“Loving to read as a strategist”. Episode 12. What to read?
Another end of the week has come, and we are again delighted and overjoyed to write for you.
The quality of good readers is an accumulation of “monitoring by test-error” experiences. This practice provides some margin for maneuvering in the learning process. Strategic reflections from an academic reader are not a piece of cake, not for youngsters, not for experienced adults. It takes time, to take notes, ruminate the ideas, go back and forth, reviewing the premises on and on and on, until we find a good path for our inferences. I apologize in advance for not keeping my promise to offer the 3 bonus materials that are pending, on the initially established dates. I moved them last week to new dates, but after careful consideration, I have changed my mind again. I will dispatch them after I wrap up this saga. That means we will finish “Loving to Read as a Strategist” on December 23rd, 2022. Then I will have three weeks of vacation. I will use that window of time to finish and upload the three-pending gift bonus. The amount of reading that I am carrying at the moment (plus the watercolors production) is too much, and I can´t handle both preparation levels (the research groundwork for the pre-established content of this outline, and furthermore the reading provision of the bonus material).
Let me explain with clear and real facts: The three pending bonuses, are demanding me to read several books: one of 1083 pages, the second one of 399 pages, the third one of 241 pages, the fourth one from Louis Dupre of 414 pages, and finally I also need to review three volumes of history with the whole picture from XVI century to the XX century. Some other academic papers about the first industrial revolution also await me. I am searching for some knowledge that may validate my strategic reflection hypothesis. I am restraining to write for the sake of releasing a mediocre bonus and putting in jeopardy the rest of the core content of this saga. I do hope you can comprehend. I always give you the best I can, and I also want to show off honesty about my workload. Wait for a couple of months to see our unique strategic reflections on these three promised bonus chapters, please.
Excellent consulting solutions would be so different if the managers and directors of consulting teams could practice “candor sincerity”. Consultants are discoverers, and explorers. But since the advent of big data and AI analytics by computers, they have stopped to accomplish strategic reflections. Consulting corporations have lost the core of their mission. And they should be able to open a sincere discussion to reignite their discovery spirit within the company and with their clients: Team managers and Directors must be able to procure to go back to their founders’ mentality, which was packed with strategic reflections. Only by extending deadlines when we bump into surprises while doing breakthrough research, we will be able to reflect correctly. We teach by giving our own role-modeling examples. Be patient with us. So let´s begin. Download and read the slides, please.
What to read. It is a matter of supply and demand.
What is available on paper and online might not be what the reader wishes or needs to read. What the reader expects to read might not be what is ready to find online. Or, what it is available as new books or oldies might not be what we wish to buy. What the reader can afford, might not be what the supply of books offers. There are several sources of misfits when we want to read. See slide number 7, please. Usually, if you want to read a book, these are marketed in several formats: hardcover, paperbacks, e-books (for kindle, nooks, or other generic e-readers), and audiobooks. There is also a large-print edition and library-binding designs. There is an ample range of formats obtainable. You also can practice piracy and download them for free, but usually, those web portals are not helping the authors’ income either. There is a negative correlation or a tradeoff between the availability of books (in physical status: used and new, or online status) and the honest capacity of people to obtain them to read them. Countries with high purchase power and ethical awareness of the importance to pay for a book won´t download books of any type for free. They are consciously educated to don´t do it because they think about the authors all the time. They know that authors need royalties from each book for survival. So, in developed rich economies, people are aware and can find books of any type in their nearest library, or they can pay for them at the bookstore or amazon. In the worst-case scenario, if readers download them, they pay for a subscription to do it.
On the other hand, in poor countries, with no good availability of books (either because the existing bookstores do not supply all genres and there are no possibilities to find them in the native language of the country, or because we do not have good libraries either); our people usually try to download free books (in PDF or ePUB). So, the poorest the user, and the more avid reader he/she is, then the more we will search to download free e-books. Understand that there is a deprivation reason to do it. No one wants to buy a cheap version of a great book, but poverty causes us to look for them this way. The richest the readers, the less they will look to download a free version of the book. And it is understandable. If avid readers don´t have money, not even to cover the basics, they will download the free book. The irony is: these avid readers are so digitally tech-addicted, that the book ends up hidden as a file in a USB or a hard-disk memory. In the United States, the situation is more picturesque: If American adults don´t even read more than 10 minutes per day, we wonder what is happening with all the books they pay for it?. In our poor developing economies, such as El Salvador, Smartphone addiction is so elevated, that the word “book” doesn´t even exist in many mindsets after they finish high school or university.
What to read: It is also a personal decision and a personal choice.
As in our last episode, what to read depends on you. And only you. It is a personal decision and a personal choice. No one can force you to read what you don’t like or don´t want or don´t need to read. Since it is an inside-out heart desire to begin to read, then of course I won´t dare to even tell you what you can read. Just try to look for good authors and excellent books, please. Avoid what can harm your spirit. There are different types of texts: prose, drama, and poetry; and there are various categorizations for the oeuvres: fiction or non-fiction, and their respective subcategories. “Long reads”, are usually above 3000 words. Anything below that is classified as an article or blog essay or narrative. Newspaper articles typically range between 600 to 1500 words. Essays and short stories are usually between 1500 to 7,500 words, even though some prestigious awards usually keep them shorter. Then we have the novellas, novelettes, and novels. See slide number 8 for more information.
What to read: it depends on your budget.
When we have economic difficulties (84% of the global population is from the low working class or has at least one factor of multidimensional poverty) it is crucial to recognize that getting new books from bookstores or any retail store, will take from you between US$8 to US$30 dollars per month. Observe slide number 9. Many families don´t carry that amount of cash in hand for reading. As a result, libraries play a critical role and a decisive option for all of us who can´t afford books. Your university library, your community library, or the Congress library in your city should be as shining and shimmering as a mini-New York Public Library. eBooks seem to be a good option that is equivalent to the paperback book price, but if you are a digital addict, or you have vision troubles, or you suffer from digital anxiety, don´t expect to be cured by reading from e-readers such as Nooks, Kindles or Kobos in between other similar platforms. Thereupon, 25 years from now, when you will be almost blind, don´t come back to accuse me that I didn´t tell you in advance.
What to read: It is a test and error path.
About the type of books that you might read. Logically our reading discernments escalate for the most pleasing and complex, once we understand our own likings and predilections. It is anticipated that the more we read, the more sophisticated and refined will be our vocabulary; and we will elevate our standards, looking for books that will teach us tastefulness for words. In addition, if you plan to conquer your literacy 5 level (according to the OECD definition), then be convinced that your taste for books will be a path of test and error. Some books won´t be enjoyed, but others will be adored.
What to read: By Genres of books
There are multiple genres of books that you can find in bookstores, libraries, and online marketplaces such as amazon.com, or barnesandnoble.com. Your community bookstore is a treasure that must be cared for and treated with respect and love. It is time to resuscitate your bookstores, please. The same applies to libraries. By walking in the middle of their aisles, you can begin to explore the different book genres. See slides 11 and 12. Those avid readers who have been self-educating themselves will find surprising how beautiful is to stop buying online and decide to visit your bookstore or library again. It is a lovely adventure.
What to read: By Authors and Book Review Experts.
Bestseller authors are usually famous and well-known. Everywhere on earth, your local main newspapers must have a section about book reviews. In these sections, the book specialist offers an article with a critical point of view of the book and commentaries. The book review expert usually suggests and instructs about other books by those authors. There are classical authors as many as contemporary ones, and it is worthwhile to keep an eye on independent book reviewers that are certified and trusted experts. These book reviewers must hold a stamp of approval from your Nation Library Association. In the USA, this entity is the American Library Association. The word of mouth is also a good counsel when you plan to buy a book. If you belong to a book club, the reader guide expert will be able to help too. See slide number 14.
Our final verdict is about what to read online, and what to read printed books. There are several online free book libraries that you can use in emergencies and only for checking references. Looking for some good academic sources in Google Scholar is an advantage for professors, academic researchers, and university students. Textbooks are a must-to-buy on paper version (regardless of if hardcover or paperback), it is hard to follow through an e-book when students require to take notes and go back and forth on their assignments. Paper is a sacrifice for the trees, but it is of profound blessing for students (K-12 and University level).
For those of you who are already digital addicts of social media and different streaming channels, we recommend avoiding reading anything above a short article or a narrative (mini-short story) of 3000-4000 words from your Smartphone or tablet. Stop glimpsing-reading on your screens, please. I.E., if you wish to read a book or anything above that level, go for the paper version. Afterward, you can sell them as used versions for others who will be thankful to you. Or you can donate the books to developing nations who are so needy of those treasures.
Digital gadgets will harm your sight. If you can´t afford long-read books, avoid downloading from the Internet them unless you can afford to print them at your bibliotheque for further reading. It is better to go to your library and request a copy of the paper book. Libraries can print a book for you if you show that you are a student or you belong to an educational entity. Leasing hardcover books from bookstores is another option that might be advisable to consider in developing economies.
Strategic Music Section.
Music Reading chill-outs
A good reader usually has been blessed with a good reading instructor or educator. The action of reading well starts with the teachers: It is an active process of “constructive meaning”, “creative thinking”, “curiosity”, “investigation mindset”, “monitoring by test-error”, “explorative joy” and “critical reasoning”. Today we will discuss the “monitoring by test-error” characteristic. An excellent reading teacher is someone who has no fear of mistakes.
He or She has been making a living by accomplishing a career of reading mistakes. They know that mistakes are the source of the best learning. And they are able to understand others because they have done those errors previously. The best reading teachers flourish because of an accumulation of making mistakes, learning from those errors, and moving on to the next book. An explorer of good books has reached the plateau only by experiencing the test and error strategy. Don´t forget it.
Our music for reading today is about Spanish Guitars. We have chosen a selection from the Youtube channel BGMC Official: Spanish Guitar: Relaxing Spanish Guitar Music – Beautiful Instrumental Cafe Music.
See you next Tuesday 25th of October, with the thirteenth episode of the saga “Loving to read as a strategist: Why to read”. Thank you for reading to me.
Sources of reference are utilized today.
All the references used to write today are included in each of the slides. Otherwise if found in the article, they are included below.
Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, most of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
Episode total words: 2460. Reading time: 13 minutes
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