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Reading books as daily habit

Tuesday 15 December 2020 - Filed under Default

This year, dissatisfied with social media, I became more serious about reading books, and have worked to make a daily habit of it. 

Practical books have always seemed like direct upgrades to the process that is my life, so I’ve always started there. As one book leads to another, however, my path has included several works of fiction by London, Hemingway, Asimov, my old pal Stephen King, David Foster Wallace, in which I’ve been figuring out how stories are told, the way language can be used, worlds created. Anything seems possible in fiction. The well is very deep. And yeah, what can be more valuable for connecting in these distanced times than developing our skills as storytellers?

Between books and social media/news, it’s no contest. 27 books this year have expanded my knowledge, potential and experience more than I could have imagined. The frothiness of life. Deliberate practice. Quests for immortality. Determination. Pleasure. Killing scary monsters. I’m a little concerned that the low-hanging fruit has been harvested, some titles like Peak and Infinite Jest were that good, but my prospects are solid. Hell, I haven’t read Ulysses yet and only just got a Pynchon.

If you’re interested, I developed a reading log spreadsheet that can track pages read/day for up to 4 books at a time and, I have a question for those who have been reading books for a long time. How do you keep it fresh?

2020-12-15  »  David Sterry

Talkback x 2

  1. Steven Roseborough
    15 December 2020 @ 4:22 pm

    The think that keeps it fresh for me is that there is always some new subject to explore. I find reading one book often leads me down about four other paths that I can follow for more books. I try to read a novel, a biography and a nonfiction book at the same time as well so I can bounce betweeen them if one gets boring.

  2. David Sterry
    16 December 2020 @ 1:45 pm

    Definitely feel you on the endless subjects available for exploration, but I could also see being bored by a new subject if I don’t feel like there’s much to learn. For example there might be diminishing returns on reading a book about sailing after a couple books on boating.

    Trying to follow my page-turners or no policy has me either stopping or selecting to skim the rest of Atlas Shrugged. It’s starting to feel like a powerpoint especially as compared to the smooth flow of King’s It.