Really, why do I still read books? I mean, real hard back, paperback, dogear your favorites kind of books. With all the digital sources for information and entertainment I still find myself drawn to books. Not only are they actually paper books, they’re free of noise and distraction. I’m looking at a stack of 9 books on my coffee table right now. They include three titles by Seth Godin, one by each of the following authors: David Brook, David McAdams, John Taylor Gatto, David Allen, Clayton Christenson and Clay Shirky and none of them have any pictures within their covers. Sure, there are a few charts and graphs, but no media noise within the pages. How do they still sell when media noise is in such high demand? Ok, I understand these are nonfiction books. But even fiction books aren’t adding pictures. Why is that? Maybe we make ourselves slow down in a different way when we crack open a book and thumb through the paper pages of a text. I have no great research to prove the point I’m about to make. So, if you’re looking for that, then don’t hold your breath. You’ll end up passing out. My mind works better without the noise. Does yours? I process information, internalize what I’m reading, connect to the message and create my own worlds when reading unguided or uninterrupted by noise. If it’s fiction, I get to craft characters, voices and settings in my mind’s eye. If it’s nonfiction then I’m better able to latch on to, process and respond to ideas and information. I can better take in and evaluate the opinions of others. But maybe that’s just me. It may just be the way that I learn. We’re all different in our learning styles. Regardless of style, it’s imperative that we embrace a journey to learn. To the right of this blog you’ll see a list of books I’ve read so far in 2015. There are some great texts in there. Some less than great. But I’ve learned something from each regardless. A couple atop of my list that I’d recommend: A More Beautiful Question – Warren Berger: brilliant work on the role of inquiry Weapons of Mass Instruction – John Taylor Gatto: excellent text on the history of our current model of education What to do When It’s Your Turn – Seth Godin: brief motivational masterpiece to get you thinking I continue to read books because it’s one of the most effective ways that I learn. I add in blogs that I enjoy and find challenging, encouraging or inspirational (yours may be one of those), but I continue to return to books to slow me town, pull me out of the noise of my daily life and intentionally focus on learning.