Mitch Joel, the inimitable guru of web marketing, writes an important post on 'the most important thing'. Two times on one day he ran into thought leaders who said, unequivicably, that the most important thing to do to move ahead in your life is to read books.
Yesterday morning, I went to see Jeffrey Gitomer (best-selling author) speak. Gitomer is pretty clear about what it takes to be successful. After spending some time with him, it's obvious that the real secret (for him) is in the reading. Gitomer reads a ton. He not only collects the books that inspire him, but he devours them and surrounds himself with them. He loves words. He's constantly learning and educating himself, and - from there - the ideas for his writing (whether it's a book, article, presentation or tweet) flow from an overflowing brain of ideas and inspiration.
Then, it happened again.
After Gitomer's presentation, I went for lunch with Julien Smith (co-author with Chris Brogan of Trust Agents)who told me about Charlie Munger (one of Warren Buffet's peers) and his passion for reading. Munger loves reading. Munger believes that the most successful people he knows are those individuals who are constantly reading... like in a non-stop kind of way.
Most of us really give up on reading after university.
I've been thinking a lot about reading lately (and how much I love it)... Tweets, status updates and Blog posts that tell you how to generate more Blog readers don't count much . . . The majority of newspaper and magazine articles are probably right on the edge of valuable reading, but the guts of reading that will truly make you smart and successful comes from the high brow stuff. The books, periodicals and longer thought/research pieces.