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Thread: How much to do read?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    How much to do read?

    A while back there was a business development lecture to about 1,000 of the top CEO's in the country. The topic of that part of the lecture was business leadership and the presenter asked by a show of hands how many people think that reading books on personal development and leadership or books focused on their particular industry would help their business? Almost every hand in the room when up. But when the author asked how many have read and finished, at least 2 books in those categories within the past 30 days, less than 10 hands stayed up.

    10 years ago, I hated reading. There were so many better things to go. Play sports, hang out with friends, focus on the glowing box in my living room. But about 6 years ago, things started to shift. Partly because of hanging around very intelligent people like Maister, partly because I started to realize that I was living in an age that was full of information but limited in true understanding.

    For the past few years, I have been trying to average about a book a week. I found that to be a good speed to allow me to not only read the book, but to actually study it, and find ways to effectively apply the information that I learned in it. But to do it, I made it a habit. I don't watch TV any more, and I read no less than an hour a day. I try to read a chapter from one book in the morning, a chapter from a second book at lunch, and a chapter from a 3rd book before bed.

    What about you? How much to do read?
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    I read in binges. On average it works out to about a book a month. Less than I'd like, but better than my past.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  3. #3
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I strongly doubt that any CEO read a book about being successful. Sure reading in general is a nice past time, but reading to further develop their business acumen is pretty far fetched. Most, although I would probably argue all, self help books are a waste of time and effort. Especially leadership books. "Be more forceful" "Be aggressive!" "Go up to someone and tell them that you want to lead!" "Dress for success!"

    If you want to change your life there are lots of options that don't cost $25 for a book or paying $300 to hear Dave Ramsey tell you that you need to stop wasting money. I would imagine for some books help because it helps keep them focused. For CEO's I doubt this is the case. Most people who have worked their way up the ladder are hyper focused. Especially CEOs.

    I would argue that you can learn more from the internet, tv, and the outside world. I think there are some professions where "book smarts" outweigh "street smarts", but not many.

    I don't know one CEO who would argue that reading leadership books helped make them a better CEO. I know many that would argue that they learned lessons by mentors, experience, and failure.

    Read for fun. Read because you don't have cable. Read because you have a better imagination then when you see Megan Fox acting it out. I don't buy the self help mumbo jumbo.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  4. #4
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I have always been a reader. I come from a family of readers. It is hard to recall my dad without seeing him with a book or a magazine. My big brother read science fiction. My mom likes westerns. My little brother reads non-fiction. I read all sort of stuff, mostly fiction.

    There were times when I didn't read as much. After I got out of college I spent my free times partying, canoeing and camping. After my son was born I spent four years or so when I didn't have time to read much.

    Now I read a lot. I read to my son every night. I read for myself. Currently I have six books I am reading at the same time. One in the car. One by the grill. Four in the house. Which is just ridiculous. I can't start any more until I at least get two of the ones I am reading finished.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    I am a lifelong avid reader. As a child, I would take 5 or 6 books out of the library at a time... and finish them all in a week. I certainly don't have that kind of time anymore, but I find it difficult to go very long without reading a book - as well as magazines and newspapers.

    I don't try to read a certain amount every day or anything like that. I read for pleasure, for the sheer enjoyment of it.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I'm like Boiker. At least when it comes to books. I read a good amount of articles daily - New Yorker, New York Times, Washington Post, etc.- but am not as frequent about reading novels and the like. I do like to get refernece books (for lack of a better term) out of the library pretty frequently, too. Stuff like "Build your own Cabin" or "Designing earthscapes to collect rainwater" and things of that nature. Anything that interests me. I would like to read more novels, though. I like literature - its just finding the time. So many things I want to do but not enough lifetimes to do them in.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  7. #7
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post

    I don't try to read a certain amount every day or anything like that. I read for pleasure, for the sheer enjoyment of it.
    This! I do have a goal for the year but if I don't make it because I spent a little more time reading some really great books it will be fine with me. I typically read for about an hour every night before bed. Many nights I have to force myself to put the book down and turn off the light otherwise I could read all night.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Reading has always been my main hobby. I almost went insane after I had my son in '93 and didn't read a book for 3 yrs(marry a dickwad, reap what you sow...). Now,depending on length and complexity, I read 4-7 books a week, a mix of fiction and non-fiction.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I read more news and magazine/journal articles than books these days. Since I just ditched my commute I have gained some leisure time back so I am sure that I will be picking up the books more often. Also with this last move I made a sizable donation to the local library, the vast majority of which will be placed into circulation. Naturally I kept my treasured favorites, the antique books, and the classics. I am pondering getting an e-reader before the summer ends.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  10. #10
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I'm constantly reading something.

    But, when it comes to novels, I'm also a binge reader. Sometimes I'll read 3-4 books in a month. Then I'll go 3 or 4 months without picking up a book.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  11. #11
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    I strongly doubt that any CEO read a book about being successful. Sure reading in general is a nice past time, but reading to further develop their business acumen is pretty far fetched. Most, although I would probably argue all, self help books are a waste of time and effort. Especially leadership books. "Be more forceful" "Be aggressive!" "Go up to someone and tell them that you want to lead!" "Dress for success!"

    If you want to change your life there are lots of options that don't cost $25 for a book or paying $300 to hear Dave Ramsey tell you that you need to stop wasting money. I would imagine for some books help because it helps keep them focused. For CEO's I doubt this is the case. Most people who have worked their way up the ladder are hyper focused. Especially CEOs.

    I would argue that you can learn more from the internet, tv, and the outside world. I think there are some professions where "book smarts" outweigh "street smarts", but not many.

    I don't know one CEO who would argue that reading leadership books helped make them a better CEO. I know many that would argue that they learned lessons by mentors, experience, and failure.

    Read for fun. Read because you don't have cable. Read because you have a better imagination then when you see Megan Fox acting it out. I don't buy the self help mumbo jumbo.

    I don't think that reading alone makes a CEO better at his job as he will still have to apply what he reads. But I do think that does play a significant roll. Let's really break this down for a moment.

    You have people like Jack Welch, Lee Iacocca, Robert Kiyosaki, Michal Dell, Ray Kroc, Sam Walton, and Alfred Sloan who were all CEOs of major corporations who wrote books about their experiences, victories, failures, and the lessons learned. Is it better to learn from your mistakes or the mistakes of someone else? If I was a stockholder of a company, I would want it to be someone else’s.

    Then you have people who spent years studying successful companies, learning what works, what does not, and what needs to change. Here you have people like Jim Collins, Timothy Ferriss, Andy Stanley, and Tom Peters.

    Additionally, businesses are made of people who supply goods or services to people. So it is a good idea to understand people. For that there are people like Dale Carnegie, Steven Covey, Frank Bettger, David Schwartz, Zig Ziglar, Napolean Hill, John Maxwell, and Les Giblin.

    It is like John Wooden once said. ““Five years from now, you’re the same person except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read.” He also said “You haven’t taught until you’ve learned.” Wooden himself is a great example. As are all of the founding fathers like Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Jay! They were veracious readers of not only contemporary works (for their time), but classics including Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates. Our government was formed based on what these people learned in the books they read, along with the experiences they lived. A young man in Illinois bough a barrel at an auction that just happened to contain a few law books in the bottom and it caused him to want to become a lawyer. We know him today as Abraham Lincoln. Franklin Roosevelt took it up a notch and read every book in his hometown library.

    I am also going to mention the importance of relationship books. Let’s face it, when people have relationship problems, their work productivity suffers. If they have been reading relationship books written by people who are qualified to teach it, they are able to address the issues much sooner and maybe even avoid some of them altogether. *ON a side note, be careful who you read. A person who got a divorced because she cheated on her husband twice and has a troubled history of relationships, should not be writing marriage books…

    I know personally, I am not the same person I was several years ago, partly because of the people I now associate with, but partly because of the books that I have read. In the past three years, I have read books by EVERY person listed above, and many more names that people would not recognize. Frankly, it has saved my marriage, substantially helped us get out of debt, gave me the courage and knowledge to become my own boss after I was laid off due to economic downsizing at the firm I was working at, which greatly increased my income, has provided the information for me to be a better father to my children, a better son to my dad, a better friend, and even a better consultant.

    Can books be entertaining… yes. But as a culture we have been entertaining ourselves into stupidity. Can the internet be useful, sure. But to say that reading books, and information applied, does not help us become better businsess owners, employees, members of society, parents, spouces, or frankly better people is total crap.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  12. #12
    A book a week is my average. I don't think it consumes a lot of time if you learn to read faster and eliminate sub-vocalizing and going back to the words that you just read.

  13. #13
    I try to read a couple books a month. More or less depending on how long the books are and how much time I have. But these days, I don't have much time to read.

  14. #14
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I seem to have hit a lull in my reading. I was halfway into the Ring trilogy but have found myself not having the interest to continue on with it. That's not happened before.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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