What was the last book that you read?
I buy new books all day. Literally. I read most of my book on my iPhone using the Kindle, iBooks or Kobo app (but, mostly Kindle). I haven't been reading enough books this year. I used to read - on average - about a book a week. I think I have only read a handful of books this year. Sadly. Still, I find myself reading all of the time. Tweets on Twitter, Facebook status updates, e-newsletters, articles online, blog posts, magazine articles, newspaper articles (remember those) and more. Still an infovore, but my consumption of books has not been at a personal level of satisfaction.
Recognizing this flaw in my personal development, I've made an active push to read more books in the past few months. I even have physical books lying around my offices, by my bed and even in my knapsack. Book reading is an important part of what makes me grow. I know this. Still, this past year I got lost in less meaningful pieces of content. Yes, less meaningful. Sorry to burst any bubbles, but as amazing as an article might be or as enjoyable as it can be to spend a lunch hour scrolling through Facebook and Twitter, I can't help but feeling like all content (outside of book reading) leaves me as hollow as a meal at a fast food restaurant. It feels like the right thing at the time, but there is nothing but regret and the desire for a more substantive meal shortly thereafter.
Diving deep into a book.
Last week, I finished reading Steven Pressfield's latest book, The Authentic Swing. The thing about Pressfield (and his books) is that he forces you to focus and dive deep on the topic of writing and getting the words out of you. For me (and anyone else with a passion for writing), it's inspiring. Still, that's first-level on what happens when you read a good book. It's much more about focus. A book allows you to shut-out the real-time Web, the beeps, the alerts, the distractions and more that continuously drive us away from the things that we really need to focus on. Pressfield calls everything but doing the work that we're supposed to do "the resistance." Never has there been a tool to seduce the resistance more than the Internet. Books take you away from that. Writing notes and adding perspective to the books that you're reading do that too. Sadly, I got away from that.
I once was lost...
I'm not done with Twitter or reading blog posts or articles in The New Yorker, but I am done with those resources being the primary destination. Books first. Everything else flows after that. I don't know about you, but the more books that I read, the more creative and strategic solutions my brain can come up with. We live in a world where content is short, fast and free. Perhaps this is more a "stop and smell the roses" type of blog post. Regardless, the merits that are derived from spending the time, energy and effort of reading a full book (cover to cover) is something that is easily lost in our fast food content culture.
Interested in fine dining? Try reading more books. I'm going to. Join me.