What Are You Reading This Year?

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Reading is all the rage among many business leaders.

As a lifelong bookworm, this is welcome news. Something I’ve always loved to do has (finally) become on trend.

The lesson? If you do things you like long enough, they might become popular at some point. Then you can say you were ahead of the curve.

The benefits of reading are vast – there’s focusing your mind and calming your soul. There’s learning new information relevant to your career. There’s exposing yourself to a diversity of viewpoints to understand how different groups of people think and act.

In the year since I posted News Rituals of a Communicator, my own reading habits have evolved and changed.

New on the scene are 3 daily digests pushed to my email.

  • theSkimm. This filters news through the eyes of Millennials. It’s a fun read with a fresh take on the world, with quotes of the day, a main story and things to know.

Thanks to colleague Lauren Brown for the recommendation, during a meeting of our company’s employee resource group for women.

It starts with today’s agenda, moves into the world in brief and wraps up with market activity.

  • L.A. Business JournalThis is the local look at what’s going on in the Los Angeles business world. It aggregates sources with news that impacts Southern California.

And since I work for a Dallas-based company, I’ve become an avid follower of The Dallas Morning News.

Isn’t this a lot to read? Not really. Similar to other news sources, I scan the headlines in each digest and choose at least one story to read in full.

That’s why I focus so much on the importance of headlines in any corporate communication. Often it’s all people will read. The main point has to be captured in it. If someone read nothing else, would they get the key point? Is it something that could be easily found later in a search?

Beyond news, there are blogs for a variety of viewpoints. And what about books? There’s less of a method to my madness here in creating a reading list.

I keep an eye out in Harvard Business Review posts for upcoming books. Sometimes I’ll discover books through TED talks. Other times it’ll be on best business books lists.

Usually I discover books before their publishing date. So I pre-order on my Kindle app. It’s a fun surprise the day they download. This week’s gift is Adam Grant‘s Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.

Because I’m such a book lover, I haunt my local library‘s new releases section. It’s like browsing the latest titles and taking all the best ones home for free. Even better, they get returned after 2 weeks and don’t clutter my home or office. There’s also an option to borrow electronic books.

How is there time for all these books? They’re always available on my smartphone or tablet. That way I can read on the go whenever I have a few minutes. It makes time fly when you’re standing in line or waiting for an appointment to begin.

When time is tight, I’ll read the first chapter, last chapter and any other chapters in the table of contents that catch my eye. There are plenty of book summaries out there. And you can listen to books in the car.

And I’m endlessly inspired by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and her reading habit. Her post on How I Read 200 Books a Year gives great tips for how to fit more reading into your life.

What are you reading and how do you make time for it?

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Caroline Leach

Hi, I'm Caroline Leach. I help people and organizations tell their stories. I'm a Marketing VP at AT&T, a former Communications VP at DIRECTV and an alum of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. This blog, Social Media Savvy for Corporate Professionals, shows you how to build your personal brand, advance your career and embrace your future. It helps you promote your employer and your network too. Opinions expressed in this blog are my own. Your comments are welcomed and encouraged. I'd love to hear from you!

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