I remember picking up books far from my reading lists on both my first degree (public administration) and MSc (urban policy and regeneration) - funny that these books (like Bourdieu's "Language and Symbolic Power" and "Outline of a theory of practice") had some resonance with me and I knew they'd be useful. I love the organic part of learning; the chance books, papers, conversations and so on. While these are not enough by themselves - that would be a bit of a naive approach to a large research project, they add a sense of relationship, discovery and excitement that's part of a learning journey.
I took this Wednesday 'off' normal academic work for a 'research and scholarly activity' (RSA) day and grumbled to myself for booking a dentists appointment at 3.10pm. Sitting in the waiting room, I found this article which really helped me move on some thinking - another organic connection. Some of the best things come along while sitting waiting - on the park bench, bus or Dentists!