They’re everywhere.

Kindles fingered during el trips.  Dog-eared library books read on buses.  Even standing commuters, somehow, managing to peruse a page or two in before business starts.

More than occasionally, books sneak into the workplace. 

There’s a tongue-in-cheek app that disguises tomes in PowerPoint presentations on desktops, ready to close when a manager appears. 

More seriously, a number of companies today boast book clubs, voluntary associations of employees who read and review and discuss selected volumes. 

There’s even an Ohio-based Books@Work nonprofit that deliberately matches nearby college and university professors with companies that want to start, not a book club, but an employee development and idea-sharing habit.

For those of us who devour the word, digital and printed, somehow those ideas aren’t enough.  Sure, we all have to put in eight to 12 hours a day getting stuff done.  And time to squeeze in a book chapter can’t always  fit into the schedule.  At night and on weekends, there’s so much to do that reading – whether literature or business – loses.

But why not dedicate a business hour or two each week to reading?  Not just magazines and news, but literature and non-fiction that will make a difference.  Asking employees to skim and discuss a tome can begin to create the kinds of environments we thrive in, develop the types of colleagues who are curious and communicate well with others, build teams that step up to those big hairy goals we all strive for. 

It’s not too much to ask of a book, is it?