I read, a lot. Mostly fiction, but not entirely.
In my planning for the coming year, I made the decision to commit to reading one work-related book each month. But I didn’t want these to be random selections. My current situation is one of being surrounded by so many possible reads that I don’t quite know where to start, and so I end up reading a chapter of one book and a section of another without making any real progress or leaning anything.
This past Saturday, I took an inventory. I listed all the relevant books on my shelves?physical and digital?and then added all the writing/publishing/editing titles on my library wish list. The resulting list had more than 120 books on it, so it’s not like I’m hurting for options.
My next step was to go through the list with a highlighter, marking the books I thought were the most timely (or sounded the most interesting) for where I am right now. Then I took those thirty-five highlighted titles and rated each one on a 1-3 priority scale. I ended up with fifteen No. 1s, eleven No. 2s, and nine No. 3s. I picked ten books from the No. 1 list and then ranked them in the order in which I intend to read them.
That may sound like a lot of busy-work, but I ended up with a prioritized list of the top ten work-related books for me to read in 2014, with buckets of first-tier, second-tier, and third-tier titles to turn to when I’m finished. To me, that was well worth the effort. (At least, I hope it will prove to be.)
My first two books on the list are ones I’m already reading. I want to make sure I finish these. Actually, the #1 book is a title I read years ago and am re-reading now, but this second read-through has been happening in fits and spurts over more than a year, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one slip back into Top Twenty list sometime soon. There are also several good editing books waiting in my No. 1 bucket; I will prioritize and add these titles to my 2014 reading list following my online editing class with Cat Rambo in January.
With that drawn-out explanation dispensed with, here’s my Top Ten list of work-related books for 2014 (read I hope will benefit yours truly):
- On Writing by Stephen King
- Getting Things Done by David Allen
- Amazon Toolbox by Erica Barton (for me this will be a thorough re-read of .PDFs from the online Amazon Toolbox class I took with Erica Barton in September 2013, but she has a $0.99 Kindle book based on this class out now)
- Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur by Guy Kawasaki
- You Can Write a Column by Monica McCabe Cardoza
- Indie and Small Press Book Marketing by William Hertling
- The Well-Fed Self-Publisher by Peter Bowerman
- Guerrilla Marketing for Writers by Jay Conrad Levinson
- Successful Syndication by Michael Sedge
- The Art of Column Writing by Suzette Martinez Standring
Creative Commons photo: Summer reading list by Erik Abderhalden.