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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  • 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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