This topic covers a lot of ground in my mind. Depending on what you’re reading, you may be escaping your day or learning something new. It may be pure fun or investing in yourself and your future. It means reading news and knowing what’s going on in the world. It means reading fiction and non-fiction, and can include books related to career and business. To me, reading for all of these reasons is important and adds value to my life, whether an entertaining fiction book, an article on an area of the law relevant to my practice, or a book on a general business-related topic such as networking or management.
As for news, read whatever you like, such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post or other papers (or listen to news related podcasts). Better yet, read or skim two, preferably with different takes, such as being left or right leaning. Reading different points of view allows you to process issues, ideas, and positions. It also will help you craft your own point of view coming from a well-read place because you’ve educated yourself on issues. You can create the time to do this by calendaring time with your morning coffee or for a mid-morning break. Knowing what is happening locally, nationally, and globally is part of being a citizen of where you live and the bigger, broader world.
Reading books matters too. Reading the type of book you enjoy matters more. I rotate between fiction and non-fiction. For non-fiction books, I rotate between biographies and business-related books. I usually use my time reading books as an escape from work and thoughts piled up from my day, but sometimes I hear about a business book I find intriguing and am willing to read something to make me think or try to improve some aspect of my life or business. You should read whatever motivates you to read. It’s not a contest to read the classics or more business books than someone else you know. It’s your time, so choose what you read based on your interests.
The best part of doing this is taking time for yourself and it has other benefits as well. It will help you be a generalist on the current news and other topics you read about. It also will allow you to be a specialist in specific areas in which you have real interest. Both combine to make you more interesting to speak with at a networking event or in conversation with friends and family. You will be able to have a conversation with anyone, which will provide you with opportunities.