Buried By Books


How does the saying go?  "The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray ... "

I had such good intentions for making August a Readapalooza month, catching up on the stacks of books that have accumulated since the start of the year.  But after starting off strong the first week, here I am on Week Three without another completed themed set of books to report on because work and life kept me from completing them.

I doubt I am alone in struggling to keep up with all the content that is vying for my time and attention.  A couple of thoughts about this fairly new reality, and how I am going to try and manage it moving forward.  Maybe my approach will help you.

  1. A book I've purchased doesn't fight for my attention the same way as blogs posts that I receive via email or links I've bookmarked from Twitter.  Rightly or wrongly, the latter have a sense of urgency to them because they appear daily or more frequently.  That's a false sense of timing though.  I need to establish systems to organize that information as it comes in, but set it aside to read at a designated time.
  2.  Some books are better read in the company of others.  The insights others can share from their perspective, as well as the accountability that being in a reading group can create, are both something I need to actively pursue for a limited number of publications.
  3. In graduate school, study groups were an effective way to have different people take leadership positions for individual classes.  I need to try and assemble the same for work-related reading: a group of people in which each group member agrees to be the primary reader for a specific publication (i.e., Harvard Business Review).  On a monthly basis we connect and share highlights from our reading responsibility.
  4. One word: audiobooks.  I'm finding that I really don't enjoy reading on a Kindle or an iPad when I am at the gym.  Yet my time for cardio is also a good time for catching up on some reading.  Since I don't have a long commute when I can catch up on books, I am going to try audiobooks as a listening option while working out.
  5. Just buy fewer books.  I love books, and I love being exposed to new content, but I tend to buy a book when I first hear of its publication.  I need to resist that impulse because it only compounds my current challenge.  If a book is so good that I need to read it, I have to trust that I'll hear enough buzz from various sources once it has been around for awhile that it will again capture my interest.
So no readapalooza, but I do plan to share takeaways moving forward from the reading I do complete.

What strategies are you using for your own reading and content consumption?  Share them in the comments.