How many professional reading books do you read in a year?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from over 250,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

How many professional reading books do you read in a year?

  • None. I read other forms of content (blogs, magazines, journals): 39%
  • A few: 1-4: 33%
  • Several: 5-9: 13%
  • Many: 15 or more: 5%
  • A lot: 10-14: 5%
  • I don't really do any professional reading: 4%

Short form doesn’t beat bookworms. Clearly a large portion (39%) of you eschew books in favor of short-form content. That’s a sign of the times for busy professionals. That said, a healthy portion (56%) of you are still hunkering down with a good business book on a regular basis. For those who aren’t reading books, I encourage you to pick up the habit. Short-form content is great but isn’t lasting. Books are more comprehensive in their thinking and can more fundamentally alter the way you look at the world because they give you a broader context and deeper insights into issues than a 600-word blog post can. Books are also a great way to decompress and get away from stressful screen time, bouncing from one site to another. The best way to get started on this habit is to ask your friends and co-workers for recommendations. They’ll know you well enough to recommend things you’ll enjoy.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."