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When do you prefer to read business books?

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  • When do you prefer to read business books?

    I feel that it's not very easy for me to concentrate for business reading at work (and particulary in my office): people coming in and out, telephone rings, ideas etc. Plus I feel that people look at me in a strange way when I do read. All is there: I have the Context, I have the Time, I have the Energy and Priority but there's something else missing. When do you usually read bussiness books and do you have any tricks for reading at work?



  • #2
    Reading at work with care

    By business reading I will expand your question to include newspapers, magazines, clipped articles and manuals plus business books. For the first (newspapers, magazines, clippings etc.) I found it acceptable to skim read then at the desk ... the trick was to look at the index and find those stories/issues that related directly to the work at hand.

    For books, it was OK as long as it was for reference. Again the need was to focus on the specific. Also having a pen in hand as you read and either underlining or taking notes helps to legitimize the task.

    In-depth reading, was and has always been on my own time.


    • #3
      Planes, trains, and automobiles

      I travel just about every week (this is being posted from a hotel in Zurich ) so for me I use the travel time to catch up on reading. It never bothers me that much to wait in line at passport control or customs as long as I have a good book to read.


      • #4
        Every afternoon around 3:00, I brew a cup of tea, take out a few homemade cookies, and pull down a business book from the shelf in my cubicle and read for about ten minutes.

        People used to look at me strangely. I let them. Then they got used to it, and started apologizing for interrupting me.

        I also have a stack of books next to my bed at home, and any new business books go in there. The ones in my office are personal classics that I want to re-read.


        • #5
          The format may not be to everyone's taste, but I like to listen to books on tape in the car.

          In a few cases where I'm extremely interested in the content, I'll have read the book at home but I'll also buy the CD for the car. There's something about reading the book and then hearing it as spoken word that increases my learning and understanding of the material.
          Too expensive to overdo this double dipping though.


          • #6
            I used to read some "business books" but have pretty much stopped. The ones I read pre-GTD were not much better than the "We're gonna pour chicken soup down your throat 'til your arteries clog with schmaltz" series. I think they can be a mild addiction, like romance novels, but without the sex.


            • #7
              Originally posted by mcogilvie View Post
              I think they can be a mild addiction, like romance novels, but without the sex.
              Would that addiction be "infomania" ?


              • #8
                There are certainly plenty of bad business books. But there are good ones, too. You have to wade through the bad ones to get to the good ones.

                Some of my favorites:
                • The Essential Drucker
                • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
                • Communicating at Work by Tony Alessandra and Phil Hunsaker
                • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
                • The Brand You 50 by Tom Peters
                • Getting It DONE by Roger Fisher and Alan Sharp
                • The Seven-Day Weekend by Ricardo Semler
                • How to Think Like a CEO by D. A. Benton
                • The Gifted Boss by Dale Dauten
                • Please Don't Just Do What I Tell You! Do What Needs To Be Done by Bob Nelson