Kim Schlesinger

How to Read More

I have always admired people who are voracious readers, and as an adult, I have gone through several phases where I read whenever I can find a spare moment. Unfortunately, during the last six months, I have read very little aside from the newsfeed on my phone.

A few days ago, I realized I wanted to change this when I was listening to an interview of Karen Walker on the Women in Tech Show. Walker is currently an executive consultant and she was a chief-level executive at Compaq during the company’s heyday. One of the things she attributes to her success as a leader is that she is always reading. When I heard her say that, I realized that I want to be the kind of person who is always reading and letting the ideas I encounter in books seep into my life.

My problem: Going from reading less than an hour a week to reading everyday is a big behavioral change and relying on willpower alone isn’t enough for me to accomplish my goal. In order to set myself up for success, I am going to apply the following process:

Step 1: Set a Goal

Step 2: Write Down Your Reading List

Step 3: Get the Books in the Format You Prefer

Step 4: Create a System to Publically Track Your Progress

Step 5: At a Predetermined Date, Reflect on Your Progress and Make Changes as Needed

Step 6: Read!

My Goal: Read 750 minutes per month, or 25 minutes a day for 2 months.

My reading list lives here. The list is aspirational because I will only be able to read a small percentage of those books in two months. I already own hard copies of the first book in each category.

Here's my Tracker:

Public reading tracker

I will reflect on my progress and publish an update on July 31, 2017.

A note on my reading list: I am trying to improve my software development and leadership skills, so I have put the books on these topics at the top of my list. I got leadership and software book recommendations from my manager, Kyle Coberly, and my colleague, CJ R.

Finally, this blog post was heavily influenced by Susan J. Fowler’s Reading List.