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Read and Get the Best Out of Your Life! Start When You’re a Student

December 13, 2015

I read for several reasons, not the least of which is that I’m a writer. Most of my career has been in corporate writing, helping companies with specific messages, resolving issues and dealing with marketing. To help me do the job I spent a lot of time studying business books and magazines.

As my focus shifted to education, so did my reading. It now includes questions of population demographics and climate change.

I’m also writing a kids’ story. To improve, I’m studying what other authors have done to drive their characters; and how they interact, not only with others, but with the environment in which they find themselves. I’m impressed with authors like Suzanne Collins, James Patterson, Lee Childs. They write sparingly, a style I like. Their work helps guide my own.

There’s another reason I read. I’ve always been an explorer. I like stories from other parts of the world, how different cultures are affected by technology, and how climate change may affect them. I look for articles in newspapers and magazines in print and online. What can I learn? What can I incorporate into my writing?

If you’re in school or college, you have required texts based on your curriculum. You’ll also have reading materials above and beyond the texts. These are often as useful, more interesting and probably more up-to-date than the texts. They’ll likely contain the latest research and information in your area of study.

The challenge I find, and this affects all of us, is should I limit my reading, and if so, how?

There are two sides to this. What do I read for my own pleasure, and what do I read because it’s important for me to stay informed?

In an age of overwhelming information, focus is essential. How do you make sure you don’t get sidetracked with absolutely fascinating information that has zero reference to what you’re working on?

It’s fun to get sidetracked. There’s a time and place for it. Just don’t book time for it during your work schedule. Do set aside time in your schedule for the stuff you must read, especially the material that will build your knowledge base. Make sure it’s on your calendar. Reading for leisure must take second spot if you want the best results.

Finally, do the best you can. You’ll never catch up all the reading you should, or would like to do.

Neil Sawers develops books and e-books to help students and entrepreneurs write more easily and effectively. Visit our website at for more information



From → College Tips

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