Life as a Reading Challenge, Chapter 13
Last week, my company sponsored a seminar that everyone was required to attend. The featured presenter was a local entrepreneur, popular motivational speaker and host of a finance programme--and he was pretty good! Everyone seemed to enjoy his presentation, though it was probably better suited to his fellow business wizards than to corporate English trainers. There was one thing he said, however, which also struck me as relevant to what I do on this blog.
He quoted a newspaper columnist who has interviewed the country's richest tycoons as saying that one difference between a successful entrepreneur and a "regular" person is that the former will read primarily for information, while the latter will read primarily for entertainment.
It made me remember what I still think is the funniest moment in the unfortunate comedy Dodgeball.
I refer to the first ten seconds of this slightly NSFW clip
Anyway, I guess it's safe to say that nobody who regularly reads Shredded Cheddar is a self-made millionaire! =P
But who am I to mock White Goodman these days? True to my desire to be as eclectic--or as someone else has put it, as omnivorous--a reader as possible, there are two books I've been carrying around everywhere for the past two weeks, which you could say lean closer to information than to entertainment in this totally imaginary spectrum.
Yes, one of those is a dictionary, and I'm totally breaking a mental sweat over all it represents.
Now, I wouldn't say that both categories are mutually exclusive. Information presented well can be very entertaining--and entertainment is often informative as well . . . as long as you watch out for goofs. (LOL!) But to paraphrase the presenter: "When was the last time you read something because you knew it would improve your performance at work?"
With all due modesty, I'm arguably already doing that . . . though my manager may not agree that amusing our German clients counts as improving my performance . . . but I like the implicit challenge to read something else out of my comfort zone. Something an entrepreneur might read. If I didn't have very definite plans for the October/November "Two or Three" Book Club meetings, the next pairing up for consideration might be something like the following.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Okay, these two are probably not "something an entrepreneur might read," but when I looked up a couple of the titles and authors the speaker himself mentioned, I found them a little too fluffy for my liking. At least these two meet the standards for information without daring me to dislike them.
When was the last time you read something totally out of your comfort zone?
Image Sources: a) The Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzweig, b) Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman