How Are You Reading This Summer?

As a writer, I try to deliver good content and express my thoughts in ways that serve others.  Given today’s technology, I must also think about the audience’s reading habits.

I’ve often thought people just don’t read anymore.  The truth is, people are reading more than ever, only differently.  We now have iPhones, iPads, Kindles, tablets, and Nooks.  If you’re like me, a good portion of your work time revolves around email.  I read blog posts, forum discussions, ebooks, friend-recommended articles, PDF files, power points, newsletters, social media sites, and the list goes on.  Now, throw in other media:  youtube, television, cell phone, internet, podcasts, audiobooks, etc.  Information overload!  Or, information cafeteria!

I’m not just reading anymore, I’m speed-reading–scanning.  Either I’m being incredibly pragmatic as I pick out what interests me or meets my needs, OR I’m trying to cut through the fluff.  Actually, I do both.  And this is a great reminder to me:  How much worthless information am I including in my writing?

Often, we can say more by saying less.

Changing the subject just a little, I would love to hear what’s on your summer reading list.  Here are some of the books I’m reading this summer, but also notice how I’m reading them (as you can see, I haven’t totally abandoned the good ol’ paper and ink):

  • The Bible (YouVersion on iPad)
  • You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins (ebook on Kindle)
  • The Writer’s Manifesto by Jeff Goins (PDF on iPad)
  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell (audio/CDs) – during my commute.
  • Swim Upstream by Dave Myers (ebook on Kindle)
  • Platform by Michael Hyatt (hardback & ancillary electronic media)
  • As One Devil to Another by Richard Platt (paperback) – thanks Pastor Jeff.  Incidentally, I won this book on Jeff’s blog.

The takeaway:  Technology continues to shape how we read, how we regulate the information flood.  Ironically, it also increases the deluge.  As writers, we have to be sensitive to this, and get to the point.

Exceptions:  Yes, I realize these ideas may not apply to all reading scenarios.  For example, spiritual, poetry or fiction.  But as writers, we can get carried away in these genres also.

What’s your opinion on this topic?  Let us know what you’re reading this summer and how you’re reading it.

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14 Responses to How Are You Reading This Summer?

  1. Writer Jobs says:

    Great post thanks. I really enjoyed it very much.

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  2. Zen says:

    I’m mostly sticking to good old-fashioned books. I will occasionally read on my computer as I don’t have a reader device yet. I’m currently reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgensten, and I have books like The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers and I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett up next!

  3. susanb says:

    Read thus far – Generation iY – a must read for anyone who has kids or works with them, Pillars of the Earth – I was long overdue on this one, Water for Elephants, The Hunter and the Farmer (nutrition. Currently reading – Between, Georgia – local fiction and Thrive – a vegan nutrition guide. Will finish before the summer is over – The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness (Keller), The Count of Monte Cristo, Heroes and Monsters, and some book on writing. I’m also reading through the Psalms this summer. I love my Kindle but haven’t abandoned real books either. Basically, if it’s a good book, I don’t care what format. Happy reading everyone!

    • Thanks, Susan! I also love my Kindle. It’s so easy to use and the ability to store so many books and carry with me. Although the Kindle has some underlining features, I still enjoy highlighting real books and marking with notes.

  4. Mildred Aenchbacher says:

    My eyes are so bad I can hardly read anything. The Bible is the only book I read. I feel like if I can read it and try to live by it, that’s all I need. However, I don’t think it’s wrong for other people to read wholesome material of their choice.

    • Thanks, Mimmie! The “living by what we read” is a huge challenge. I suppose for some, the process of reading is another kind of motivating factor. If you choose to read one book, I will say, you’ve picked the best one 🙂

  5. Scott, I’m pretty much old-fashioned when it comes to books. I do read a few ebooks in PDF format, but I don’t have a Kindle, as I much prefer hardbacks or paperbacks. But I do read quite a few blogs and realize the value in interacting through blogs and social media.

    I just finished “The Road Trip that Changed the World” by Mark Sayers (highly recommended), and I’m about to read another book of his called “Forget Paris.” I’m in the middle of “Platform” and will also be starting “The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau.

  6. Mike says:

    A piece of writing has to grab me and hold my attention or I just can’t read it. There is just so much, and it is not just that so much of is worthless – though some is – some of it is very good writing; it’s just that one of my filters is that it has to be something that interests me a great deal. I kind of like the way wordpress has set up the blogs we follow. We get a little snippet of what it is about. That is helpful.

    In my writing, I too am very sensitive to this and do my best to weed out unnecessary words, lines and paragraphs. Though my interest in writing started with journaling, I went through a period of writing poetry which I think taught me the importance of saying all you can say in as few a words as possible. In poetry, you don’t have the luxury of taking a few sentences to express a point; you sometimes have to do it in about 5 or 6 words.

    One of the first books I bought on writing was ‘Getting the Words Right’ by Theodore Cheney. He makes the point well.

    So far I have written 3 books and am close to being through with my 4th. Two are self published. The third is getting ready to be as will the 4th when I get it finished. They are all devotional style. They are all about the lessons I have learned in the past 8 years as I have struggled to dig my way out of flat Christianity. My 1st: Finding God in the Storms of Life. 2nd ‘A New Set of Cravings’
    3rd ‘Lost Wonder’ and my 4th is ‘The Fight of Faith’

    I know . . . TMI; so I’ll quit here.

    Liked your post.

    All for now,

    Mike

    • Thanks, Mike and congratulations on your books! Sounds like you are a prolific writer with a heart for God. Your point about poetry is excellent. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I suppose it does force the economy of words and being careful to use the most effective words.

      Tell us how we can get a copy of your books.

  7. Mike says:

    How about a swap. I believe I read where you have written a book or two. Send me your address and I will send you one. My email is mikejonz20@gmail.com

    • Great idea, Mike! I’ll be glad to send you a copy of my novel. I’m also working on a 3rd short story this summer. Maybe it will be ready to publish this fall.

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