Management Tip: How to Read a Lot More Books

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Books give us new knowledge and broaden our understanding of the world. But how can you fit reading into your already hectic schedule? Start by publicly committing to reading more. Research shows that telling others you’re going to do something makes you more likely to follow through. So, open a Goodreads or Reco account, and update your profile every time you finish a book. Don’t make yourself slog through a book if you aren’t getting something out of it. Think of quitting a book as a way to make room for that gem you’re going to read next. Most important, keep a book with you at all times. Instead of checking Facebook when you’re standing in the grocery line or waiting for the movie to start, read a few pages here and there. They’ll add up.

Adapted from “8 Ways to Read (a Lot) More Books This Year,” by Neil Pasricha

Case-in-Point: It’s Never Too Late to Cultivate the Habit.

Amarjit Singh Batra, 50, CEO of OLX India, reads at short intervals through day—but over the course of a week he probably spends 10 hours with a book. Amarjit treats reading as a daily discipline and indulges when he’s alone, often while commuting, or travelling.

Amarjit wasn’t always a voracious reader though. He only picked up this habit in his early 30s, when he joined a technology-based business. Books, he says, were his primary source for learning new skills, and thus his journey of reading began.

Much of his reading relates to what he’s working on at any given time, be it a new product launch, a new marketing campaign, or solving a business challenge. But he doesn’t limit his reading just to business; he likes to expand his mind with books on history and geopolitics.

Amarjit has set a reading goal of 100 books every year; so far this year he’s finished 25. It helps that he’s as comfortable reading on the Kindle as he is picking up a paperback. Besides books, he is an avid reader of business case studies and articles published in the Economist, and Fast Company (and Harvard Business Review, of course!), amongst others. He also follows blogs and industry reports by experts in the internet/technology domain, and consumes most of his business news on Twitter or LinkedIn.

He counts the following among his favourite books of all time: The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by Jim Collins, and Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.

 

Click here for a list of 11 books all young leaders must read, and here for why those who want to lead should read.

 

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