When Brene Brown wrote her last book, she set out to keep it a length that could be read during one plane ride. It seems that airplanes are now the last bastion of uninterrupted quiet time where people actually can read more than an article or post.

Many people have turned to podcasts or audiobooks to replace the intellectual stimulation that they once received from actual books. Reading a book is a single-focus activity – you can’t do much else while doing it, except for pet the dog on your lap or sip your hot cocoa. Contrast that with audio that can be part of the background while driving, running, working out or doing a multitude of other activities.

Books lost out because they’re not “multi-taskable”.

And that, my friend, is precisely why they are so wonderful.

As the days grow chillier, there is nothing better for me than to curl up with a big blanket and a big book – either to be lost in a fictional world or to learn in my pajamas from non-fictional contributions. Both are a wonder.

Before you completely abandon actual reading (as contrasted with scrolling, skimming, flipping magazine pages, listening or watching) reframe the activity as a treat for yourself and savor it as you would a fine wine or luxurious bath. Some things are meant to be enjoyed slowly and real books are on that list.


I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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