There is no shortage of things to read in this day and age. Sometimes I feel like I’m drinking from a fire hydrant of information! I am constantly scanning the digital inbox for the next report due date, meeting confirmation, or to-do project. Then, I move to the newsletters, blogs and websites. Too often I find myself hitting delete even though the content may be valuable, or relocating to a folder with plans to read later. And then there’s all the reading material that still comes in my real mailbox!

    It can be overwhelming, and yet reading provides me with inspiration, new thinking to share with my colleagues, and ideas for innovation and change to improve the work we do in service to our communities.

    As we enter 2016, I am re-evaluating my reading selections.

    • Should I unsubscribe to those newsletters that I never seem to get around to reading? (Maybe because, if I am really honest, are not helping me?)
    • Can I really pay attention to the times and methods that I get the most out of reading?
    • Are there voices or opinions that differ from mine, who can help me see the world in a new light and expand my thinking?
    • What might be something my whole team can read to give us a common language for evaluating our own work?
    • Should I subscribe to some new publications that actually come in print, so that I can throw them in my bag to read when I have a moment and to provide a welcome break from my digital devices?

    It’s also good to remember that reading doesn’t only have to be about career development. Taking the time to enjoy the pastime of reading as I did as a child is a wonderful restorative practice. When was the last time you read something that let you escape to far-away lands, stay up late to uncover who-dun-it, and share stories that made you laugh out loud, cry, or page turn with anticipation?

    Reading is a wonderful way to experience the world and well worth a thoughtful review as part of your resolution-planning for the new year. Join me as I work to more thoughtfully engage this year through reading.

    Looking for something new to read? Check out the “What We’re Reading” page on our site. Plus, you can suggest your own great reads in the comments below.


    Posted by Jan Brogdon
    Jan Brogdon

    Written by Jan Brogdon

    Jan Brogdon, CFRE, is an experienced member of the Donor By Design Team focused on working with a diverse group of nonprofit leaders who are looking to connect their work in commmunities with donors who are seeking to make a difference. With more than 30 years of professional experience, Jan has a strong track record in linking program and membership support activities with annual giving fundraising programs.

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