Growing up, my parents, teachers and mentors always encouraged me to read. The more I read, the more I realized the smartest people through the ages didn’t just read. They read furiously. Twenty years later, it’s a habit and something I look forward to every day.
Like any good habit, some of the details change, but the action does not. With reading, it’s genres. I’ve come to love books on history (Think Team of Rivals), patterns (Think The Power of Habit), pop and classical fiction (Think Grisham and Tolkien) and more. Then there are my daily readings: blogs and the news covering industry trends and current events and of course the Bible. I generally keep multiple genres active simultaneously.
Why Multiple Genres
Picking a book on history, two more genres and daily readings helps me remember and process new ideas more effectively when I can associate them with other ideas. This helps me finish the books I’ve started. Yes, a book might be put down for a week or so, but I’ve found not forcing myself to finish a book just to finish it helps me reengage with the material at a later time.
Keeping Multiple Genres Active
Excluding my daily readings, I read what is most interesting to me that day. Sometimes my daily readings play into that decision. Other times, a problem I’m working through helps emphasize a certain subject.
I make sure that one of my books is long and I’m not talking 250 pages. Actively reading a 600+ page books is challenging. There’s nothing like closing the back cover on a book most people would use as a cornerstone. The detail in these books is immense. A single detail can inspire a great daydream that leads to a great idea. These books offer that flexibility by decreasing the chance of missing a main idea. These are also the books I tend to and want to reread.
I avoid genre fatigue by not reading more than one book on the same subject simultaneously. Reading more than one book on the same subject at the same time gets boring and can become confusing.
By using a feed aggregator like Feedly, I’m able to quickly browse the headlines of my favorite blogs and news sites. Most of the time, the blogs help me decide which books to read while the news helps me decide which sub-genres of history I should read.
By reading multiple genres simultaneously, I’m able to develop ideas and dreams and learn from some of the smartest people from history and even the not-so-smart.
These are my habits and the reasons behind them.
What are your reading habits?