The Middle Manager

Surviving & Thriving as a Leader

More Input . . .

As IT professionals, it’s very important that we are keeping up with the latest trends in technology. It’s a rapidly changing landscape, and there are dozens of trade publications, books, and magazines devoted to it. But how often do you take the time to read? Personally, I’m a voracious reader, and I always have been. I worked my way through the libraries in Elementary, Middle, and High School, and ever since I rarely go through a week without picking up something to read.

So when I heard some statistics at a recent conference, I was shocked.
• 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
• 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
• 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
• 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
• Each day in the U.S., people spend 4 hours watching TV, 3 hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading.
• 57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
• About 120,000 books are published each year in the U.S.
• A successful fiction book sells 5,000 copies.
• A successful nonfiction book sells 7,500 copies.
• 53 percent read fiction, 43 percent read nonfiction. The favorite fiction category is mystery and suspense, at 19 percent. 55 percent of fiction is bought by women, 45 percent by men.

I truly believe you can gain insight into someone by knowing what they’re reading. Successful leaders read a lot. How often have you seen executives reading books on management, or sales leaders reading books on motivation? If you want to better understand new technologies the best place to start is with a book.

Reading is one of the best ways for us to take in information. So with that in mind I will occasionally post a review of a book I’m reading that may be of interest to readers here. Likewise, I’m always open to recommendations, so let me know if you have a good title in mind!

Jerold Jenkins,
Publishers Weekly
Authors Guild,
Veronis, Suhler & Associates investment banker


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