Tag Archives: doogencreates

no other reading in your whole life does.

ImageI’ve toyed over and over with the idea of getting an e-reader. I think I’m one of the only people I know who doesn’t have either an iPad or a Kindle. (Well, I do have a hand-me-down Kindle but that’s not the point.)

The point is that I excitedly loaded a few (free) literary classics that I had been meaning to read and then promptly read none of them. I signed up for an online literature course and downloaded the whole reading list to the Kindle and then read none of those.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of being able to carry ten, twenty books with you at any given time in addition to magazines and newspapers too. BUT I couldn’t get on board with the feeling of it. And I could never put a finger on why. And today, Austin Kleon’s blog included an Mark Athitakis excerpt that just nailed it:

“[I read] almost always with a pen or pencil in my hand, ready to underline a sentence, scribble a margin note or, if I’m particularly struck by something, dash off a trio of exclamation points. I don’t think of this as something I do in addition to reading — it’s how I read. So something always feels a little off when I read a book on my Kindle or iPad… E-books promise all sorts of frictionless interactivity, except the one I really want.

Note taking is just one problem. Books aren’t just in conversation with readers but with themselves: What happens on page 362 harks back to something on page 15 that foreshadows events on page 144. Noticing these connections is part of my work, and it wasn’t until I began reading e-books that I realized how much bouncing back and forth I do in a physical book, something e-books don’t easily facilitate. Readers enthuse about being immersed in a good book, but e-book progress bars encourage us to read only one way: straight ahead, at a sprint.

Basically, in the wise words of Kathleen Kelly via Nora Ephron, “when you read a book as a child it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does…”

And the way you read that book as a child becomes a part of you. E-readers won’t ever become part of my identity because they’ll never have the same feel or smell or breed the same sentimentally that a good old fashioned book can.

Amiright? Or shall we agree to disagree?

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looks good?

Image

I have long struggled with this sentiment because it’s easy to read and harder to do. I think as someone who is a internet-phile (did I just coin that term?) it’s especially hard to not get down on yourself. 

This giant world is made that much smaller by the posting, tweeting, instagramming, vining, texting, trending that happens. Which is a beautiful thing. It also makes you feel like crap sometimes right?

It’s that much harder to go to your boring 9-5 job and plug away at your desk sucking down crap coffee when you see that your friend of a friend just made the Forbes 30 Under 30 List. 

It makes you depressed that your dinner was beef jerky and leftover potato salad from your work meeting when your friend posts pictures of her organically harvested, slow roasted three course dinner.

There’s an interesting discussion that your presence on the internet and social media is no longer just a record of the goings-on of your life. It has become your brand. And let’s face it but no one is putting up unflattering pictures of themselves or posting about their worst nights. So it’s like comparing your life with someone’s highlight reel and that’s not really fair or productive.

SO, I’ve been busy peeking into other people’s lives and getting down on myself for not hitting every career goal, not making enough money, not Skyping enough with friends, not calling my mom enough, not having the perfect outfit, and effing up yet another hare-brained Pinterest project, BUT I’ve also been enjoying the fresh snowfall, trying out Vietnamese dishes, eating an ungodly amount of hot wings, and chilling in a newly acquired onesie.

But you didn’t see all that. Cause it all happened (mostly) offline and it felt good.

And isn’t that what counts?

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