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Tips from a professional reader By Fareeha Qayoom

Tips from a professional reader

By Fareeha Qayoom

I

met a designer once who said he never looked at other people’s work because he didn’t want his own work to be influenced by anything outside himself. That seemed like a pretty ridiculous idea to me. I mean, how can you avoid being influenced? You’d have to shut yourself away from the world entirely and, even if it was possible, it wouldn’t be much fun.

What I'm reading and re-reading
Photo by Earl – What I Saw 2.0

It makes much more sense to me to be aware of what other people are doing- that means knowing what’s being done, even if you don’t have to time to read everything. That way, you can absorb new developments, new ideas and techniques, and eventually use them in something entirely your own. The added benefit of reading within your field is you find out what has been done and what has been done to death. Wouldn’t it be terrible to come up with what you thought was a brilliant new idea, only to find it has been done over and over by other people? But if you’ve been reading, you’ll know what those other people have done with the idea, so you can do something unique, or with a different slant.

And reading is a really good way of learning how to do things—reading within your line of work lets you get to know your field really well, lets you know what’s going on so you can join the discussion (so to speak), and it teaches you how to write more effectively. What about reading stuff outside your field? One thing reading outside your field can do is expose you to things you might not encounter in your own industry. Maybe another industry has explored topics that your industry hasn’t really tackled yet. You can take the ideas from that industry and incorporate them into your own work. Anything that is a source of great ideas is worth reading.

Here are some suggestions on how you can improve your reading habits:

  • Be discerning – we only have so much time, energy and attention span for reading. Try to balance reading for staying informed, learning how to do something and pleasure reading.
  • Don’t get discouraged if you don’t finish everything you start reading.
  • If you read something that may be of particular interest to someone you know, pass on the recommendation.
  • When you write for others (such as in e-mail or a report), read and re-read what you wrote before sending to make sure it makes sense. This will minimize the reading time for others, and maximize the chances of it getting read. ■

This article was originally published in the print edition of “The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review,” Tkfr issue 13, January 2006

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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of Tkfr.com and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.

1 Comment

  1. More Reading?

    Extreme Managing Archive
    http://www.tkfr.com/?cat=8

    Archive for category book reviews and authors
    http://www.tkfr.com/?cat=28

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