With more and more people spending more and more time on the internet everyday, reading books seems like a thing of the past. I disagree with anybody who may have this opinion. Reading books is still an excellent way to gain knowledge and get into the minds of great authors. Whether or not you apply any of the things you read, just like in a blog, is up to you.
Here are three of the main reasons that I still read books and why I am going to read 1 book a week from now until the end of the year.
Cost of Knowledge
A typical book is around $20-25 to purchase or even cheaper if you’re buying it on Amazon (which is the only place that I purchase books from). An average attendance cost of a conference is let’s say $500 (these numbers are not researched, just from my own personal experience), Why do I make these two comparisons? Simple. You can spend $20 to read a book or spend $500 to hear a keynote speech about the exact same ideas that are in the book. Also, imagine if you compare those prices to a full day of consulting. In a recent blog post, Chris Brogan spoke about chargiing $22,000 a day for a full day of consulting. I read Trust Agents (Amazon link) for free (received it at Affiliate Summit East 2009) and his new book Social Media is my book of choice next week. So I get his ideas and knowledge for about $20 as opposed to paying to hear him speak.
Reading allows me to get away from not just the computer, but the iPhone as well. It’s weird, I grab these two things called pen and paper and my book and go sit away from my office or desk and just read. I attempt to read 40-50 pages a day and I take notes throughout reading the book. I could never resell a book on Amazon because mine are highlighted and have notes written on them, everything.
This offline time also provides me with more blog ideas and creative ideas for clients, then when I am connected to the internet and on my laptop. It can be a huge stress-relief for you. If reading is not for you, then purchase the audiobook instead. Listen to it while you are working out or sitting by the pool.
Look at purchasing books an investment. After you read a book, you tend to forget majority of the things that you read, even when you have notes. Same thing happens when you attend a conference. You take great notes, but unless you have a transcript, I doubt you are going to remember the entire keynote. When a book is sitting on a bookshelf, you can easily go and grab it and re-read a chapter or section of the book. I recommend re-reading books because you will look at them in a different context then you did the first time you read them.
These are three brief reasons why I feel that reading books is still an important form of education and knowledge building. For this reason, I have began reading a book a week. I have heard about people doing this before and I decided that this is a great idea. Here is a list of my next 5 books (Amazon links):
- Internet Marketing From The Real Experts
- Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online
- Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
- Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard