I read anything and everything. When I’m not reading, I’m thinking about writing something to read. Writing down what I’m thinking helps me to see if I agree with what I’m thinking.
After all, if it doesn’t make much sense to you when you read it back to yourself, it probably won’t make much sense to someone else, and probably didn’t make much sense to you when you thought of it in the first place.
Kindergarten was optional when I was a kid so, as I tell any family member who’ll listen to yet another of my childhood glory stories, I went straight to the first grade because I was so smart.
My mother gave me a good start with practice reading at home. The family also had a set of encyclopedias which I probably read from cover to cover. Oh, and I read Playboy magazine for the articles.
Reading is the start of learning. A school library is a treasure trove of information and entertainment. Ditto for the public library.
How about the internet?
Much of what’s currently available on the internet requires reading, YouTube notwithstanding. That means someone wrote what you read, whether a web page, a research document, the news, a weblog, or email.
Reading and writing go hand in hand. For me, both are a part of my thinking process. Years ago I learned to use a white board (like a blackboard, only white; with colored marking pens instead of chalk– I’m officially dating myself) to problem solve.
Write down (or, up– you’re actually standing up in front of a white board) the objectives, the obstacles, the good, the bad, the ugly. It’s a great tool designed to clarify situations and solutions.
More executives should use a white board in meetings. They’ll gain the respect of others and learn to think better.
I’m surprised and disappointed at how few young people are readers– not just of popular magazines, but of current events, classic books of fiction and history. Real reading. Not Facebook posts or Twitter tweets. Real reading.
If you’ve ever watched Jay Leno’s Jaywalking episodes or seen Kip and Kim on The Tonight Show, you’ll know what I mean.
People don’t do enough reading and they do even less understanding.