
Reading multiple books on a similar subject interact to make a concept concrete in my mind. At least that’s what I tell myself as I pick up a new book. When trying to regain my footing in a theory I’ll often read the first paragraph of each chapter to dissect where the author will focus. “What’s possible” changes quickly in the business, psychology and hacking world so in order to stay abreast of human behavior patterns it takes the combination of long form and tweet form for career longevity.
If you open a book and follow through to the end every time then bravo. If you’re like me, then feel comfort in knowing you’re not alone and speed reading a library full of books is the way the cookie has to crumble in our fast paced society. Utilize a writing journal and all of your naughty reading habits will not be in vain.