Your long term career development will be the sum of your reading over the next five years, and the five years after that. Who knows after ten years someone may develop an implanted chip that will substitute for reading. But for now, reading is the name of the game. After five years don't be the person only known for eating 2114 Krispy Kreme donuts and reading two books and one had a lot of pictures.
You don't have to be a long time reader to only add to your reading inventory. Some of us read fast and have the capacity to remember everything. Most of us read slower and it may take a couple of times for us to get all the required information. If you have a treasured motivational book you may read it two, four or more times, getting more valuable information from it each time. The correct career path to take is to read, and you'll get the required information.
To improve you understanding and greatly increase your overall enjoyment in reading you should determine why you're reading the particular book or article or magazine. By determining the reason before you start your comprehension and pleasure will increase, and ultimately your overall career development will accelerate.
Be honest, you absolutely do not have to read everything. Not everything you come across contains information you need. In fact a lot of it is junk. Throw it out or hit the delete key. Use the time you just saved to read the things important to your overall career plan.
This may sound contradictory but you don't need to read all of what you do read. You don't need to read every article in that magazine or every chapter in that book. Select the articles in the magazine or the chapter in the book that are important, and ignore the rest. When you do find the book that has something of interest in every chapter, take notes, and after you read it put it aside to reread.
One trick to prioritize your reading is to scan the table of contents, the index, and the headlines. You'll pick up two important ideas: (1) do you have an interest in the contents? and; (2) what desirable information will you get from reading the book, magazine or article? If it fits into your reading plan and career plan go for it.
Your reading environment should be comfortable, you'll read faster and comprehend more. Of course, there are times, like carrying reading material in your car to read when waiting is the exception to the rule. Once you start reading read it straight through, with books being the exception. With books try and read in chapter bites. If you have questions, take notes and go back and get the answers or do further research.
You're reading with a purpose, it's all part of your career development and the reading plan you designed. Set monthly book reading goals. Keep a notebook or journal; write down new ideas for books to read. Take advantage of your commuting time to listen to books in your car's CD player. So overall you'll be reading with a purpose so keep your focus.
Remember, the more you read, the quicker your speed and comprehension will pick up. In five years, you'll look back and see you've read 120 or more books. Your career plan will be on track and you'll be able to point to the many valuable ideas and contributions they have made to your career.