Vail Daily column: What are you reading these days?
So the other day I saw a statistic that caught my attention, “Data shows that the population between the ages of 19 and 30 have only read one book in the past 12 months, and that book was Facebook.”
Now obviously this is not true, it was just someone trying to make a point and having some fun with our addiction to social media. However, we all know there is a little truth in humor sometimes and I could also sense the presenter’s sadness over what he perceived as a decline in the reading of books.
With such access and immediate access to information it is so easy to find links to articles, magazines, blogs and other short-form content that we can see how some may feel like books are getting the short end of our attention span.
For some of us, time compression can be an issue. Many of us have a hard enough time keeping up with our job, multiple jobs, kids, spouses, chores, and our workout that we must seek bite-sized information to scratch our reading itch. So when we couple time management issues with a need for instant gratification and shorter attention spans, it is easy to buy into the position that the reading of books has fallen way down on the priority list.
There is a distinction, no one is saying that people aren’t reading anymore, the truth is we are creating and consuming information at an unbelievable and faster rate than at any time in history. It is just that the perception for some people is that even with ereaders, iPads, tablets and smart phones, we have forgotten just how important it is, and how awesome it is to simply read a book as we get caught up in social media, games and other apps.
The summer is upon us, and I know for many of you this is the time where you get a lot of your reading in, specifically books. And although I enjoyed the presenter’s comedic and satirical approach to people not reading as many books as they should, I would say that many of us still enjoy a good book, especially on the beach or on vacation somewhere. For me, I always have a book in my hand, whether I am on an airplane for a business trip, in the mountains or on a beach anywhere. And I typically alternate between the types of books I read which include faith-based, business, history, biography and even fiction from time to time.
And even though I do believe most of us still enjoy reading a good book and include it as a part of our overall personal or professional development or simply because we have a love of reading, I have seen a shift away from reading while I am traveling. It seems that lately I see more people playing games on their devices or they are consumed with working while on the airplane as opposed to reading. I used to love when I would look around the airplane and see the majority of people with their heads down and reading a book. As a matter of fact this is where I used to get great ideas and recommendations for the next books I would be reading.
What are you reading these days? Are you reading mostly online articles, blogs and posts? Are you more of a newspaper or magazine person? Are you someone who prefers and enjoys audio books? Or maybe you are someone who just can’t get enough information and take advantage of books as well as all of the other media listed above. Zig Ziglar was a veracious reader, and probably had a lot to do with my own reading habits and inspiration. Ziglar used to say it this way, “Every day I read the newspaper and the Bible; this way I know what both sides are up to.”
I would love to hear all about your reading habits and any suggestions and recommendations for books that I might read this summer. And if you would like my reading list, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And when we include reading in any way shape or form, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.