The Reinvention Studio Blog

To reinvent yourself and have a successful photography/video or graphic design studio, you'll need support.  Here's where you'll find articles to help you launch and grow your own creative services business.

How I'm Reading 4 Books This Week

Sep 05, 2022

This week, I will read four books. How am I going to do that? Is it some kind of magic? And what for? We'll get to all that. Here are the books I'm reading this week…

By the way, I want to acknowledge Tom Beal as the inspiration for this post. Consider referencing what he wrote here about “How to Read Your Bookshelf.”

One of my primary beliefs is that leaders are readers, and if you want to be a leader, you start by reading. The sad fact is, that most people don't read or don't read very much. Check out these stats… 

  • 1/3 of those who graduate high school never read another book.
  • 42% of college grads stop reading books for the rest of their lives.
  • 80 percent of families in the U.S. didn't buy a single book last year.

If you're not reading books yet and wonder why you lead an average life, I invite you to ponder those two points (no reading/average life.)

You're smart. You'll figure it out.

How (and Why) I'm Reading These 4 Books

Tom Beal's post gave me a moment of alarming recognition. I realized that I read nearly the same way he does, only that I had not systematized it.   I have never articulated it as part of my routine (strange, I know.) It's just something I did, and I guess that I  assumed other people did too.

Let me walk you through the books I have recently read and explain what I do and why I do it. A few caveats:

I don't read each book word for word. Some of you will consider this cheating. That's your problem. It doesn't bother me.

  • I read the books I choose with a purpose in mind. Sometimes that purpose means I will read every word; other times, it means I speed-read, looking for particular points. And sometimes, I'm looking for references or quotations I can use in my work.
  • Sometimes I choose to listen to an audio version of the book.  (Again, if others believe that to be cheating, it simply doesn't matter to me.)

The Daily Reading Stack

I make it a habit to read every morning when I first get up and begin my day.  After I walk and feed my two dogs, then I sit down in my favorite chair and pick up the latest book.

You may not get through as much written material as I do at first.  That's ok.  You will increase your capacity as you continue this practice.

I like to read for 40 minutes the main book that I want to read that week during this first reading period.

Then, depending on how much time I have on a particular morning, I will read a chapter (or more) of the remaining books in my current stack. These are usually business books, but not always. Two business books I recommend are Traction and The Prosperous Coach.

Some people are crying “foul” right now because I'm not truly reading these complete books this week. I'll grant you, I chose the words for the title of this post because they are a bit provocative. It might have been more accurate to declare, “I'm reading IN four books this week”. But the fact is, I will most likely finish one or two of these books in their entirety this week. I'm a fast reader, even when I'm reading word for word.

Other books I've recently read are Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.

Let's move on…

Weekly Rotation

Each week, I rotate the purpose of the books that I keep nearby.  One week, I may focus on business books. Right now, I'm currently producing an online training course for people who want to start photography or video business, so I have been reading a lot of business books.

The course itself won't be available for a while to the public, but I have a private beta group that will start working on the material within a few weeks.

The business stuff (how to set up a business, which tools to use, etc.) is not difficult for me to teach. In fact, my biggest challenge there is to be careful not to teach too much and thereby make people feel overwhelmed.

But because this course is about creativity-based entrepreneurialism, I'm reading a lot on that topic. Errors have been made in this realm in the past; there have been excesses on both sides. Some have taught that the most structured people will be super-rich. Others have taught that only the poor can truly yield to their creative side. I believe something different.

I am reading a lot of other people's opinions about these matters. Especially people that I don't agree with. Those folks are the ones who challenge my thinking and sharpen the core issues for me. There's a lot at stake here, and I want to be a good steward and get this stuff right.

I'm also writing a book tentatively titled “Edit Yourself", and much of this reading will serve as background and reference material for that manuscript.

Some of these books I'm reading very carefully. Some of them I have read before, so I'm just skimming, looking for particular notes and passages. Some of the books I disagree with, but that I'm reading anyway.  That is not necessarily part of my recommendation, but I try to test out other people's ideas and try them on for size.  I may never agree, but it may lead to new thoughts of my own.

To be clear, the number of titles in my rotation will shrink and grow from week to week, and some of the books will stay in the rotation for months, as I refer to them time and time again.

Read For Fun


Not every book you read needs to be with a purpose.  If you want to read a book just for fun, then I support you in that decision.

A book that serves no obvious purpose will always offer something that's useful, however, if you're looking for things that can be used.

You may find a colorful use of language that you'd like to use for your own purposes.  Or you may read a fact that you never heard before.  There's always something.

Wind Down Your Days With A Book

As a bonus, I will often end my day with a book as well.  I will usually turn to a fun book unless there's a specific project I'm working on that requires extra research or insight.

That's My Reading Routine

So that's it. That's how, and why, I'm reading through four books this week. Some weeks it will be more, some weeks less, but when you count the books I speed read and/or skim through, I probably average seven to eight books a week. To be fair, only one or two of those will I complete Word for Word, start to finish, in a week.

Question: what's your reading routine, and what's on your current bookshelf? Do you have any questions about my reading routine?


Want Support Starting Your Photo, Video, or Graphic Design Business?

Receive the latest articles and tools to help you launch and grow your own creative services business.