Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Recommended reading

Several years ago I was transitioning out of a job and into a program at the University of Washington in pursuit of some business training so I could start my own company. Before I left my day job I began reading business magazines in a sort of casual way as they rotated off the coffee table and into the recycling bin.

Then once I left the firm, I ponied up the nine and change and subscribed on my own dime to Fast Company. The writing is sharp, the content is relevant to more than just business types and the design is incredibly slick. So every month I'd get my dose of business sense, my human-interest care of Mother Jones (or alternately, the Utne Reader), and (until they put Dick Cheney on the top ten best men list) my think-like-a-man education from Esquire. Now don't get too riled up on account of that last one. Esquire has some of the best writing in town, plenty of current events and a surprising amount of insight into the way men think, which as a single girl at the time, was very handy.

But in the last year or so, life has become exponentially nutty and I rarely finish reading one magazine before two have piled up in my inbox. I've downsized and shifted priorities so it's Fast Company, Saveur and Money (which is lame) right now, but even that can be overwhelming. So even though I've been given a hard time about it by my less-than-business oriented friends, Fast Company holds the coveted number one, preferred reading spot... in the bathroom.

I'm not ashamed to admit it. The average adult reads for seven minutes a day and between work, volunteering, trying to be creative, and spending time with Mr.Mr., the only "reading" I usually have time for is on the toilet. "But what about blogs?" you ask. Sure, I read those. But I can make it through a blogroll twenty sites long in less than fifteen minutes. I'd hardly qualify that kind of rapid-click, scan and sweep, entercraftysnarkonewsitainment as "reading." My Amazon wish list has at least six books on it and I haven't managed to work through the five I got for Christmas 2006! I'm crushed by the weight of it all.

So what's the solution? Close the door, make yourself comfortable and prop up your feet, cause I guarantee you those babies will go numb after the first three minutes without proper elevation.

Care to share and share alike? A little quid pro quo can't hurt, right? What are you spending your seven minutes a day reading and how do you cram it into your twenty first century schedule?

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