Growing up I didn’t have an appetite for reading or books. Sport and time outdoors were prioritised far higher on my daily agenda than getting my daily reading done, as prescribed for our homework activities. As a result, I battled with reading and couldn’t actually read properly. I used to memorise the pages of the book that we used for prepared reading tests at primary school… I can clearly remember doing it and the problem came up when the teacher asked me to stop and then start reading again. I would have no idea where I was on the page because I had not been reading the words at all.

You get the picture. Reading wasn’t something that took my fancy as I was growing up and it caused me a bit of trouble. Luckily though, thanks to extra lessons, my reading problem was corrected and I was taught not to memorise the entire book. Fast forward a couple of years and reading forms an important piece of day to day life for me.

So, why am I telling you about the importance of reading? Everyone reads for different reasons and we all read about different things. This diversity and difference is one of the things that makes reading such a powerful tool and why we need to share more of what we read with others. It is not possible for us to read every book or blog in the world and we can only subscribe to so many daily/monthly newsletters. I use Twitter (a modern-day newspaper) to help me pick up on interesting topics or the latest news, but we can all get better at sharing “information bites” or powerful reads with everyone around us. This helps to drive a collaborative environment so that we can all read more, share ideas and benefit from listening to those around us.

Reading doesn’t require you necessarily to pick up a book. The internet and growth of the digital era means a lot of our reading is done on a screen.

Whether it be skimming through the latest cycling news update from the Cycling Tips team, or reading about cycling legend Rapha’s “rebrand”, reading a variety of digital content on a daily basis helps me to expand my thinking, gives me ideas and most importantly provides me with perspective. Reading prompts me to think differently and lately it has taught me to look for connections between things that aren’t clear or obvious. Often combining completely unrelated concepts leads to phenomenal ideas, but you do have to teach yourself to think bigger.

Talking of collaboration, here are a few of my favourite reads from the last little while. The majority of my reading is done digitally. I still have to perfect the art of sitting down with a good book. I am going to do my best to share a couple of good reads in a blog every so often, please do tag me on Twitter if you have any “must read” recommendations.

The mission daily is an amazing podcast. It’s one of the first podcasts that I started listening to. I came across it when reading a couple of blogs on Medium, which has also provided me with a few gems of wisdom.

While I am not an expert book reader, one of my current reads (it takes me a while to read an entire book) is Integrity by Dr Henry Cloud. One of my favourite take outs from books so far is this summary of empathy in the context of building trust through connection: “Empathy is the ability to enter into anther person’s experience and connect with it in such a way that you actually experience to some degree what the other person is experiencing.” Integrity is a book that was given to me by a friend. We should make a habit of giving books and sharing knowledge.

That’s a wrap. Thanks for reading this blog and hearing my thoughts! If you are reading a book, blog, article or listening to podcast that you think we should be aware of, please share it. Sharing knowledge and insights is something that we should all do, we can gain so much just from listening to everyone around us.