Reading and sharing

Fri, 23 Jun 2017

I love to read. But taking time off work this week (to help my wife around the house as we prepare for our new baby) has given me a chance to reflect on how little reading I do.

When I am reading and sharing ideas about what I have read, I feel like my best self. I want more of that feeling. I want my children to see me reading, and I want to show respect to others by sharing my experiences.

I enjoy fiction, philosophy, and ideas about why the world is the way it is and what might happen next. Some books, I can’t put down. I read them in a day or two. Others are what I call “sipping” books, and I’ve been working on them for years.

Some of my favorite books are written in a kind of journal entry format. It follows that I enjoy keeping up with friends’ blogs. I study typography- and web-related books and blog posts, many of which are meant to be referenced or worked through, rather than read, but still give me the opportunity to think and share.

Got a Kindle this year. It’s a struggle to decide whether to read physical books (the feel, the sound, the smell), or read them on the Kindle (dictionary, highlights, access, no clutter). One thing I like about a physical book is that if I enjoy it I then have a reminder on the shelf, and something tangible to share with family and friends.

I’m wondering if acknowledging what I read, along with a substantial visual (a book cover image?) and any highlights or notes, could feel just as good as having a physical book. Mandy Brown’s A Working Library and Donny Truong’s book reviews are inspirational. I also like Marcin Wichary’s photos of piles of books.

Maybe I could list my piles of books here on my website, and link them to blog post entries with highlights/notes. Maybe I could even print some of those out, to keep on my shelf and share with others. That might make a pretty nice gift — a physical book or gift card, plus a printout of my highlights/notes from that book, and a word about why I think the person might enjoy it.