A friend asked me today if I read books for pleasure.
I do. And I hope you do, too.
Even in a Twitter world, long-form writing still matters. It makes me a better journalist -- more curious, more engaged, more informed.
And unplugging from the computer, no matter how rich its content, is healthy, too.
I usually have three books going at a time. One is work related -- right now I'm reading What Would Google Do, by Jeff Jarvis. The benefits of this kind of reading are obvious.
But I also read fiction, and non-fiction that's unrelated to my job.
My current bedside book is American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, from which I'm learning a lot about one of our most important presidents, and about an era of American history that has been relatively obscure to me.
My lunchtime book is The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Why we eat what we eat in the era of industrial agriculture, and what it does to us -- fascinating, scary, and important stuff.
Thinking about books reminded me of some recent features, including a piece on CIOs dealing with information overload, a related blog post, and our list of books for managing in tough times, on which we included books not directly keyed to IT management.
I loved the image of a senior IT exec ducking out to a coffee shop to find a little quiet time. That's another area where I find myself making an effort -- getting away from work to walk the dog, or watch a ball game with my kids.
We're all stressed these days, and work can fill every minute. But it's important to save some minutes for yourself -- and it will probably make you a better manager, too.