I love to read. Several years ago I decided to learn to read much faster so that I could take in more books. Of course, there are some books that I read at a leisurely pace because I enjoy them so much. I also read multiple books simultaneously.
Right now I’m reading about seven books on topics that range from resilience in organizations to combatting white supremacy in American society, from understanding the value of love and how to apply it to a novel written by a good friend.
Many people I know limit their reading to blog posts and magazine articles, foregoing books because of their length. I think that’s a mistake.
One of the books I am reading, The Art of Impossible, by Stephen Kotler, spells out one reason why.
Kotler has been a published writer and best-selling author for decades. He shares what goes into writing a blog post versus a magazine article versus a book. Here’s what he says:
If you read 250 words per minute (the average reading speed) and a blog post is usually about 800 words, it takes about three minutes to read one. He puts about three days’ worth of research and writing into every blog post.
A magazine article in Wired or the Atlantic Monthly is generally about 5,000 words long and takes him about four months to create. So the reader of such an article is trading 20 minutes for four months worth of concentrated development by the author.
If the average book is 75,000 words, Kotler says it takes him about fifteen years to write one. So the average reader trades five hours for fifteen years of his research and development.
Thus, he makes his case. If you are reading to learn, books are your best bet for concentrated knowledge.
By the way, I highly recommend his book. For someone who’s interested in taking on grand challenges (big, bold, intractable problems), it is a fantastic read.
Well, I don’t want you to stop reading Monday Morning Mojo! Nonetheless, I am an advocate for reading books.
“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.” – Erasmus