Does Duffbert *really* read that much?
So a question I get asked (all too) frequently is... how do you read so much?
Fair question, and one that I thought might make for a decent blog posting...
I read around 180 to 210 books a year, cover to cover. By all accounts, that's a bit over the national average. :) But the strange thing is, I don't think I read exceptionally fast or anything. It's more a case of how much I read, and what I choose not to do instead. Waiting for the bus in the morning along with the bus ride in ends up as 20 to 30 minutes of reading. For lunch (if I take one), I'm likely to be found at my desk, reading. At night before I turn off the light to go to bed, I end up reading for 30 to 40 minutes. Coming home on the bus? Another 15 minutes or so. In the evenings, instead of watching TV, I'm normally on the computer, or... reading. All told, I probably read for an hour or two a day.
I also have a number of books going at any given time. There's usually a "recreational read", like a novel, in progress. There are also a number of books scattered around the house that are in varying states of completion. Right now, there's two on the nightstand, two downstairs on my desk, and one in my gym bag.
Is this unbalanced or abnormal? Yes. I'll be the first to admit that I could stand to have more of a life. I could be spending more time around the house doing repairs and such. I could be out visiting friends or interacting with others. But the truth is, I find reading relaxing and entertaining. If given the option between an hour of American Idol or reading, I'll read. I purposely don't seek out network or cable shows to watch on a regular basis. That's not to say there aren't good things on TV. I just don't watch it much on purpose.
This also ties in to some of the productivity sites I've read recently. People who accomplish unusual things are not normally known for "balance". People like Einstein or Edison were definitely not balanced, but they were extraordinary in their areas of interest. A-List bloggers are not "balanced" in the time they spend writing. But look at where that led Scoble. An Olympic gold medalist in sports like biathlon or archery are not balanced by our definitions, but they have spent the time and effort to accomplish something that's important to them.
I don't consider my reading habits or reviewer rank on Amazon something "extraordinary" or important. But I enjoy the process, the time is well-spent in my opinion, and I've received a number of benefits that are important to me. Are there things I'd like to do differently? Yeah, but apparently not so much that I've felt the need to change.
As Volker commented the other day... "Duffbert should chew before he swallows". I agree, but there are so many good things to chow down on. :)