I’m always reading; from blogs to books. Sometimes I read a couple of books at the same time. Fiction, non-fiction, you know, different themes or kinds of books. This post is about how I read books; generally non-fiction ones.
Reading is critical for self-development and growth as a leader. You just can’t do life and leadership without books. I love reading and collecting them. While packing books I flipped through some I’ve read and noticed I might have a weird way of reading books. Here’s how I read books:
Underline (Highlight) & Scribble
I don’t know when exactly I started doing this, but I read with a pen in hand. No, I don’t use the pen as pointer, I use it to underline things that stand out for me. I used to use different colour highlighters. Then it got a bit much to carry a pen and set of highlighters, and, have to keep swopping them around.
So, I underline things that stand out or have impact on me. I scribble and make notes in the margin. The book margin, for me, is like a table in a cosy coffee shop where I have a conversation with the author.
I ask him questions that arise, note ideas or thoughts sparked by what I just read. This is where I poke fun at the author, affirm his statements. I even write “LOL” if it is that funny. I make notes on things to investigate or research further.
I’m a big fan of sharing. This is one of the reasons I blog. It is not that I’m an expert, it is that I love sharing my journey and learning. Someone to say, “me too…’ is enough for me.
Sharing what I’m reading or learning often makes people ask questions. These help me assess my understanding. In some way I hope it helps them grow too. You never know how something, even the pithy, could help someone.
My sharing is not limited to just talking. I might write a blog post from an idea I got, share some quotes on Twitter, Facebook and such. From face to face conversations, to blogging, social media, sharing is also how I read books.
A photo posted by Blessing Mpofu (@blessingmpofu) on
It seems I have a relationship with the books I read. In some way they’re a medium of communication with the author. I regard books as a conversation. Perhaps the most appropriate way to say it is, “I interact with or engage books”. After giving a peek into how I read books I feel as if it is almost not right to say I read them.
Am I the only one with such a ‘relationship’ with books? How do you read books?