Last week’s post offered general advice regarding the work of “experts.” Writing it reminded me of a set of articles that I feel is worthy of some direct attention, as the theme becomes increasingly prevalent. Variations on “How to Read 100 Books a Year,” these articles demonstrate the misconception inherent in many of the “expert” articles of the type discussed. The misconception is that the advice given is universal.
Example articles include:
[Link] “How to Read 100 Books in a Year” – Thrive Global
[Link] “How to Read 100+ Books in One Year” – WikiHow
[Link] "How to Read 100 Books a Year" – Observer
[Link] "How to read 100 books in a year (and still have a life)" – Forrest Brazeal
[Link] "How I Read 100 Books in One Year (and How You Can, Too)" – BookRiot
[Link] "5 Steps To Reading 100 Books A Year – AuthenticGrowth
Though the articles, generally, are not strong admonishments, implicit in the title and tenor of each is the idea that reading 100 books per year is a worthwhile and reasonable goal. For some, it may be; for others, it could be a counterproductive distraction.
Some of the articles’ authors mention that they fuel their writing by reading. If reading 100 books is what it takes to fulfill your writing duties, it is a perfectly sensible target. If, however, you do it to elevate your status among pseudointellectual peers, you are probably wasting your time, gaining little real value from the experience. Therefore, assessing your motivations for pursuing such a goal is a constructive first step.
There are several reasons why a numerical reading goal, especially one as aggressive as 100 books per year, may not be effective. These include:
Despite providing one-sided narratives or self-serving endorsements, these articles should not be dismissed altogether. The authors provide tips to increase your reading; these could be helpful and should be considered. The objective to which they are applied, however, should be chosen for oneself, considering motivations, subject matter to be consumed, and other unique variables.
In addition to technical and business books, I recommend utilizing your increased reading capacity to partake of varied subjects such as psychology, history, and philosophy. Intermingling fiction of various types can help keep your imagination active and foster creative thinking. Staying current with hobbies, whatever they may be, is another healthy addition to the mix.
If you find yourself becoming jaded with your reading selections, let me know. I will try to light a new path of discovery for you before you lose momentum and interest in reading. If you have suggestions for me, and others, I’d like to hear those, too.
Jody W. Phelps, MSc, PMP®, MBA
JayWink Solutions, LLC
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