Over the weekend, my Men’s Christian Group invited a professor from a local Christian college in to talk about studding the scriptures. I was surprised at how in depth some of the study methods where and it got me thinking about how I read other books too. One of the things that caught my attention was when the professor commented about how little people read anything. He found statistics that for every 150 hours of TV watched, one hour of non-work related reading is completed. He then said that 90% of that reading is either entertainment or the person reading does not actually apply any of the information presented. And none of these figures include online media. I had to admit I was surprised that the figures were that good. I thought that they would be far worse, but then another person in our group commented about newspapers.
I think we as Planners are a different breed. I would venture to guess that our numbers are substantially better than the general public, partly because so much of our job involves reading and interpreting what we are reading knowing that our conclusions can have a dramatic impact on someone else. We still enjoy entertainment, but I think we are wired differently and apply good principles that we read into our lives.
As some of you know, I have been devouring books over the past two years. The topics included history, finance, self-help, leadership, classics, religious, biographies, and philosophy. Now I am addicted. I think I might read 20 hours for every one hour of TV I watch.
For me, I have a process. First, I put the date that I start the book inside the front cover. Then I as I read each chapter, I highlight, underline, and take margin notes. Once I complete each chapter, I will write a summary of the chapter in a notebook dedicated to that book. I will also include my thoughts on what he wrote and how I apply any good principles to my life. Then when I finish a book, I will write thoughts on the overall book and put together a check list of principles from the book that I can use to change my life for the better. I then focus on those principles over the next week, while I read new book.
Do you just read cover to cover or do you read the messages between the lines? Do you have a process for reading? Do you just read for entertainment or to grow yourself?