My Daily Reading Habits

I love reading. I guess that’s why I got in the publishing business to begin with. After almost thirty years, I am still a content glutton. I have in insatiable desire for input.

Google Reader Screenshot

I read all kinds of stuff: books, the Bible, magazines, newspapers, blogs, and even microblogs like Twitter. I also read a wide variety of genres. My tastes are very eclectic. Mostly, I just enjoying discovering and experiencing new things.

In the past couple of months, several people have asked me to write about my reading habits and my daily reading list. I currently read in three daily blocks.

  • First thing in the morning, I read the Bible, then about 200 RSS feeds from various blogs and news sites. I use Google Reader to collect these feeds, so I can move through them quickly. It usually takes me 45 minutes to an hour to scan these feeds and read thoroughly the articles that catch my attention.
  • After this first burst of reading—and a couple of cups of coffee—I go running. But only four days a week. During this time, I listen to audio books on my iPod Shuffle. I have a membership to Audible.com. Currently, I am listening to Made to Stick for the second time.
  • At the end of the day, right before bed, I try to read for 30 minutes or so. This is always a physical book. I am currently reading a book on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) [affiliate link]. I have to be careful, because if the book is too stimulating it keeps me up thinking!

If I don’t have a lot of meetings scheduled, I also read snippets throughout the day. However, these are usually related to some specific project or speech I am preparing for.

What RSS feeds do I subscribe to? You can get a taste of this by viewing or subscribing to my Shared Items feed from Google. As I am reading through my RSS feeds, I mark articles that I want to share. These go into the feed. I also add my comments, which gives you my perspective on why I chose to share this post.

Question: Do you have a daily reading routine? What is it?
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  • http://www.thesecretlifeofkat.com/ The Secret Life of K

    I love the idea of listening to an audiobook while running.

    I usually listen to music since I'm a bit of a music junkie, but I think I'll try listening to a book on my longer runs.

    I'm currently working through your life plan and goal setting posts. Even stay at home moms need this stuff…

  • http://www.thesecretlifeofkat.com The Secret Life of Kat

    I love the idea of listening to an audiobook while running.

    I usually listen to music since I’m a bit of a music junkie, but I think I’ll try listening to a book on my longer runs.

    I’m currently working through your life plan and goal setting posts. Even stay at home moms need this stuff…

  • http://abunga.com/ Gavin Baker

    Hey Michael, Thanks for posting your reading habits. I'm like you that I mix it up between blogs, twitter and physical books, but I haven't gotten into audio books. I did love "Made to Stick" though, I'm also re-reading it and the Heath's have such great ideas about, well ideas.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://abunga.com Gavin Baker

    Hey Michael, Thanks for posting your reading habits. I’m like you that I mix it up between blogs, twitter and physical books, but I haven’t gotten into audio books. I did love “Made to Stick” though, I’m also re-reading it and the Heath’s have such great ideas about, well ideas.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.studiosmith.blogspot.com/ Barry A. Smith

    And the Kindle?

  • http://www.studiosmith.blogspot.com Barry A. Smith

    And the Kindle?

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    @Barry: I am no longer really using the Kindle.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    @Barry: I am no longer really using the Kindle.

  • http://www.colleencoble.com Colleen Coble

    I read about 300 emails a day, does that count too? LOL Also my Bible, then some novel reading every night after writing during the day (which I read as I type) so I’m actually reading a good eight hours a day.

    Search engine optimization. Now why am I not surprised you’re reading something so highbrow? LOL

  • http://www.colleencoble.com/ Colleen Coble

    I read about 300 emails a day, does that count too? LOL Also my Bible, then some novel reading every night after writing during the day (which I read as I type) so I'm actually reading a good eight hours a day.

    Search engine optimization. Now why am I not surprised you're reading something so highbrow? LOL

  • http://www.lawrencewilson.com/ Lawrence W. Wilson

    Mike … Did I miss one of your posts? Any comment on why you are no longer using Kindle?

    BTW, of the last 20 books I read, only 2 were print books. The others were about evenly split between audio and e-books (Kindle format).

  • http://www.lawrencewilson.com Lawrence W. Wilson

    Mike … Did I miss one of your posts? Any comment on why you are no longer using Kindle?

    BTW, of the last 20 books I read, only 2 were print books. The others were about evenly split between audio and e-books (Kindle format).

  • http://www.cyndysalzmann.com/ Cyndy Salzmann

    I am a HUGE audiobook fan. I listen while gardening, doing chores, exercising — any mindless activity.

    I download books from my public library at no cost. They have thousands of titles — including bestsellers. You can check out 10 titles at a time and they work for three weeks.

    I'm in Omaha but from what I hear, most public libraries offer this service.

  • http://www.cyndysalzmann.com Cyndy Salzmann

    I am a HUGE audiobook fan. I listen while gardening, doing chores, exercising — any mindless activity.

    I download books from my public library at no cost. They have thousands of titles — including bestsellers. You can check out 10 titles at a time and they work for three weeks.

    I’m in Omaha but from what I hear, most public libraries offer this service.

  • http://karlaakins.com/ Karla Akins

    It is generous of you to allow us to follow your life as a CEO on Twitter, on this blog and now on your google reader! Thank-you, I am learning a lot.

    I am glad there are CEOs out there reading and understanding SEOs so I can snuggle down with a good Colleen Coble novel at night before I fall asleep.

    As an educator, I am always reading a dozen or so books at a time. My father was an educator, too, and his "spot" in the house was surrounded by stacks of books. I looked around my "spot" in the house the other day and realized — I have become my father. My mother used to call it my father's "nest." We laugh about it, but it can be frustrating to those in our families who do not share the same love for the printed word. I am always looking for creative ways to store my books! Can a person ever really have too many?

  • http://karlaakins.com Karla Akins

    It is generous of you to allow us to follow your life as a CEO on Twitter, on this blog and now on your google reader! Thank-you, I am learning a lot.

    I am glad there are CEOs out there reading and understanding SEOs so I can snuggle down with a good Colleen Coble novel at night before I fall asleep.

    As an educator, I am always reading a dozen or so books at a time. My father was an educator, too, and his “spot” in the house was surrounded by stacks of books. I looked around my “spot” in the house the other day and realized — I have become my father. My mother used to call it my father’s “nest.” We laugh about it, but it can be frustrating to those in our families who do not share the same love for the printed word. I am always looking for creative ways to store my books! Can a person ever really have too many?

  • Steve Bradley

    Interesting "how" you read. If by your reading habits, you indicate the typical pattern of reading, all physical books are in deep trouble. You appear to "read" about 6 hours per day in connection with your duties, but almost all of it is some other medium than paper. Does this tell us where the publishing industry has to move??
    hmmm…
    and Kindle? I'm glad to see you're not using it. a mini-computer that's a substitute for paper. Can anyone say, "Newton?" They ought to have given the reader away with the purchase of a significant # of books. That way, the technology could become widespread. A huge marketing mistake if I ever saw one.
    PS:
    I'm now using OneNote, and like it a lot. Great for those things you want to say (or say to yourself), but don't want to put into a Word document.
    Steve B.

  • Steve Bradley

    Interesting “how” you read. If by your reading habits, you indicate the typical pattern of reading, all physical books are in deep trouble. You appear to “read” about 6 hours per day in connection with your duties, but almost all of it is some other medium than paper. Does this tell us where the publishing industry has to move??
    hmmm…
    and Kindle? I’m glad to see you’re not using it. a mini-computer that’s a substitute for paper. Can anyone say, “Newton?” They ought to have given the reader away with the purchase of a significant # of books. That way, the technology could become widespread. A huge marketing mistake if I ever saw one.
    PS:
    I’m now using OneNote, and like it a lot. Great for those things you want to say (or say to yourself), but don’t want to put into a Word document.
    Steve B.

  • http://www.cynthiacullen.com/ Cynthia Cullen

    Thanks for sharing your reader. I like the streamlined way you approach reading. I am a mom and so busy,so my nightstand is glaring at me with all the books I am reading at the same time!

  • http://www.cynthiacullen.com Cynthia Cullen

    Thanks for sharing your reader. I like the streamlined way you approach reading. I am a mom and so busy,so my nightstand is glaring at me with all the books I am reading at the same time!

  • VT

    hey Michael, thanks for sharing the rss feeds… its great to read what other people are reading. :)

  • VT

    hey Michael, thanks for sharing the rss feeds… its great to read what other people are reading. :)

  • Dean

    No longer using the Kindle??
    Wow, I thought you loved the Kindle and was one of the early adapters?
    What happened?
    I love the Kindle, but find it's doesn't work for me for business books that I like to make lots of notes and jump from one part of the book to another.
    Casual reading stuff is great for me on the Kindle and reading newspapers.

  • Dean

    No longer using the Kindle??
    Wow, I thought you loved the Kindle and was one of the early adapters?
    What happened?
    I love the Kindle, but find it’s doesn’t work for me for business books that I like to make lots of notes and jump from one part of the book to another.
    Casual reading stuff is great for me on the Kindle and reading newspapers.

  • http://AnneBingham.com/ Anne Bingham

    What? No fiction? I'm disillusioned! And what happened re the Kindle?

  • http://AnneBingham.com Anne Bingham

    What? No fiction? I’m disillusioned! And what happened re the Kindle?

  • http://www.brainbasedbusiness.com/ Ellen Weber

    Thanks for a great post, Michael, I am intrigued by the notion of wide areas of reading, as it really is in sync with current research recommendations to keep more dendrite brain cells alive and connected.

    Reading variety also stretches one's interests and raises curiosity for new learning adventures. Sometimes my days lately get a bit too busy to follow my own love for reading.

    Your post inspires me to target in more time. Great news since I just bought a new book today!

  • http://www.brainbasedbusiness.com Ellen Weber

    Thanks for a great post, Michael, I am intrigued by the notion of wide areas of reading, as it really is in sync with current research recommendations to keep more dendrite brain cells alive and connected.

    Reading variety also stretches one’s interests and raises curiosity for new learning adventures. Sometimes my days lately get a bit too busy to follow my own love for reading.

    Your post inspires me to target in more time. Great news since I just bought a new book today!

  • http://www.larryshallenberger.com/ Larry Shallenberger

    Why did the Kindle fall out of favor? Curious.

  • http://www.larryshallenberger.com Larry Shallenberger

    Why did the Kindle fall out of favor? Curious.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    @Larry: I am not really sure. I think the user interface is just too cumbersome. It is not simple and elegant. I think it has potential, and I hope they get it right in the next version. People like me are spoiled by the Mac and iPhone user interface. Thanks.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    @Larry: I am not really sure. I think the user interface is just too cumbersome. It is not simple and elegant. I think it has potential, and I hope they get it right in the next version. People like me are spoiled by the Mac and iPhone user interface. Thanks.

  • http://www.brainbasedbusiness.com/ Ellen Weber

    Love your quotes to the left. It's another gem that can be mined from reading.

    How about this one for the day: "The mind is capable of anything—because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future," Joseph Conrad stated in Heart of Darkness.

    Imagine if our organizations reflected that wonder even for a day?

  • http://www.brainbasedbusiness.com Ellen Weber

    Love your quotes to the left. It’s another gem that can be mined from reading.

    How about this one for the day: “The mind is capable of anything—because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future,” Joseph Conrad stated in Heart of Darkness.

    Imagine if our organizations reflected that wonder even for a day?

  • http://moeviv.wordpress.com/ Moe

    Hi Mike.

    Great post. However, why did you go with Google reader as your RSS reader? There are so many better native alternatives. Just curious.

    Also, I almost bit the bullet on the Kindle, but decided to wait it out. If version 2 is better looking, and cheaper, I may go for it, but for the meantime, I'm staying put.

  • http://moeviv.wordpress.com/ Moe

    Hi Mike.

    Great post. However, why did you go with Google reader as your RSS reader? There are so many better native alternatives. Just curious.

    Also, I almost bit the bullet on the Kindle, but decided to wait it out. If version 2 is better looking, and cheaper, I may go for it, but for the meantime, I’m staying put.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    I love Google Reader. It's free and easy to use. (I was previously using endo.) I especially like the fact that I share articles with my notes and that people can subscribe to the feed.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    I love Google Reader. It’s free and easy to use. (I was previously using endo.) I especially like the fact that I share articles with my notes and that people can subscribe to the feed.

  • http://moeviv.wordpress.com/ Moe

    Thanks for your reply. I have Google reader setup but rarely use it. Maybe I should give it another go. I did find the sharing feature extremely useful, specially when you added the little notes on it. I just don't think the interface is very attractive.

    Thanks again Mike.

  • http://moeviv.wordpress.com/ Moe

    Thanks for your reply. I have Google reader setup but rarely use it. Maybe I should give it another go. I did find the sharing feature extremely useful, specially when you added the little notes on it. I just don’t think the interface is very attractive.

    Thanks again Mike.

  • http://www.michaelewaddell.com/ Michael E. Waddell

    Mike,

    Do you read any classic literature?

    If so what do you like?

    Michael E. Waddell
    Co-Author – Toy Box Leadership: Leadership Lessons From The Toys You Loved As A Child

  • http://www.michaelewaddell.com Michael E. Waddell

    Mike,

    Do you read any classic literature?

    If so what do you like?

    Michael E. Waddell
    Co-Author – Toy Box Leadership: Leadership Lessons From The Toys You Loved As A Child

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    @Michael: Most of the classical literature I read is theology. For example, St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation or St. John of Damascus, On the Divine Images.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    @Michael: Most of the classical literature I read is theology. For example, St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation or St. John of Damascus, On the Divine Images.

  • http://www.christianaudio.com/ Todd Hoyt

    As others have mentioned, your blog is helpful. Being involved in the publishing industry as well, I have learned from what you have written. It is great you are an audiobook listener and Audible subscriber. However, Christianaudio has better Christian content (much of which Audible does not), gives away a free audiobook every month, and better yet, has some great Nelson titles on it. :) Thanks for promoting audio on your blog; more readers are listening every day.

  • http://www.christianaudio.com Todd Hoyt

    As others have mentioned, your blog is helpful. Being involved in the publishing industry as well, I have learned from what you have written. It is great you are an audiobook listener and Audible subscriber. However, Christianaudio has better Christian content (much of which Audible does not), gives away a free audiobook every month, and better yet, has some great Nelson titles on it. :) Thanks for promoting audio on your blog; more readers are listening every day.

  • http://tsuzanneeller.com/ Suzanne Eller

    Like you, I love to read and always have many books open at one time. But I love the idea of listening to audio books while exercising or walking. Great idea.

  • http://tsuzanneeller.com Suzanne Eller

    Like you, I love to read and always have many books open at one time. But I love the idea of listening to audio books while exercising or walking. Great idea.

  • http://www.conversiondiary.com/ Jennifer (Et Tu?)

    I love the idea of listening to audio books while exercising — I'll have to remember that for laundry day (about as close to "exercise" as I get these days, unfortunately).

    I just discovered your blog (via Rachelle Gardner) and am glad to have found it. Also, I taught myself SEO a few years ago and ended up being able to get our business on the first page of Google for some big keywords. I once put together a summary of the top resources I used to get the info I needed — please feel free to email me if you'd like a copy of that.

    Off to go add your blog to Google Reader…

  • http://www.conversiondiary.com Jennifer (Et Tu?)

    I love the idea of listening to audio books while exercising — I’ll have to remember that for laundry day (about as close to “exercise” as I get these days, unfortunately).

    I just discovered your blog (via Rachelle Gardner) and am glad to have found it. Also, I taught myself SEO a few years ago and ended up being able to get our business on the first page of Google for some big keywords. I once put together a summary of the top resources I used to get the info I needed — please feel free to email me if you’d like a copy of that.

    Off to go add your blog to Google Reader…

  • JD Mays

    It looks like you're using ReadAir, the same RSS Reader that I use and one I like a great deal. (Available here: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/05/13/readair-g
    I've only just stumbled upon your blog recently but I have to say that it's rare to come across a CEO that "get's it" and realizes a blog is more than just another form of advertising.

    The fact that we share many of the same interests makes it that much better. I'll look forward to continued reading.

  • JD Mays

    It looks like you’re using ReadAir, the same RSS Reader that I use and one I like a great deal. (Available here: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/05/13/readair-google-reader-app-built-on-adobe-air/)
    I’ve only just stumbled upon your blog recently but I have to say that it’s rare to come across a CEO that “get’s it” and realizes a blog is more than just another form of advertising.

    The fact that we share many of the same interests makes it that much better. I’ll look forward to continued reading.

  • Troy

    Mike,
    I'm late in reading this post. Overall, daily reading is key on several fronts.

    Andrew Carnegie said, "Reading should be planned as a diet for optimum mental growth." Often times, what we read (or take in) is often required (thrust upon us)–out of obligation than by choice.

    Recently I read a piece by William Godwin, "He that loves reading has everything within reach." "Within reach" that's overwhelming to think about. Mike good reminder about the RSS feeds as today's challenge we all face is finding either wisdom in a plethora of information or having the time to (enjoy) reading out of choice.

    Three things I try to keep in mind when reading (or receiving content) are: 1). Read by intention rather than just obligation, 2). Give attention to items of importannce not just interest, and read with a purpose of retention-highlight, making notes of key points.

  • Troy

    Mike,
    I’m late in reading this post. Overall, daily reading is key on several fronts.

    Andrew Carnegie said, “Reading should be planned as a diet for optimum mental growth.” Often times, what we read (or take in) is often required (thrust upon us)–out of obligation than by choice.

    Recently I read a piece by William Godwin, “He that loves reading has everything within reach.” “Within reach” that’s overwhelming to think about. Mike good reminder about the RSS feeds as today’s challenge we all face is finding either wisdom in a plethora of information or having the time to (enjoy) reading out of choice.

    Three things I try to keep in mind when reading (or receiving content) are: 1). Read by intention rather than just obligation, 2). Give attention to items of importannce not just interest, and read with a purpose of retention-highlight, making notes of key points.

  • Jason

    great post

  • Jason

    great post

  • http://www.ripplecentral.com/ Steve Harper

    I so appreciate this post. I always enjoy learning what other people that inspire me are reading.

    Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work on this BLOG. Great stuff!

    Ripple On!!!

  • http://www.ripplecentral.com Steve Harper

    I so appreciate this post. I always enjoy learning what other people that inspire me are reading.

    Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work on this BLOG. Great stuff!

    Ripple On!!!

  • Gary

    How do your organize your reading tasks in GTD / Outlook. I’ve seen your @Reading (or whatever) tasks. I’d like to do something similar but instead I have folders and shelves of not quite well organized “things to read.” I’d like to hear how you’ve organized it.

  • http://www.nsipartners.com/ Don

    Interesting that you're torn two ways – looking at 200 RSS feeds, but your right-hand column also shows a book on contemplative prayer.

    I have the same thing going on in my life.

    Plus, I do SEO for a living, and know that the daily reading for this ever-changing industry could occupy 12-18 hours of every day. I have to skim the best, with RSS and industry blogs.

  • http://www.nsipartners.com Don

    Interesting that you’re torn two ways – looking at 200 RSS feeds, but your right-hand column also shows a book on contemplative prayer.

    I have the same thing going on in my life.

    Plus, I do SEO for a living, and know that the daily reading for this ever-changing industry could occupy 12-18 hours of every day. I have to skim the best, with RSS and industry blogs.

  • greg ray

    have you seen/tried feedly.com? Intergration of Google Reader and Twitter…still kinda buggy, but it show makes sharing of news easier.

  • greg ray

    have you seen/tried feedly.com? Intergration of Google Reader and Twitter…still kinda buggy, but it show makes sharing of news easier.

  • Ted Kinzer

    Michael,

    Enjoyed your post and and always I learn something every time I read your blog.

    I have been working on keeping the Twitter reading to batches of time since the addiction is hard to fend off. You learn a lot but you can wast a lot.

    Currently, my primary reading is in the evening, I read assignments for school and then try to keep up on the latest leadership books.

    Ted

  • Ted Kinzer

    Michael,

    Enjoyed your post and and always I learn something every time I read your blog.

    I have been working on keeping the Twitter reading to batches of time since the addiction is hard to fend off. You learn a lot but you can wast a lot.

    Currently, my primary reading is in the evening, I read assignments for school and then try to keep up on the latest leadership books.

    Ted

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bdubrecords bdubrecords

    I have 94 google reader subscriptions. My favorites are Christianity Today, CNN, FAIL Blog, Gizmodo, God's Politics, LOLdogs, Macworld, and Newsweek. Plus, I subscribe to several personal blogs from people in my field, several church blogs and several tutorial blogs about Photoshop, After Effects, etc.

    As far as reading goes, I always check my blogs before bed, which is bad because staring at a computer screen's brightness tricks your brain into being wide awake! On the other hand, I usually start the day with a hot bath while reading a book by Andy Stanley, Mark Driscoll, Don Miller, Malcom Gladwell, etc. I love instructional books as well (even instructional manuals) and magazines about my fields of interest too (worship leading, church technology, cameras, tennis, etc.). I find starting my day in this way helps mitigate my strong Type-A personality and take the stress level down a bit!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bdubrecords bdubrecords

    I have 94 google reader subscriptions. My favorites are Christianity Today, CNN, FAIL Blog, Gizmodo, God's Politics, LOLdogs, Macworld, and Newsweek. Plus, I subscribe to several personal blogs from people in my field, several church blogs and several tutorial blogs about Photoshop, After Effects, etc.

    As far as reading goes, I always check my blogs before bed, which is bad because staring at a computer screen's brightness tricks your brain into being wide awake! On the other hand, I usually start the day with a hot bath while reading a book by Andy Stanley, Mark Driscoll, Don Miller, Malcom Gladwell, etc. I love instructional books as well (even instructional manuals) and magazines about my fields of interest too (worship leading, church technology, cameras, tennis, etc.). I find starting my day in this way helps mitigate my strong Type-A personality and take the stress level down a bit!

  • Gary

    How do your organize your reading tasks in GTD / Outlook. I've seen your @Reading (or whatever) tasks. I'd like to do something similar but instead I have folders and shelves of not quite well organized “things to read.” I'd like to hear how you've organized it.

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

    My routine is precise like yours.

    I do the exact same thing every single day.
    Usually read the Bible first
    then head off to starbucks and read local newspaper, drudge report then head into google reader.
    I read about 100 blogs or so and comment on about 25 of them.

    In the afternoon around 4 is when I will start to read books.
    Currently reading:
    Make Idea Happen By Belsky
    and
    Plan B by Pete Wilson (you wouldn't know anything about that book ;)

    BTW love that you share articles. Thats one of my favorite things I look forward to every morning is what you have shared.

  • http://www.culturemami.com Marcela

    I also read audiobooks during my runs and have to admit that sometimes I want to read/run a little longer!!! ( : I do rss reading in the morning also.

    I have started adding blog reads or articles that I don't normally read to my instapaper and can access them at anytime.

  • http://giveeveryday.com Stephanie

    I admire your mental and physical discipline.

    Thank you for sharing your daily schedule. I may look into getting an Audible.com subscription for my runs. In addition to blogs and tweets, I'm currently reading "Do Hard Things" and "The Hole in Our Gospel" is next on my list.

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