I like to read books. That seems like a fairly innocuous statement, but I find today it's almost radical. Nothing stops a conversation faster at a cocktail party than to start talking about books. When I mention books, even some of my closest friends will take on an almost Lake Wobegon sort of shoe-gazing stature wondering when someone is going to let this poor man know that no one does that anymore. Doesn't he know about the Internet or TV, or if he really must indulge in such things, magazines?
At those same parties, I find I must quickly cover my wife's mouth before she lets anyone know we get the newspaper (for which I razz her from time to time, because doesn't she know about the Internet or TV, or if she really must indulge in such things the Kindle? (even though I find myself reading the sports section daily (which I complain about daily for its hyper-local rah rahism (I mean do we really need to know that Kobe Bryant is NOT talking today?)))).
According to one study, one in four people do not read books at all and those who do read, read about a book every other month. I'm a slow reader and feel like I rarely have time to read and yet I'm sure I read at least a dozen books a year. One year I actually measured how many I read (I do things like measuring a fairly useless statistic and then spend days boring my wife with my thoughts about the useless statistic and what it means for mankind (I think this is called "being self-absorbed")) and I read 36 books that year. That was a lot. It felt like a lot. But it felt good.
And yet, I'm not sure my reading has been particularly "productive". My favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy (to my wife: yes, I did just write that out loud) and those don't generally teach you how to be a better agent, or better business owner or better father or husband. I just cracked open "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" and that may have been the first real estate related book I've read since "Success as a Real Estate Agent for Dummies" (which was actually a lot better than it sounds).
In the end, I have more questions than answers. I know "wasting time" is a valuable thing in life, but am I wasting the time I'm wasting? Could I be creating more unproductive time for myself by being a little more productive with my unproductive time? Would it kill me to read business books more regularly? Or was Homer Simpson right when he said: "Books are useless! I only ever read one book, "To Kill a Mockingbird and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds! Sure, it taught me not to judge a man by the color of his skin . . . but what good does 'that" do me?"