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Recommended reading

February 10, 2014 -  By

The Pew Research Center reported last month that nearly a quarter (23 percent) of American adults had not read a single book in the past year (that includes e-books and audiobooks). This number has nearly tripled since 1978, when Gallup reported only 8 percent of the population was non-book-readers. That figure hovered between 13 percent and 18 percent between 1990 and 2008. Suffice it to say, with the advent of mobile devices, social media and our “busy” culture, fewer people are turning to books.

For me, books are like movies in that a personal recommendation is required to get me to delve in. I can see what the masses are reading and watching by checking best-seller lists or box-office ticket sales, but I’m not forking over my money—or, more importantly, committing my time—without the good word of a trusted friend or adviser.

I know from our research and from talking with Landscape Management readers that you feel the same way about your time as I do about mine.

In my interview on page 24 with the author of The E-Myth, Michael Gerber, he confirms lack of time is one of the biggest problems plaguing small business owners. He adds that even if they did have more time to study how to improve their businesses, many wouldn’t know exactly where to start.

So, that’s what we’re giving you here: A place to start. Starting on page 16 is our recommended reading list, courtesy of other landscape and lawn care professionals who’ve learned a thing or two about improving their companies from the pages of a good book.

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body,” some say. If you can find time to exercise to improve your body’s health and fitness  (or at least if you know you should be doing so), why not make the same commitment to reading to better your mind, and, in turn, your business?

The benefits of reading are countless. Studies show you may improve your vocabulary, boost your memory, become more emotionally intelligent and reduce stress levels by the simple act of reading regularly.

Think about it: Aren’t the smartest people you know voracious readers? The best and brightest among us are those who constantly seek more information to either confirm or challenge their current belief systems.

While we’d love it if you could get every idea you need to run your company—whether it’s a small tip or an entirely new business philosophy—from the pages in LM and our website, we’d be silly if we thought one source was sufficient. That’s why we’re referring you elsewhere.

I encourage you to add at least one of the books featured in this issue or in its associated online content to your reading list this year. Don’t be a member of the 23 percent who go 365 days without picking up a book. Spend just a few minutes a day reading (or listening to) one of these recommended titles. You just might learn something.

Photo: Darren Lewis/

This article is tagged with , , , and posted in 0214, Editor's Note
Marisa Palmieri

About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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