If intent were king, I would be a high minister indeed.
I liberated myself from my much-loved periodicals last year so I would have time to focus on my stack of books (some stackable, some digital) that I have the best of intentions to get through. As much as I love and get a lot out of magazines, they were relentless to keep up with (looking right at you, New Yorker!).
It should be said I am not a reader. That is, I have never consumed books with the speed and voracious appetite of many of my friends. My wife, Stephanie, is one of those people who read for the simple pleasure of the word on the page, embracing the mental distraction.
With equal parts envy and pride, I do NOT read for pleasure. I read for ideas, contemplation and engagement—the opposite of escape. I rarely read fiction, outside of the occasional short story (you again, New Yorker!). I can’t remember the last novel I completed. Really.
And so, we come to the central point: Completion. I read slowly, usually with a pen in hand for margin notes. I am easily distracted—just as in my non-literary pursuits—by what’s next. That said, I am making slow progress through my stack this year, and have been drawing lots of ideas together and synthesizing new ones from what I read. That’s exciting.
So, here is what I’m slogging (happily) through these days, in no particular order:
Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It
Working Out Loud: For a Better Career and Life
Be the (Best) Boss of You
Finding Perpetual Beta: Reflections on the Network Era
Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking World of Networks
Revolutionize Learning & Development: Performance and Innovation Strategy for the Information Age
Clark N. Quinn
Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
The Functional Art: An Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization (Voices That Matter)