A Reader’s Guide: The seven things you should never sacrifice for your job

Work demands a lot from us. Sometimes too much. Here are the seven places where you need to draw the line in the sand. And then set the line on fire. And buy a couple crocodiles to guard it for you.

1. Your value. You may work in the non-profit world, or maybe your company is stingy as hell. Don’t undersell yourself. Be your own advocate. Demand fair compensation for the value you’re bringing to your company. The bigger your paycheck, the more you can spend on books. Hardcovers don’t grow on your bookshelves, you know.

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2. You commuting time. This is you-time. Sure, you could prepare for that morning meeting. But that’s what those five minutes waiting for Mike to join are for. Use the 40 minutes on the bus or metro to squeeze in another couple chapters, or pop in an audiobook in your car.

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3. Your lunch break. Yes, it’s tempting to skip your breaks or take only half, but come on. Think of all the reading you could be doing.

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4. Your phone. Space on your phone is for books, not for work. If your boss wants you to use your phone for work, your company can buy you a work phone, which you can then use as book overflow.

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5. Your work/life balance. Yes, there will always be that emergency, all-hands-on-deck couple of days when you need to burn the midnight oil. But otherwise, leave work on time. Studies show that by leaving work on time, you may be able to increase your annual book count by as much as 30%.

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6. Your health. You wake up with the sniffles, but Ben is counting on you to help him finish his project, and Jennifer needs you to number-crunch some data. Well, tough. Take a sick day. Take two. You have them for a reason, and that reason is all the reading you could do on that work-free Tuesday.

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7. Your soul. Do not sacrifice your soul to your job. You’ll need it for later, when you want to trade it for that pristine, signed-by-the-author first edition hardcover.

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