Staying on top of things in our field means we must stay on top of professional reading. In addition, to professional journals, we all have the things we simply like to read for pleasure. How can we manage it all?

My last post talked about listening to books on tape as a substitute for some of print material. That still leaves me with a great deal of reading material.

I have a section of my briefcase devoted to reading material. As I am going through the mail at work or at home, magazines go straight into the briefcase. That one simple act keeps all of my awaiting reading material in one place. There is no doubt between what has been read and what has not. Anything in the briefcase is either unread or partially read.

When I have down time, I simply pull out something from the briefcase. That means if I am waiting to see the doctor or dentist or if I am waiting to get my hair cut, I pull out some of my reading material. On the way home, I am frequently stopped by a train—so, out comes reading material. I tend to get to appointments early, and while I am waiting, I have reading material.

In short, I match reading material with time that would otherwise be wasted. It keeps the reading material from building up and keeping me from getting bored.