In the post Want to write more? Read more – RSS can help, I focused on reading newsletters, websites and blogs. Because I have an Internet-based business and do 98% of my work on the computer, that's naturally the first place I go to do some reading.
But, do you remember books?
There's always a book on my nightstand that I read for pleasure, though it can take me months to get through one, at only a few pages a night.
When it comes to business books, because I know that I simply don't have a lot of time offline that I want to spend reading, I tend not to want to invest in buying my own copies.
So when someone recommends a book, the first thing I do is head over to the Toronto Public Library website.
From there, I can browse books, then log in and reserve the ones I want. They ship the books to my nearest branch and call me when they arrive. Then I have a week to go pick them up before they put them back into circulation.
When I do get my hands on the book, I tend to skim, not read. Usually I find at least one golden nugget that I can write about here and/or apply immediately to my business.
I've used the library a lot as I've been working on the Customizable Style Guide for Coaches who Write. Not too long ago, I was walking out of the library on a sunny Saturday afternoon. I'd just picked up two resource books for the style guide, and I had a huge rush of gratitude that the library is there for me and others who have a passion for knowledge and reading.
Writing Prompt: Writing book reviews is a great way to stay on top of the issues facing your prospective clients. Consult websites, blogs and trade magazines that attract members of your target market, to see what books they're talking about. And when you get the book, check out who the authors list as references and key influences. You don't have to write a formal review, you can just share your impressions of the book, summarize the main lessons you took away, or tell a story about how the book influenced your business or your life.
P.S. Of course, another way for busy people to access business books is to listen to them. My sister is a big fan of audio books, though I haven't really explored those yet. Away from the computer, my life is surpisingly low-tech. I finally have a CD player in the car, but still no .MP3 player 😉