If we are to be Generous Minds, we have to learn to read differently. Reading used to be a very linear exercise with the goal of interacting with an entire concept. The problems with this are huge in today's culture. Today, there are many more resources than in the past. Many of these resources talk about much of the same thing with a different twist. The other challenge is that we don't have the increased amounts of time to read the growing amount of information. Between the Internet, magazines, books, etc it is overwhelming unless we think about reading differently.
Reading is critical to being a Generous Mind because unless you are honing what you know and learning new things, you will have nothing to share.
Here are a few tips for a different type of reading:
1. Don't look at a book as a linear process of starting at page 1 and finishing at the last page. Look at the table of contents, skim the subheads and pick out the key points. This works better for non-fiction.
2. Don't look at novels, like John Grisham's legal thrillers, the same as nonfiction. Novels are very much like movies in today's culture. They are written to be read quickly and to be experienced vividly. When you are scheduling your time, starting looking at these novels the same as renting a video at Blockbuster.
3. Read more than one book at once. Don't feel like you have to finish one to start another. Books are functional knowledge points. You may need to read a certain chapter of one book before you can move on to do something else. Read proactively so that your reading decisions are based on what you are trying to accomplish. For instance, if you are going to a parenting seminar this weekend, you may want to read something the speaker has written ahead of time.
4. Read many different types of writing on a single issue. For instance, if you are reading about management, you need to read magazines, books, Internet white papers, etc. These each will come at the topic differently and give you a much broader set of knowledge.