You Don't Like To Read?

In a meeting the other day I had a discussion with some colleagues of mine on different ways we could stay up-to-date on the latest issues and trends in our field. We were looking for ways we could learn as a team. One suggestion was to add a book study to our meetings. As we kicked around this idea, one of the guys mentioned that while the idea was a good one for us, some of our peers didn’t like to read.

That was an intriguing revelation. In todays business world, with the hundreds of new ideas being delivered every day, primarily through printed word, how would you stay up-to-date if you didn’t like to read?

I decided to explore this topic and see what options exist for staying up-to-date, even if you don’t like to read.

If you think about a prominent author wanting to release some new insights, several options exist for us to consume that information.

They include:

Printed books: Available in both hard cover and paperback formats, this is the traditional way of distributing new ideas. They are simple, quick and portable. Historically the first option when looking for the newest, freshest ideas.

Online books: In recent years, the trend has been to move content online. In this first option, authors take their content and publish it in an online format such as Adobe PDF. This provides an author more control over distribution and the reader the option to read online and print as needed. Allows for quicker publication and cheaper pricing.

eBook: The newest trend for printed books has been to release them in formats designed for reading on electronic readers. These devices, including the Amazon Kindle and the Apple iPad, allow for consumption in ways similar to printed books but with other unique attributes including the ability to carry many books with you at all times.

Book Summaries: This is another approach, which allows a reader to just get the key points and highlights of a book. Then if they want more details, they can read the full book. Usually accessed either by reading it via PDF, or listening to it via MP3.

Blogs, Podcasts, Wikis: These online technologies take advantage of the latest tools to provide new ways for authors to reach us. These options allow you to either read or listen to the content. Similar to book summaries, they usually provide access to a brief review or summary of the content. This is a modern version of Books on Tape, which still exist, and allows an author to read his book aloud for listening consumption. It provides an easy way for those who truly don’t want to read to still gain access to the content.

My quick review demonstrated that it would be possible for us to hold our book study even with people who don’t like to read. In fact, it showed that we could each find our own method(s) to participate based on our own style. How do you consume new information? Let us know if the comments.

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