Reading Challenge

A column article, Mission: Professional by: Steven Savage

On one of the other sites I do, Fan To Pro I once issued a challenge to my readers regarding their reading. I'd like to challenge you here as well.

I am always reading. I loved reading since I was a child, and my parents more than encouraged it. I bought myself a kindle for Christmas for many reasons, one of them being storage space. My passion for reading can be hard on square footage - there's a reason I laugh at the opening minutes of "Read or Die" - a bitter, knowing reason.

You're probably quite a reader - after all you're at this site. I'd certainly figure you as being more inclined to read than the average person, otherwise you wouldn't be here. That love of reading is an incredible strength you can channel.

(If you're not quite a reader . . . well start reading. It's good for you, damn it).

If you're a reading fanatic, you have a powerful tool that you can apply to improve your career. You are driven to read, love to read, can extract information easier from print. Apply that tool to your career.

Unfortunately, applying that love of reading to improve ourselves professionally can actually be harder than it seems. Just liking to read doesn't mean you're reading the right things at the right times, or that you won't forget important books that, a day ago, you we're so enthused to read.

What you need to do is channel your reading love into a reading plan, one that gets you into a rhythm that makes your career-reading a regular, instinctive occurrence. I'm going to challenge you to develop a plan to help your career and channel that reading-obsession.

So here's your challenge:

  • Start keeping a list of books you figure you should read. Go and hit a bookstore or Go ask friends. Recall all those books you have said you'd read at some time.
  • Once you have that list, buy, borrow, check out, or download two of them.
  • Make a note in your list of the next book you want to read after these two. Feel free to make it a book you want to reread.
  • Read the first book in your list, and complete it within 2 weeks.
  • When you finish that first book, do two things.
    1. Write a review for a website, blogpost, message board post, or something.
    2. Get the next book on your list.
  • Read the second book, and when you're done - you got it - post a summary and get the next book on your list.

Keep this up for three months - yep, six books.

Now see if it worked - maybe you read faster or slower. Maybe you find that it's better to buy books earlier and have a stack. Maybe you don't need a written list. But either way, you've gotten rhythm and channeled your love of reading.

Go on. You've been challenged to improve yourself! Get reading!

(Get a Kindle if you're fearful of storage space).

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