May is National Get Caught Reading Month. With all of the live video, infographics and memes flying past you on social media, sometimes it’s easy to forget the enjoyment that comes from picking up a good book.
Even for a typical bookworm, the digital marketing age can act as a distraction from digging into a topic in-depth, but here are a few reasons reading can round out your content consumption:
It Gives You a Point of Connection: You know that moment when you mention a book to a friend and their face lights up in recognition? We need more of these moments. You immediately have a way to connect, to compare impressions and discuss how the book affected you for better or worse. At any given coffee meeting or lunch seminar, you’ve always got a ready topic when you’re actively reading.
You Get Deeper: Even a white paper can’t compare to the level of insight and expertise that is presented in a book. Sure, sometimes you only need to read the first few chapters of a book on a niche topic, but it’s also nice to know the details are there if you suddenly become obsessed with the origin of modern marketing strategies or East Asian salt production.
Expand Your Expertise: Some reading is strictly for entertainment, but even fiction can expand your horizons around a different culture or better understanding of human nature. A book about your industry can help you recognize more opportunities, get a more complete picture of your ideal customer or allow you to better navigate a meeting.
What if you just can’t find the time? Here are a few ideas for fitting in a few minutes of reading every day, which add up fast:
- Try audiobooks. An audiobook can be a great way to make the most of your commute, your exercise or your yard work.
- Set a timer. If you commit to ten minutes of reading every day, you might be surprised how quickly that adds up to entire books being finished.
- Get some recommendations. Build a network on Goodreads.com or throw a request for recommendations out on another social site and you’ll be flooded with ideas. SJC Marketing President Susan Campbell says that when it comes to learning more about business, anything by Seth Godin is a good read. You might try Permission Marketing or Tribes.
- Be reasonable. If you’ve never been a reader, maybe full-length books aren’t ideal for you. Try a book of essays or short stories, and if you just feel a mental block towards books, try subscribing to a great eNewsletter. Simply tuning in every week to a favorite influencer in your industry can be a great way to get caught reading.
But perhaps the best recommendation is to pair your reading with something else you love. A piece of really good chocolate, your favorite playlist, a walk on a trail and of course, a cup of coffee. Monday Morning Coffee, that is.