I don't read a lot, but over the last few years I've developed a book choice cycle that works really well for me. It helps me finish challenging books that I want to read for development, and entices me to be selective about the “fun” books I burn through. My reading cycle is: one “fun” book, one personal development book and one professional development book.
My first book can be something fun. I just finished The Hunger Games trilogy, which classified as fun books. They were so quick to read, I counted all three as one fun book (probably strictly cheating) These are great as a mental vacation, they're easy to read, and I don't expect to gain much more than entertainment from them.
The next book is a personal development book. The last book I read in this category was How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life by the Dalai Lama. I've been on a bit of a buddhism kick lately, and this was a wonderful book to read. The key concepts of mindfulness, managing expectations and general happiness are great things to think about regularly. Right now I've decided George Orwell's 1984 counts as a personal development book, because after The Hunger Games I needed something with a bit more philosophy and direct commentary to it.
The third book in the cycle is a professional development book. Something like The Trusted Advisor or a technical book that will teach me a new skill or polish an existing one counts here. I found that sometimes, if I'm not careful, these books can linger in my bag, unfinished, which is why I keep the “fun” book close by to trick myself into finishing this one so I can eat my dessert.
Of course, every person will think differently about why they read, how they read and what they hope to get out of their books. For me this cycle works really well. I love reading books out of each category and I like the variety of the different categories.
Posted By: Joe Basirico