Posts tagged reading
Saturated

I have noticed a trend lately in my media consumption, and I am not thrilled.  My Kindle has begun filling up so much that I forget which books I am currently reading.  I will overfill my Buffer queue (Buffer is a social media scheduling service that I use so I do not bombard everyone with ten articles in a single half hour span) and run out of time slots in my free account.  The number of unplayed podcasts I have on my phone overwhelms me.  This is too much media, I am realizing.  I cannot possibly absorb and digest it all.

Don't get me wrong: I love how easy it is to learn about nearly any imaginable topic now, thanks to the internet.  Everyone dabbles because we can.  We are all jacks of all trades, but, I would also argue, many of us are masters of none.  We can go broad with the click of a mouse or swipe of our finger but rarely do we go deep.  My book club recently read The Shallows, and although I have some criticisms, I found myself nodding in agreement with the author's central argument: We consume so much so quickly now that our brains are forgetting how to think critically and sustainedly.  I keep pushing myself to take in more, more, more so that I will become "smarter," but is more necessarily better?  

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Funny things that I do now that I have a kid

Certain changes I anticipated when I had a child: I have wipes stashed on every floor and in every car, I always carry several snacks with me, and my daily word count totals at least twice what it was in my pre-kid days.  But other shifts in my behavior I did not expect.  In fact, some of them run completely contrary to the pictures our culture paints of parenthood.  For instance:

1.  I read more now.

While my book count certainly approaches nowhere near what it did during my college and graduate school career, I read more books than I did before having children.  I am stuck waiting much more often now in carpool drop-offs, sporting events, and appointments.  In these awkward pockets of time, I try to read a few pages on my Kindle app rather than clicking through my social media feeds.  While I know that my daughter does not know whether I am reading on my phone or bouncing between click bait articles, I know, and I am more self-conscious about how I am spending my downtime.

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Books that changed the way I see the world

I am an unapologetic book lover.  I remember going to the library as a child and carrying a huge stack of books home.  I knew the checkout limit (It was thirty-two books).  Perhaps it is because I am an introvert, and I love how reading allows me to be alone but still engaged, or perhaps it is because I savor silence, but books hold an important place in my life.  

I try to track books here, but some reads are admittedly better than others.  I am hard pressed to name my favorite books, but I can think of some books that changed how I approach the world.  New worlds open up to me as I take in different voices and perspectives.  These are not necessarily the best books that I have ever read, but they touched me on a very personal level.  Here are eight titles (arranged chronologically, from the book I first read to my most recent find):

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Why I love my Kindle so much

In the past couple of years, the amount of reading I have done on my Kindle has increased tenfold.  While there have been studies and vehement opinions arguing that paper is preferable to digital, I think e-readers have their place.  I will be quick to acknowledge the cons: I do not think I retain information as well on e-readers because part of how I digest and remember is through marking texts up and remembering the actual placement of words on a page.  I will admit that there is something about the physical experience of turning a page and inhaling the scent of a freshly printed book or an ancient hardback bearing years of history.

But.

The convenience of my Kindle is hard to beat (and I do mean Kindle, not just any e-reader.  When I compare my experience to friends who have other types of e-readers, I think the Kindle wins by a landslide).

 

Here are the reasons why I find myself reading so much more often:

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