Reading Non-Fiction

I just read Everything I Knew About Reading Was Wrong by Johnny of Hackernoon (part of Medium). It gave me more permission to be effective and not finish books, jump around, or read a lot of books at once.

I won’t repeat the whole article here. It is short enough to go read it yourself in five minutes. It is well worth the time. As a consultant, I need to read – a lot. Not only do I need to read about project management, my field of concentration, but I also need to read about consulting as a business, technology used in my projects, and business topics in general. You probably have a lot of reading you need to do (or want to do), and there are a variety of issues where you just get hung up and don’t move forward. The main points from Johnny’s article:

  1. Give yourself permission to quit. If you don’t like the book, or you want to move on to something else, just stop. You don’t owe the author to finish it, and you don’t owe yourself to finish it. Whatever you spent on the book, both money and time, are gone. You don’t get anything back by finishing. You don’t get a gold star or a pat on the back. Maybe you are just stuck on something and need to come back later.
  2. Read more than one book at a time. Read three, seven, or ten if you like. You can mix it up among e-books, paper books, and audio books. You are not breaking any rules of book reading. You may absorb more of each book by spreading your learning out over time. You did this in school, remember? You took multiple courses at once. Did you forget how to do math because you went from there to history class?
  3. Skip around. You don’t have to read a non-fiction book sequentially. Is the first part boring because you already know it? Move ahead. Is the last part just repetition and anecdotes? Then skip that too. If there is one important nugget in one chapter that you can put to use, don’t worry you may have left something behind.

I hope you go read the original article and think of it anytime you stop reading just because you are stuck in the book you are currently reading. Just move on!

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