The reading is what we call it when you do the difficult work of learning to think with the best, to stay caught up, to understand.

The reading exposes you to the state of the art. The reading helps you follow a thought-through line of reasoning and agree, or even better, challenge it. The reading takes effort.

If you haven’t done the reading, why expect to be treated as a professional?

Seth Godin

Seth Godin is referring to much more than just books. The “reading” is what he means by doing the work of keeping up and engaging with the best and latest advances in your field.  While there will always be a special place for books, blogs and other online resources provide an abundance of valuable information. (You’ll even find great stuff from some of your favorite authors without having to wait until their next book comes out. )

These days, there is so much information published that it might seem impossible to keep up.  For a little perspective on how much information is being put online, here are a few things that are happening every minute of every day:

  • Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content.
  • Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times.
  • Instagram users post nearly 220,000 new photos.
  • YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video content.
  • Email users send over 200 million messages.

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How can anyone find the valuable, relevant needles in this infinite haystack of information? The key is creating a personalized way for the content you want comes to you, so you can read important stories efficiently.  This type of personalized reading helps you keep up with your world and get better at what you do.

Right now you might be thinking, “Sounds great, but how to I create this magical, personalized system?” The answer is news feeds.

What are news feeds?

Feeds are a way for websites to distribute their content without requiring  people to actually come visit their website.  Feeds permit subscription to regular updates, delivered automatically via a web portal, news reader, or mobile app.

Subscribing to feeds lets you keep track of a large number of your favorite sites and blogs without having check each site manually.

Watch this video to see how it works:
(Note: Google Reader no longer exists-Feedly works basically the same way)

Create Your Own Personalized Feeds

Fortunately, you can start building your own tailor-made reading list of the topics you’re most interested in less time than you spend in  line at Starbucks. Not only will you be more efficient, but you can also segregate your reading to times when you can browse and read at your leisure. For example, you might want to peek in on your professional interests during work hours, and save your personal interests to read at home in the evenings or over the weekend.

Personally, I like to read in the Feedly iPad app over my morning coffee every day. Here are a few options for you to choose from that will let you subscribe to feeds and start building your own custom reading experience today:

Here are a few good ones to get you started.

PRO TIP:  When you see an article you really like, go look for the authors website and subscribe to it.

Are you doing your reading? How are you tackling the work of learning to think with the best, stay caught up, and to understand your profession?