What Are You Reading?


Have you been asked that question lately? “What are you reading?” How does it land with you? Who, do you notice, seems to ask? What is their motive for asking? Why do they care what you read?

Don’t ruin it for me

When I was a kid, I was a voracious reader. My mom would take me to our local public library in Detroit every three weeks. I would raid the new releases and peruse the shelves for older books I may have missed. It wasn’t unusual for me to leave with a dozen books to read in the three weeks before they were due.

When I became an adult, I continued reading but had less time for it as life took over. With the growing library of audiobooks, I was in heaven. I could listen to stories that would make any drive fly by, or housework get done faster. That’s still true today.

Yep, you’re ruining it

In adulthood, I’ve found people get a lot more opinionated about what someone else is reading. It’s common to hear people say they have a “guilty pleasure” of reading romance or crime thrillers. There seems to be a stigma about reading fiction, unless the book shows up on one of the best seller lists. I’ve seen some professional people get very judgmental and high and mighty about what other people read. They seem to think there are “right” and “wrong” things to read.

Ima call bullshit here.

Once again, it’s all about balance. As an author of a non-fiction book, I, of course, want people to read my book. But I also want people to enjoy reading whatever they want to read. And I don’t want to be policed about what I read.

You can find value in any story you choose to read. Life lessons, good advice on navigating life, and self-improvement can come from stories told in a variety of ways. I don’t enjoy typical ‘business’ books. So, I don’t read very many of them. It hasn’t stopped me from building a successful business.

Bottom line?

We don’t get to police other people for their choices. From everything to what someone chooses to read, to what they choose to post about on social media, you don’t get to police that. We can and should find ways to engage with one another to build more connections and greater understanding. And that includes conversations about what someone is currently reading.

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